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Best Enchiladas In Austin?

The title says it all.I'm not a huge enchilada eater but a couple times a year I do enjoy bellying up to a plate.The version at El Zunzal is very good.High quality corn tortillas,good "chili",a quart or so of molten cheese and as always washed down with a giant bottle of Regia.

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  1. Chicken mole enchiladas at El Sol y La Luna, the verde enchiladas at Habanero, the mix-and-match Enchiladas Exoticas from Polvo's and for dirty Tex-Mex, the Tio Chon from Maudie's. These are only opinions.

    3 Replies
    1. re: Twill

      Enchiladas Exoticas or De La Casa (basically the same only one has way more onions) at Polvo's and the mixed red and green New Mexico enchiladas at Jorge's on Hancock (it's the ONLY thing I like there.)

      1. re: amysuehere

        I like the mole enchilada's at Manuel's, the pipian enchiladas at Azul Tequila, and the mola rojo at El Chile.

        1. re: tthorn

          Good call on the Mole Rojo enchiladas at El Chile. How could I forget those?

    2. The enchiladas at Dart Bowl (bowling alley on Grover) are the stuff of local legend. I can't say whether they're the best in town, since I don't eat enchildas that often, but having eaten the Dart Bowl offering a number of times, I can you that they are quite edible, but one should be prepared for the layer of grease simmering on top of the plate when it's brought out of the oven. Actually, I think they may even be served in a cast iron bowl straight to the table.

      4 Replies
      1. re: TAF

        They are served in cast iron (as of a year ago....I need to go back). There's some mysterious flavor that is addicting....not sure what it is or how to recreate it.

        I should mention that I had some SPICY enchiladas at Antonio's on Jolleyville, of all places. The habanero sauce with two choices of beef, mushrooms, spinach, cheese, or chicken. Now...I like things to be extremely spicy, and these were. Get you high sort of spicy.

        1. re: rudeboy

          Sounds like something right up our alley. Lunch today, rudeboy? call.

          p.s. - I knew this would come up eventually, as it's happened here before. There are two camps of "great" on enchiladas:

          1. the authentic "mole" "green sauce/red sauce" type
          2. the tex-mex bright yellow cheese, lots of grease, brown "chile sauce"

          I'm not going to try to convince you that the latter isn't chowish (however, in my grammer school this type of "enchilada" was served once a week in the cafeteria - the day after the soy-burgers), but like bbq, there are absolute divisions.

          1. re: amysuehere

            I think the Dart Bowl enchiladas fall firmly into category 2!

            I'll have to try that place up on Jollyville. Endorphin rush from food ... great!

          2. re: rudeboy

            I gotta try this place since I love the heat. Thanks Rudeboy!

        2. Polvo's: dig this....their Tex Mex enchies filled with puerco al pastor meat (you can get any filling yopu like), a mini lake of chile con carne on top, a skim coat of chile con queso over that, topped with poblano rajas. You can also get a splat of carne guisado on top too, but that's overkill....

          also the Texican out on Manchaca: their Santa Fe stacked enchies, stuffed with picadillo beef and cheese, topped with the New Mexico red chile sauce (I ask for extra, cause they tend to be a little chintzy with it), draped with a light toss of chopped onion, grated cheese, and a couple of fried eggs over-easy.

          the smoked chicken enchies with chipotle sauce at Evita's, with some of that groovy mexican white cheese melted on top, accompanied by the impressive chip tower tambien!

          lest we not forget the enchies at El Borrego de Oro...never had a stinker there either....

          2 Replies
          1. re: chowmick

            Ditto the Texican's Santa Fe stacked enchiladas. I always get three beef with "christmas" (half red chile sauce and half green sauce) with fried egg, hard with yoke broken. Worth the drive...

            1. re: chowmick

              lest we not forget the enchies at El Borrego de Oro...never had a stinker there either....

              thanks for reminding me!
              Number two in my book right after Evita's.

            2. Green enchiladas with chicken at Las Manitas. I used to eat these every Sunday until I moved away.

              1 Reply
              1. re: Jennie

                I have to say my favorite are the beef enchiladas at Angie's. The chicken is good as well, but doesn't have the same magic as the beef.

              2. The chicken enchiladas with chipolte sauce used to be very good at El Caribe.(on Lamar just south of Koenig). Yhey were pretty spicy as I recall. It has been a while since I have been there, though.

                8 Replies
                1. re: TroyTempest

                  Had the mole enchiladas at Evita's Botanitas last night. Best mole enchiladas in town.

