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Sunday, August 14, 2011

Encanto Mexican Grill in Schertz, Texas

Hi Boys and Girls!

How is your Sunday going? Are you staying cool? I know a place that is really cool.

Encanto Mexican Grill (www.encantogrill.com) has passed my 2-visit test. I always give restaurants a second chance…well, almost always. Some first visits are too traumatic to visit again. But not Encanto. It was super yummy my first visit so I decided to give it another try. And, by now you know the grueling paces I put restaurants through before I will endorse them.

Today is Roberto’s birthday AND we have a Groupon coupon http://www.groupon.com/san-antonio/ so what other excuse is there? Our visit started off with a margarita.  Kathy, our excellent server, came to take our drink order.  I asked if the bartender would make a margarita with fresh limes. She went to ask. Sure enough, the bartender, Matt was happy to do so. Along comes this beautiful, HUGE margarita made with top shelf tequila.  My first sip told me there was some sort of sweetener in it. Kathy asked Matt. Yes, he put agave juice and possibly triple sec. It was good but I must not have been clear in my request. I like tequila and fresh lime…a little salt…and that’s it. So, what does Matt do? He makes a fresh margarita using top shelf tequila and fresh limes. He brings it to the table himself. This is the best margarita I have had in a long time! Well, next to mine at home, anyway…
It was a little tart for Roberto so he stuck with his usual Merlot. It did not stop him from tasting mine!

Next came the appetizer. Kathy made guacamole at the table. It is a pretty presentation.
Although, excellent, something was flat. It could have been the avocados. Maybe this time of year they are not so flavorful. Maybe not enough jalapeños. Maybe it was the orange juice. Personally, I would have added more lime juice and more cilantro. Restaurants have to please the general public and predominantly, most people do not like really hot guacamole. So, I added some of the green condiment that came with the chips. It must have been sour cream and jalapeños. It was so good. That added a nice kick to the guacamole.

Main course came next. Roberto ordered a chicken stuffed poblano pepper http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Poblano along with rice and charro beans. In Spanish, charro almost means "burnt beans." I think the term charro came from the fact that Mexican cowboys (http://my.execpc.com/~ehannan/Caballeros.html cooked outside over an open fire pit. Charro beans are soup-like rather than fried.
Roberto's stuffed poblano. Notice the clean-looking plate and the nice drizzle of sour cream.

I ordered fish tacos. As you can see, the presentation of these dishes is outstanding. Even if they were not delicious, the presentation is a feast for your eyes.
Notice the thick piece of grilled fish and avacado. Fresh thinly-sliced cabbage is exactly what I like with a fish taco. Lettuce would wilt and not add much flavor. The Mexican cheese was a nice suprise.

The charro beans had a nice smoky flavor. I just had to ask the cook how he made these beans. So I did. Julio Sanchez is the sous chef and when I spotted him taking a break, I asked how he made the beans. First the hickory smoked bacon is grilled. Bacon is chopped and added to fresh beans along with tomatoes, chiles, cilantro and onions. I am sure some spices are added. Believe me: YOU WILL LOVE THESE BEANS!
Sous Chef Julio Sanchez
What is a sous chef, you ask? Find out here. http://www.reluctantgourmet.com/sous_chef.htm
As you can see, the kitchen runs as smoothly as the caliber of the sous chef.

The poblano chile was very large and fresh. It was not deep fried. It was stuffed with chopped chicken swimming in a rich jalapenño/tomato/onion sauce. It was not hot…just warm to the back of the tongue. The chile was topped with additional sauce. A very pleasant suprise is finding the chile not smothered in American cheese. The rice looked to be cooked in the traditional Mexican way like I learned as a young bride from Elena's Secrets of Mexican Cooking. http://www.amazon.com/Elenas-Secrets-Mexican-Cooking-Zelayeta/dp/B001G5514S/ref=tmm_other_img_popover?ie=UTF8&qid=1313364399&sr=1-1 As you will see from the prices, this book is highly collectible.

The fish tacos were made with grilled mahi mahi steaks. They were thick and a bit crispy. The corn tortillas were thick so the juices did not fall through. Fresh cabbage and avocado topped the fish taco. I asked for the cheese on the side for I thought it would be a melted queso. No, it was fresh Mexican cheese. So good! Three tacos come with the meal, along with charro beans. I could only eat two tacos. They were good-sized tacos and very flavorful.

The real treat was the special dessert brought to Roberto because it was his birthday. Kathy brought him Tres Leches cake! Tres Leches means "three milks" or really three creams.

The personnel did not sing Los Mañanitas (Happy Birthday). Listen to the song here. http://www.songsforteaching.com/spanish/lasmananitas.htm

Back to the cake! This cake was outstanding. Along with Tres Leches at Paloma Blanca www.palomablanca.net in San Antonio, this cake is number one. It is made in-house by Julio. The cake was moist, springy and not too sweet. It was topped with a caramel sauce. Check out this recipe I found on the web. http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/alton-brown/tres-leche-cake-recipe/index.html

You can now see that only a chef with the highest degree of perfectionism will make this dessert each day. If nothing else, visit Encanto Grill for Tres Leches!

This restaurant met all my expectations. I make nopalitos. I make homemade fish tacos. I only use high end tequila and fresh limes for margaritas…You know I expect a lot from a restaurant. Kathy is a new hire and will do well there. She gave very personal service and made sure all our needs were met. Julio and Matt went out of their way to make our meal memorable. Encanto Grill is a keeper in my book. I strongly suggest you give it a try.

Tell me what you think. What did you order? What did you think of the price? Look at our bill!
All that food we had! And we had a Groupon coupon! So, you can see besides excellent food, you get a real bargain at Encanto Mexican Grill. There's more! Kathy gave us 2 for 1 tickets for breakfast...good until the end of August. I can't wait to try their Huevos Rancheros!
Until next time, demand perfection in the foods you eat. Oh, and sing Las mañanitas on someone's birthday!

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for the very kind words, we will continue to try and impress our guests. And we will definetely take into account everything you have written on here today. As well as singing Las Manianitas. Please come by and see us again sometime.