|Enchiladas especiales from Taqueria Y Restaurant Guadalajara, Elgin TX|
In a small town where fine dining does not exist but fast food franchises do, and where the choices to have a meal out comprise several barbecue joints, a couple of cafes and about a dozen Mexican restaurants, I tend to look for places that do one or two things well. Those places, for me, are almost always small, family-owned and run Mexican restaurants that serve great food at great prices and have great service to boot. I love the waitstaff at my favorite places and it's fun to know them by name, talk with them about their families and look forward to seeing them again in the near future. I always get great service in all my favorite restaurants in Elgin--and I don't think that it's just because I like to tip well.
Taqueria Y Restaurant Guadalajara, located on Highway 290 East, right across from the fabulously refurbished Elgin HEB, also serves excellent sopas and gorditas. I alternate between refried bean and chorizo fillings, but I love the thick, crispy masa base (which has been deep-fried), the bright, fresh flavors of tomato, onion, lettuce, lime and avocado and the excellent and pungent house salsa that comes with your plate. If you order a sopa, everything is piled on top. If you order a gordita, the thick masa tortilla is split open and filled. Either way, it's a taste explosion that doesn't detonate your wallet.
|Sopa from Taqueria Y Restaurant Guadalaja, Elgin TX|
|The sopa at Taqueria Azteca de Oro, Elgin TX|
Another favorite lunchtime stop is Jalisco Mexican Restaurant (also on Highway 290 East, across from what I call The Pawn Shop on the Hill). Jalisco also has sister restaurant of the same name and menu in Bastrop, TX. In the summertime, I adore the lightness and simplicity of their single chalupa, a crispy, round tostada topped with tender and excellently seasoned beef fajita strips (or your choice of several other proteins), lettuce, tomato, cheese, avocado and sour cream. The tacos al pastor are also filling, delicious and come with plenty of lime, cilantro and chopped onion. But what I really love about Jalisco is their soup. I absolutely crave a large bowl of chicken tortilla soup and can eat it in any weather.