                  1. re: achtungpv

                    I love mole enchiladas (and moles of all types, really); I've had them at Evita's twice and so far haven't thought that they were that great.

                    What filling did you go with? Is there a special way to order it? What do you like about the enchiladas?

                    1. re: tom in austin

                      Got one chicken & one cheese. It was rich, chocolatey, and pretty complex with a variety of pepper flavors. It was late on Sunday evening so maybe it had all day for the flavor to intensify? It was darn good. For comparison, my previous favorite mole sauce was from Tamaleo Oaxchaca.

                      1. re: achtungpv

                        so upset at the loss of Tamaleo Oaxchaca! it was so cheap and so good. sadly the best mole i have found is at Fonda San Miguel. i say sadly because it's not cheap. but it's good.

                        1. re: porkmuffin

                          New Location:Oaxacan Tamaleo (1634 Hwy. 71 E.), near the new Hyatt Resort outside Bastrop.

                          1. re: porkmuffin

                            This is the first I've heard of this. They are no longer on Anderson? What a drag. I'm glad they are still in business, but I don't want to drive all the way out to Bastrop.

                            1. re: TroyTempest

                              Oaxacan Tamaleo sells their tamales at both the Sunset Valley and Downtown Farmers' Markets each Saturday.

                    2. re: TroyTempest

                      i was just looking at this old post and realized that i spelled chipoTLE as chipoLTE. This is one of my pet peeves and i did it.

                    3. I agree with whoever mentioned the enchiladas at Dart Bowl. They are surprisingly delicious. I seem to remember there was also some good bread too (which came in handy for soppin' up the enchi sauce.

                      All in all though..... them "Enchiladas Perfecto" at Maudie's are pretty hard to top.

                      1. I haven't tried quite *everywhere* yet (despite writing a blog about cheese enchiladas in Austin and further afield), but I am going to recommend the cheese enchiladas with poblana sauce at Polvo's (heavenly) and, perhaps shockingly, the cheese enchiladas with chipotle sauce at Doc's (the sauce is great and has not only chipotle but brown sugar in it).

                        For super old school 1950s Anglo Tex-Mex, you can't top El Patio. And sometimes you just need a greasy plate of fifties slop.

                        1. I like Zocalo's version of enchiladas...fresh, fresh, fresh

                          Crispy Stacked Enchiladas 8.49
                          Crispy corn tortillas layered with your choice of ground beef and Ranchero Sauce or slow cooked green chile chicken and Tomatillo Sauce, topped with jack cheese, lettuce, tomato, sour cream and queso fresco.

                          When I want to get my big girl on, i go for enchiladas suizas at Manuels. Dang those are good.

                          My bf and I just made a darn good batch from a recipe at texmex.net (attached). It took us 3 hours from start to finish but the recipe was detailed and the results were outstanding. I gave some to my mom and my grandma and they both gave them a big thumbs up.


                          Zocalo Cafe
                          1110 W Lynn St, Austin, TX 78703

                          13 Replies
                          1. re: chispa_c

                            I guess I am hopelessly plebian, but I judge all Tex-Mex eateries by their cheese enchilada.

                            To heck with the "authentic" sauces and combinations. I want a corn tortilla softened in some kind of hot oil, filled with mild cheddar and chopped onions, rolled and covered with chile gravy. Mmmm. Real cheese and lots of chopped onions rolled in a tortilla. Anything else doesn't do it for me.

                            I have found most TexMex cheese enchs in Austin to be filled with globs of American cheese with the texture of melted plastic. Maudie's is one of the worst because of the quantity of of the yellow goop in the enchs.

                            If you know of a place with those old-time cheese enchs, please direct me to it.

                            1. re: Karen West

                              Where outside of Austin are you eating your platonic TxMx enchilada? Where in Austin have you already eaten deficient TxMx enchiladas?

                              1. re: Karen West

                                I'm not sure where you're from and where all you've eaten enchiladas, but what you just described can be found in West Texas, but not in Austin. Nobody around here rolls chopped onion into enchiladas and the cheese around here for the Tex Mex sort is plastic.

                                1. re: agoodbite

                                  Can't remember all the Tex-Mex I've tried - a dozen or two in the past year - Garcias, Polvos, Mesa Rosa, Maudies, Chuys and assorted hole-in-the wall places.
                                  I'm from the Gulf coast, South of Houston, and I grew up on the cheese and onion enchiladas. dang, now I'm hungry!

