HOME > Chowhound > Florida >
What's your latest food project? Get great advice
TELL US

Great Enchiladas in Orlando?

PeggyKate Aug 6, 2008 12:08 PM

We are native Southern CA who moved to Orlando a couple of years ago and we are missing great cheese enchiladas. We can't seem to find a place that has a great red chile sauce, Recently we've been to Taquitos Jalisco and Los Generales, Both had great food but not the type of enchiladas we are looking for. Anyone know of a place that serves California style enchiladas? We live in Dr. Phillips but are willing to drive to find these.

Thanks!

  1. lauderdale75 Aug 6, 2008 02:27 PM

    Try Tortilleria La Mexicana (708 S Orange Blossom Trl, Apopka, FL 32703). I've had some delicious enchiladas and tacos there - but I can't attest as to whether they're "California style" or not. The Mexican food, however, is as authentic as you'll find in Central Florida.

    4 Replies
    1. re: lauderdale75
      crazyspice Aug 6, 2008 07:04 PM

      Can I just say, I love your picture!

      1. re: crazyspice
        lauderdale75 Aug 7, 2008 07:00 AM

        Are you writing to PeggyKate or me? If me - I love that picture as well - I've never seen a grumpy cookie.

        1. re: lauderdale75
          crazyspice Aug 8, 2008 01:35 PM

          to you cookie!

      2. re: lauderdale75
        m
        mellini Oct 15, 2008 04:34 PM

        The enchiladas are divine - I had the verde while my husband tried the mole, both were served on tortillas that defy description.

      3. s
        Scott Joseph Oct 16, 2008 05:55 AM

        Central Florida has been trying for years to get real, authentic Mexican food -- and it's finally happened in the last couple of years. Before, everything that called itself Mexican was really Tex-Mex or something I referred to as Flori-Mex (i.e. Paco's). But we do have some Cal-Mex restaurants. One is Baja Burrito (the menu specifies red chile sauce on the enchiladas) and Salsa Taqueria at Florida Mall. Baja is in Colonial Plaza at Colonial Drive and Primrose Ave. Baja is low-key casual; Salsa has more atmoshpere and table service.
        Scott
        www.scottjosephorlando.com

        5 Replies
        1. re: Scott Joseph
          bkhuna Oct 17, 2008 08:36 PM

          If only Ron's LA Taco was still around......

          1. re: bkhuna
            m
            mountdorahound Oct 20, 2008 05:14 AM

            was that the litte place by ucf at university an alafaya?

            1. re: mountdorahound
              s
              Scott Joseph Oct 20, 2008 05:46 AM

              Ron's L.A. Taco's was originally on Michigan Street in Orlando in 1991, then moved to Colonial Drive (east 2100 block). The last location owner Ron Diaz had for his California style of Mexican food, you'll be interested to learn, Mountdorahound, was in Mt. Dora, at 846 Fifth Ave. in the old gas station. It lasted only a short while before he closed it, apparently for good. Too bad, it was delicious food. And customers were encouraged to help themselves to tortilla chips and salsa while they waited for their orders. The chips were next to a piggy bank with a sign that read, "Pay the pig." Folks took their chips and then chipped in some coins.
              Scott
              www.scottjosephorlando.com

              1. re: Scott Joseph
                m
                mountdorahound Oct 20, 2008 10:27 AM

                Yes!! I knew i had heard that name b4!~ We miss Ron here on the mountain. The "gas station" he occupied is still empty!
                I would make a great carribean spot.

                1. re: Scott Joseph
                  bkhuna Oct 20, 2008 11:04 AM

                  I followed Ron up to Mt. Dora and his new place was very good. He was always so happy when folks from Orlando would come up and see him.

          2. b
            Big Bad Voodoo Lou Oct 18, 2008 10:26 AM

            You should try Chilango's in Winter Springs. It might be about 45 minutes from you in Dr. Phillips, but I can't recommend the place highly enough. They are a tiny, family-owned establishment with a few tables, but they have the most authentic and delicious Mexican food I've ever had in Florida. I've never ordered enchiladas there, but everything I've tried from their expansive menu has been top-notch quality. They do mention the choice of red or green sauce with their enchiladas on the menu:

            http://www.chilangosmexican.com/

            Seriously, give them a try some time. The Silva family that owns Chilango's is so incredibly nice, and it is rare to find a locally-owned restaurant that is so authentic, and so good, and such a great bargain. I've tried Baja Burrito Kitchen on Colonial (the place Scott Joseph mentioned), and with all due respect to him, I find their food overpriced and their portions quite small. Chilango's blows them -- and every other Mexican restaurant in Orlando -- away.

            2 Replies
            1. re: Big Bad Voodoo Lou
              winechic Oct 20, 2008 10:43 AM

              I agree with BBVL on both counts. We've chatted about Chilango's before, nice people and if you join their email list you get the heads up when some specials are going to be served that are usually more time intensive and not on the normal menu. (like Chile Rellenos) It's real Mexican though, not Tex Mex or Cal Mex.

              We first talked about Chillagos here: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/505544

              I've eaten at Baja over the years at both the Colonial and Altamonte Springs locations. Before Chipotle hit town, that was the only fast food place that I could grab a bite at since they had nice black beans there. I haven't had their enchiladas. You'll have to post back to let us know if that is meeting your Cal Mex craving.

              I have friends that swear by the enchiladas at Amigos, but that is Tex Mex. Good luck!

              1. re: Big Bad Voodoo Lou
                bkhuna Oct 20, 2008 11:07 AM

                We wanted to try Chilango's yesterday, but they must be closed on Sunday. I didn't see their operating hours on their website and the phone was never answered.

