Borrego de Oro Review
- Honey Bee Aug 23, 2007 07:54 AM
Last night my husband and I ate at Borrego de Oro for the first time. We arrived about 7:50 and were one of five occupied tables in the place- a mix of Mexican families, and a group of men who I assume were co-workers. As we walked past the tables, I noticed that all of them were speaking Spanish. When we sat down the juke box in the corner was playing some tejano music and about halfway through our meal some mariachis appeared to play a couple of songs.
Once we sat down, our waitress greeted us (in English) and took our drink order. Water for me and Diet Coke for hubby. The DC came in a can with a cup of ice on the side. In the drink station, I could see a variety of premixed aqua frescas in plastic containers with dispensers (like you would see at a 7-11). They were labeled "pina", "limon", "horchata", and "jamaica". I also saw our waitress grab a goblet and hand squeeze a couple of fresh limes in the glass. I thought perhaps she was making a margarita, but it ended up being a michelada. It looked pretty good.
The chips were large, warm, and lightly salted. They were light and not greasy at all. The tomato-based salsa had a mild-to-medium amount of heat to it (which I liked), but was runny. There were very few chunks of onion, cilantro, etc... I liked the flavor, but would have liked something chunkier.
Hubby ordered the combo #2 which included a crispy beef taco, guacamole, cheese enchiladas, rice, and beans. The crispy taco was topped with shredded lettuce and cheese. I did not have a bite of it because we were starving and it was gone in two seconds, but hubby deemed it "good". I did try his enchiladas and enjoyed them very much. Homemade corn tortillas and a red sauce with a nice amount of cumino. I would definitely order the enchiladas on another visit here, but would probably try the beef as the cheese was a little, well, too cheesy. The refried beans needed salt and were not noteworthy.
I ordered the birria plate which came with tortillas, pico de gallo, rice, and beans. The lamb was a generous serving and very tender. I personally found it a little too fatty, but my husband thought this was part of what made it good. I found myself digging around the heap of meat to find the less fatty pieces, but very much enjoyed the dish. At first taste, I did not notice any strong notes of seasoning, but a squeeze of lime helped bring out the onions and other flavors. Placed in a flour tortilla, it made a great taco. I ate flour tortillas, which were fine, but next time (after sampling them in the enchiladas) I would ask for corn.
Thanks to fellow hound El General who suggested that one orders the frijoles a la charra instead of the refried beans. These beans were delicious! Slightly spicy, fresh ground pepper, and bacon. Near the end of the cup, I also saw specks of ground meat which I believe was chorizo. I could make a meal out of these beans and some tortillas.
I asked for a box to take home my leftover birria as the portion was generous. We paid our bill upfront and the total cost (w/o tip) was less than $20. The nice cashier gave us a to-go menu so that we can phone in orders for pick-up. They open at 7am so the place is a nice option for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.
We will definitely be back to Borrgo de Oro to try some other menu items. Next time I plan to sample the beef enchiladas, tacos al pastor, a gordita, and more of those beans!
I agree with your review of the birria. The amounts of fatty cuts vary from order to order quite a bit. I recently tried the chicken enchiladas en salsa verde. The green salsa was piquant and with an accumulated heat that I enjoyed very much. The chicken was flavorful chunks of what appeared to be breast meat (not stringy leftovers). I was very impressed. This is a dish that many restaurants have and very few get right.
I've only eaten there once but it was excellent. A nice older Mexican couple was eating at the table next to mine and had the beef stew and highly recommended it. I'll definitely be going back.