                                  I've got some ideas from this discussion so I'll be trying

                                  1. re: agoodbite

                                    Karen, I am all about the cheese enchiladas with chile gravy, too.

                                    Vivo's does them with chopped onion, but I didn't think the chile gravy was very good (Lake Creek location).

                                    I'm a fan of Jorge's cheese enchiladas with gravy. Last I had them, it was cheddar, not Land o'Lakes Extra Melt. Probably could get away with requesting onions added to them. Jorge's is a part of a chain out of Midland-Odessa, so it has that West Texas style to it.

                                    1. re: verily

                                      We always request onions in our cheese enchiladas at Jorge's and they willingly accommodate.

                                  2. re: Karen West

                                    Cheese enchiladas are my standard judging criteria as well. Your best bets for this are Amaya's, Vivo, and Dart Bowl . Amaya's is the best, and even though the cheese isn't quite right, the gravy is. The gravy at Vivo is too dark and heavy, but the enchiladas themselves are done correctly. I haven't had Dart Bowl in a couple of years, but they were acceptable and much better than most Austin restaurants.

                                    The enchiladas at Polvos, Maudies, and Chuys are travesties so I understand why you are still looking. I thought my cheese enchilada plate at Jorge's was awful, and bordered on inedible. The enchiladas were bad, the beans had no flavor, and the rice tasted like the smell you get from a musty old apartment. Unfortunately for cheese enchiladas done right you have to go to San Antonio. Mexican Manhatten and Henry's would be at the top of my list there.

                                    2015 Manor Rd, Austin, TX 78722

                                      1. re: Karen West

                                        I thought about recommending Dart Bowl, but they do not have onions inside the enchilada. You can get them on top if you wish. The enchiladas themselves are served in a cast iron pan on a wooden plate,

                                        1. re: brentwood

                                          Someone told me to only go when the right ladies are doing the cooking. Anybody know about particular days to go to Dart Bowl? I could use some enchiladas right about now.

                                          1. re: rudeboy

                                            On the Chow tour Austin video they claim the enchiladas are only made by one person.

                                            The Dart Bowl part starts around 1:45

                                            1. re: TheBadWolf

                                              Wow - very informative.....I'll let me friend know that he was just talking out of his a** when he told me that. He tends to do that, sometimes!

                                    1. re: Karen West

                                      We went to El Flaco for the first time the other day. I mention this because the cheese enchiladas in beef sauce feature one of Karen's more elusive criteria.

                                      Cheese: Their cheese enchiladas are actually made with real cheese, no plastic in sight. (Really, I like 'em both ways, depending on current mood...)

                                      Beef sauce: This is more of a very chunky/beefy chile con carne style than the thinner, lighter-bodied chile gravy with a few bits of meat here and there. Not sure if that works for you; I like all different sorts of sauce, and this made for a very hearty plate. I enjoyed it a lot.

                                      Onions rolled in: Nope. Vivo is the only place I recall onions in the filling. (I know others don't love Vivo's beef sauce; though it's thicker and darker than many, I think it has more flavor depth than some others I've had, it works well with the enchiladas, and I really like it.)

                                      Bonuses: Good carne guisada. Really good charro beans; a bit more tomato-y than I usually prefer, but I liked these a lot. Beef taco meat seemed a bit more shredded, with a little thicker gravy than your standard straight-up ground beef, good.

                                      Salsa was good, but not my favorite; a very smooth puree, it did have good flavor and plenty of heat for me.

                                      Overall, we enjoyed it, and we'll go back. Note that it's currently lunch only; they close at 3.

                                      2015 Manor Rd, Austin, TX 78722

                                  3. Just noticed this is an old topic, but I love the cheese enchiladas at Vivo's on Manor. The chili gravy is just sublime.

                                    2015 Manor Rd, Austin, TX 78722

                                    1. I've gotta add the chicken (or cheese if you're a veg) mole enchiladas at Las Cazuelas on E. Cesar Chavez. Authentic, tasty and cheap.

                                      1. beef enchiladas at cocina consuelo.

                                        1. Sorry to say the Dart Bowl enchiladas are American cheese. Not the worst Am Cheese Enchs I've had, chile was pretty tasty.

                                          Dart Bowl Steak House
                                          5700 Grover Ave, Austin, TX 78756

                                          1 Reply
                                          1. re: Karen West

                                            Cisco's uses mild cheddar. No onions I don't think, but the salsa is killer and the flour tortillas to roll up the leftover mixtures of gravy, cheese and beans are housemade and delicious.