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ALISON COOK'S TOP 100 RESTAURANTS 2019

a tray of food on a table

ALISON COOK'S TOP 100 RESTAURANTS: 

As a card-carrying enchilada fiend, I exult in the kaleidoscope of choices at Sylvia Casares’ warm, comfortable west-side place. It’s hard to pass up the “Mexico City” green chicken enchiladas in their brisk tomatillo sauce, or the very Texas “Lubbock” version piled with a meaty rubble of chile con carne. The enchilada sampler plates here actually work: their platter holds four different smaller-size versions without the sauces colliding. (Try the South of the Border combo, which includes the Hidalgo, a carnitas taco in seriously spicy red sauce.) What makes the cooking feel special to me is the way Casares’ Rio Grande Valley roots make themselves felt in everything from her excellent mesquite-grilled fajitas, shrimp or quail to a classic carne guisada that has the homey feel of comida casera. Don’t miss the picamole, a splice of guacamole and pico de gallo.

WHAT TO ORDER: Queso de Campo (grilled white cheese); Tampiqueña plate with fajita steak and enchilada; Mexico City enchiladas; chocolate tres leches.