After the disastrous trip to Tamale King, a quick bite at El Charro Restaurant in Johnson City, Texas, assured me that good enchiladas are still out there. Every time my mom and I drove by, the restaurant was packed. That’s always a good indication – if the locals love it, I’ll most likely love it, too. And boy, did I!
I ordered the #13 enchiladas de pollo. When my plate arrived, I want to skip over everything else and get to the chicken inside of the enchiladas. It was like heaven in my mouth. I never wanted those enchiladas to end. They were so good, wrapped with freshly made tortillas and smothered in a delicious red sauce. The chicken had been slow cooked for hours and then pulled apart. The meat was so tender and juicy it practically melted in my mouth. The flavor blew the dish out of the ball park!
I want to swim in a pool filled with El Charro’s chicken.
The rice was an authentic, Mexican rice. I’ve found that many Mexican restaurants (whether authentic or Tex-Mex) seem to lack in the rice department. I’ve solved the flavor problem by mixing the rice and refried beans together. I really liked the rice, however, and for the first time, I didn’t mix my rice and beans. El Charro’s rice has cubed carrots and a good blend of spices. The beans were great, too. They had a smooth texture and tasted like they were cooked all day long.
El Charro Restaurant is unpretentious. Walking in, we weren’t sure if we should seat ourselves or wait for a hostess. There is a menu above the front counter, which I assume is for people placing orders to go or picking up breakfast. This was a bit confusing, but it was only a minor annoyance.
I hankered for tacos, a new food I’m exploring. I ordered three tacos: chicharron (pork skin), aguacate (avocado), and pastor (seasoned pork). My plate arrived, steaming hot and smelling divine. Check out the cheese overflowing onto the tortillas.
What I loved about this dish were the fixings: chopped cilantro, chopped white onion, and lime wedges.
I got busy adding the cilantro and onion to my tacos. For the finale, I squeezed the lime over the tortillas. Filled with goodies, these tacos are ready for consumption. Yum!
Each of the tacos were tasty. The meat was tender and cooked with great care, and the aguacate was fresh and firm. I especially liked the chicharron taco. I am growing super fond of this meat!
Gotta rave about the salsa and chips while I’m on a roll. Served gratis with your meal, the salsa is spicy and one of the best I’ve had. The chips were warm and lightly salted, which is a very nice touch.
Don’t miss the chicken running around outside in the parking lot. I’m not sure who he belongs to, but he’s cute. Reminded me of our visit to Luckenbach.
El Charro Restaurant’s menu indicates three locations. We visited 502 S. U.S. 281, Johnson City, Texas 78636. Their phone number is 830/868-7040. Hours of operation are Monday thru Thursday, 6:30 a.m. until 10:00 p.m., Friday and Saturday, 6:30 a.m. until 11:00 p.m., and Sunday 6:30 a.m. until 10:30 p.m. The atmosphere is very casual and caters to the locals. When we visited, after school teenagers dropped by to hang out and grab a snack. Every time we’ve passed El Charro en route to San Antonio, the restaurant was busy, no matter the time of day or evening. Orders can be placed to go, and breakfast specials are available – just ask!