Friday, May 13, 2011

Could BEE Really BEE the Best Enchiladas?

I’ll freely admit that I’m a fan of Monica Greene’s restaurants - RIP Ciudad, we still miss you and are waiting to see what in the world ever happens with that shopping center. I enjoy Monica’s Aca y Alla in Deep Ellum for lunch and brunch (hello, cheap mimosas and margaritas), and I’ve even ventured up to her place in Aspen courtesy of a family trip, thanks mom and dad. But when I hear that BEE was really an acronym for Best Enchildas Ever, I was like really? Really? Seems a little arrogant, so the bar was officially raised for this adventure.

Sig-O and I ventured down to Bishop Arts District, as this seems to be blossoming with foodie hangouts – hello Decanter and Dude Sweet Chocolate, but our mission this time was to check out BEE. We found the brightly colored building on Davis to have ample parking, made easier since we hadn’t ventured out until close to 2 p.m. We walked in and were cheerfully greeted and asked if we knew what we were doing. Yes, I get the concept of enchiladas, but ordering at BEE is reminiscent of Which Wich, complete with an order card so you can personalize everything. Sig-O and I each grabbed one a proceeded to fill out our cards. There are a lot of choices, so at some point I just started checking things. You get to choose between four different kinds of tortillas, 6 different fillings, 10 different sauces and four cheese toppings. That’s a mind-boggling 920 possible combinations, so you’ll understand why I just started checking. And that doesn’t even include the taco choices.

I went with a blue corn tortilla, carnitas filling, queso blanco sauce and Oaxaca cheese. Sig-O opeted for corn tortilla, chicken tinga filling, chipotle crème sauce and queso fresco. We also decided to get a beef picadillo taco in a corn tortilla, as well as chips and queso blanco. We hand over our cards to the friendly cashier who twists our arms into getting BEE margaritas. BEE also has a good selection of domestic and foreign (Mexican) beers, but he told us that we’d be glad we got the best $4 margarita in town, and we were, after the brain freeze wore off just in time to watch our enchiladas get made in front of us.

You’ll watch as enchilada making experts carefully craft your handmade enchilada to your exacting specifications, followed by your selection of additional toppings in case you feel like making mom proud and throwing some veggies on top(lettuce, tomatoes, onion, cilantro, carrots). Sig-O is a purist, but a cilantro fan, so has them throw a dash of cilantro on the enchilada. Now it’s my turn – the enchilada master makes my enchilada and I decide to make it pretty with everything, seriously, it makes it fun and colorful. Then there comes the taco, and the chips, and the queso. Thanks to the Sig-O for making me write all of that on mine, so I look like the fatty, but that’s neither here nor there.

We find a table on the patio that looks like it would be in the sun if we had ventured out earlier, which provides a good view of people and car watching. Winner for the day – woman driving the Aston Martin convertible with the fluffy white dogs in her lap. Back to the food. The queso blanco is the same queso Monica serves at Monica’s, and it’s still great. Thin chips were tasty, but required a rescue mission or two when they snapped under the weight of the queso. The beef picadillo taco was good with authentic flavors shining through as an opening act.

The star of the show was the enchiladas. The blue corn with carnitas was a very good choice. The pork was tender and flavorful, and the queso on the top was the same one we had with the chips. Sig-O had already delved into the chicken enchilada and didn’t look terribly interested in sharing, but thought better of it and switched plates for the obligatory taste test. The chipotle chicken was moist and well complemented by the chipotle crema sauce, which I had to keep myself from licking off the top of the enchilada. Seriously, it’s that good. Around that time, the Sig-O insisted I hand the enchilada with the magical sauce back over. I did, and then went back to enjoying my own yummy enchilada.

When our friendly cashier came by to check on us, we asked if that was possible to get the chipotle crema in a cup instead of queso to go with our chips next time. We got a questionable look with a raised eyebrow. I think that means it might be ok, but we’ll have to come back again to find out. And that’s not a problem.

Best enchiladas EVER? Don’t know that I can judge that without tasting enchiladas throughout time and space, but these just might be the best I’ve had.

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