                So we figured we would drive by just to see and on our way, we went through Cassleberry and discovered the Beto's is no more.

              2. f
                FloridaE46 Oct 21, 2008 07:54 AM

                can anyone suggest a place with a good chili sauce (tex-mex) style enchillada?

                1. PeggyKate Oct 22, 2008 12:32 PM

                  Thanks BBVL & Winechic - I will definitely try Chilangos and let you know what we thought of the food. The menu looks great - especially the tacos!

                  7 Replies
                  1. re: PeggyKate
                    bkhuna Oct 22, 2008 01:37 PM

                    Since you specifically mentioned that you were from So. Cal style, I think you might find Beto's on OBT to be more like what you're looking for. The carne asada, tacos and burritos are as close to those from So. Cal. as you're going to get in Orlando.

                    Having spent 10 years in San Diego and Bakersfield, I think I can make an accurate comparison. I'll have admit that I've never had Beto's enchiladas, but because I married a Chicana from the San Diego, I get the best enchiladas home whenever I want them.

                    1. re: PeggyKate
                      b
                      Big Bad Voodoo Lou Oct 22, 2008 08:10 PM

                      Their tacos are top-notch, especially the unique fillings like lengua and chorizo. I love how they only put diced onion and cilantro on the tacos, rather than smothering them in cheese, sour cream, lettuce, and tomatoes like Toxic Hell.

                      1. re: Big Bad Voodoo Lou
                        bkhuna Oct 22, 2008 08:32 PM

                        Lou, traditional tacos in Mexico are very simple. You don't see lettuce, tomato, cheese, etc. That is purely a creation of Norte Americanos. There are of course regional variations. Sometimes you get pickled onions, or radishes. But the essence of an authentic taco is good meat and a fresh tortilla with very little else to get in the way.

                        Anyway, Chilangos sits in my GPS, waiting for another trip into town. I look forward to trying them out.

                        1. re: bkhuna
                          b
                          Big Bad Voodoo Lou Oct 22, 2008 09:21 PM

                          That's what I figured, especially since Chilango's offers an "American style" option for their tacos with all the extra stuff. I'm sure you will like them once you make it back this way!

                          1. re: Big Bad Voodoo Lou
                            m
                            mountdorahound Oct 23, 2008 05:39 AM

                            I work with a fella who's mother is from mexico. She makes tacos for our staff sometimes. They are basically chicken,onions,saffron and other spices rolled in a homade tortilla. Nothing like taco bell etc. I have also had a variation where the simply meat in a soft corn tortilla folded in half and fried on either side in corn oil.
                            i still like the americano shells but i'll never use cheddar cheese.

                            Does anyone know what kind of white chese the resturaunts use? It's not monterey jack. Its kind of a proccessed melting cheese that has a sweetness to it. I have seen several mexican cheeses in the grocery store that have the texture of feta cheese but not so sharp. I have yet to find the kind I am looking for.

                            1. re: mountdorahound
                              s
                              Scott Joseph Oct 24, 2008 03:33 PM

                              The cheese is probably queso blanca or panela. The panela crumbles more easily than queso blanco.
                              scott
                              www.scottjosephorlando.com

                              1. re: Scott Joseph
                                m
                                mountdorahound Oct 27, 2008 11:49 AM

                                Thanks Scott!
                                It's not queso blanco. It has the texture of monterey jack but has a much more sweet proccessed taste. The closest thing I have found is the quessadilla chese fouund in the mexican cheese section at publix. I even went to a mexican grocery store. Nata!

                    2. PeggyKate Oct 23, 2008 11:26 AM

                      bkhuna - thanks for the tip about Beto's on OBT. I just checked out their menu and it does look very good. I appreciate the tip from a fellow ex-Southern CA chowhound. You are very lucky to have someone at home who knows how to make authentic enchiladas. We have tried and they always come out mushy. Any tricks?

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: PeggyKate
                        bkhuna Oct 23, 2008 01:37 PM

                        Tip number one is the corn tortillas. By now you've noticed that you can't buy really fresh tortillas in the supermarkets around here. You're best bet is to find a Mexican grocery store. There are actually quite a few if you start looking.

                        My wife will soften them up by dipping them in a pot of warmed enchilada sauce (I'm partial to Las Palmas brand) and then a quick fry in hot oil. Just enough to make them pliable.

                        I know we've had a few issues with different kinds of oil and it seems to me that the worst offender for mushy enchiladas is vegetable (soybean) oil.

                      2. k
                        kidmd Oct 27, 2008 02:03 PM

                        PR"S is one of the best in town! Try the shredded beef enchiladas, it come with your choice of sauces! Copy and paste link below for directions! It is in Winter Park, very easy to pass! So keep looking! When the train goes by the place it actually Shakes! Really! Don't let the exterior decor scare ya! Sometimes the service can be slow, just order another beer/margarita!
                        http://www.zagat.com/Verticals/PropertyDetails.aspx?VID=8&R=100510375

                        http://www.tripadvisor.com/Restaurant...

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: kidmd
                          m
                          mountdorahound Oct 28, 2008 05:19 AM

                          NOT!! Pr's is immitation mexican. PRs is a cool place to hang. Everytime a train passes they offfer $1 tequilla shots. The quality of the food is good it's just not the real thing. Go down the road to El Potro. Pr's is where everyone used to eat before real mexican came to town.

                          1. re: mountdorahound
                            s
                            Scott Joseph Oct 29, 2008 07:18 PM

                            I have to side with the dorahound on PR's; it borders on being Fla-Mex -- not even Tex-Mex.
                            Scott
                            www.scottjosephorlando.com

                        Show Hidden Posts