Tonight, I decided to try the El Lagarto (the lizard) “Mexican” restaurant up the street from where I’m staying.
As I headed there, I pondered why it is that Mexican cuisine seems to be the one that is completely misinterpreted outside its borders. If you’re lucky, you might get some decent Tex-Mex or Southwest inspired chow. So my expectations for tonight weren’t very high and I wasn’t even sure I’d order a full meal.
First, I had a look at their selection of Mexican beers… Coronita (Corona) or Negra Modelo. Spain is in the grips of a cold spell now, so it’s definitely not “cerveza clara” time even if I liked Corona (which I don’t, *shudders*). The Negra Modelo was a whopping 3 euros, but I haven’t had one in so long and it was perfect for the weather. So I splurged!
Negra Modelo is not a heavy dark beer, more like liquid caramel. It is very smooth and a great introduction to dark beers.
The menu items actually sounded, for the most part, like Mexican food, so I decided to keep splurging and have dinner. I picked the “enchiladas de carne,” where in this case carne was cerdo (pork), which came with salad and rice. So far, it sounded like something I would get in Mexico, albeit for three times the price.
This thing of beauty was served to me:
The salad was way “fancier” than what you’d get at a typical Mexican joint, but that’s not a complaint! It was really tasty! I especially like the marinated red cabbage, which brought me back to my first meal in Kosovo. The whole salad was quite vinegary, which is a plus for me.
Underneath the red sauce is a ball of chicken broth rice, just like I’d get in Mexico. Your blogger was very pleased!
Now, the enchiladas. To be enchiladas as I’m used to having them in Mexico (non-Swiss, green sauce, or mole), they would have needed to be served dry with a bowl of tomato-based broth on the side, crumbled white cheese over top, a dollop of crema, and some spicy red sauce. Oh, and let’s not forget the limes to squeeze over everything. But notice that they have corn tortillas! I haven’t had corn tortillas since I left Mexico in April. Mmmmm! The sauce was really good, although I wish it had been a bit spicier (I asked for hot sauce and they didn’t have any!), and the cheese actually made me think of Mexican Chihuahua cheese. As for the meat, no complaints, perfectly browned, not greasy in the least, and well seasoned.
So I ended up being super happy with my meal! It was 15.80 Euros (24.17CAD). So I definitely cannot make going there a regular thing, although they do have less expensive options, and if I skip the beer, I can stay under 10 Euros. But I’m glad to know that it is an option past 8PM every night except Wednesday if I feel I’ve earned a splurge, especially since getting to a restaurant in Almería downtown isn’t really an option. If I have to have only one full service restaurant within walking distance, I’m blessed!