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creamy cheese enchiladas

I pre-apologize if someone has already posted this. My searches don't work well on this board. Is there a "tips for searching chowhound" page? I looked for hits for Reale's the other day and every post with the word "real" in it came up. Not "real" helpful. Anyway, my husband loves tex-mex. Especially, cheese enchiladas. However, many places use cheddar - yuck. Cheddar doesn't melt well. He requires something creamier, less oily. He likes Pappasitos (however we went last month and they weren't as good, many of their offerings had slipped, not sure what's going on there) and Matt's El Rancho. I believe the "secret" is that it must contain american cheese. He's also a bit particular about the chile/meat sauce. It should be orange-ish and should definately contain cumin. For a fast, cheap version, he doesn't hate Taco Cabana. I'll go ahead and tell you we've been to El Patio and Enchiladas Y Mas, he was not impressed. After seeing a Diners, Drive-ins and Dives episode, we tried Maria's Fast Tex-Mex. Again, not impressed. We're happy to drive to East Austin, location doesn't matter too much. Any suggestions?

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  1. i have a suggestion for your search problems. if you put it in "quotes" it'll look for what's specifically within the quotes. as for enchiladas, no idea, but have you tried Aranda's on Stassney?

    1 Reply
    1. re: NirvRush

      Thanks for the tip. Quotes are great for multi-word searches. There doesn't seem to be any difference in the results for "reales" vs. reales. I don't understand a search engine that thinks it's okay to add letters. But, that's a whole 'nuther topic :-)

      1. I haven't been there in several years, but doesn't Maudie's use a lot of American cheese?

        1. Try Dario's (love the Salad Plate #2) on the east side, or La Paloma on Westgate at William Cannon if you are south. Each of those places serves the processed-cheesy enchiladas with mild chile gravy that I think your husband is seeking. Not everyone loves them, but I do! To me they are the ultimate tex-mex comfort food I grew up with.

          1. El Azteca on E 7th had good cheese enchiladas the last time I went (a couple of years ago).

            1. Definitely try Maudie's and also Angie's. Although at Angie's I prefer the chicken enchiladas (they come with the same sauce as the beef)...they're pretty darn tasty. You could also give La Reyna a shot. Or Amaya's Taco Village. They all use the nice melt-y cheese (American, possibly with a bit of velveeta. LOL).

              1. I think I can help. I order cheese enchiladas often. Although, when it comes to the cheese inside, I have to admit I prefer the cheddar or jack or anything but American. The first time I had that, I was in another city at a rather pricey Mexican restaurant, and I could have sworn their enchiladas had Velveeta in them. I was mortified! I keep Velveeta around for home-cooking, but it has no place in restaurants. It feels like it sticks to the roof of my mouth when I have it in enchiladas.

                I wasn't sure what you meant by an orange-ish sauce until Friday, when I had the "American Enchiladas" at Jardin Corona. Before that, I'd have classified sauces in two categories... the rich red "Tex Mex" sauce (Pappasito's, Vivo, Chuy's Tex Mex sauce, and Antonio's), and all the other more Mexican sauces that are like a light brown beef gravy. I've not noticed a strong cumin flavor in any of them, but I like cumin, so it might not stand out to me if it's in there. I'd say that Jardin Corona's sauce leans toward the Mexican sauces, but it was orange-y, and I'm not sure what that color came from.

                So, definitely take your hubby to Jardin Corona and see what he thinks. Make sure he orders the American Enchiladas, which are stuffed full of melty Velveeta.

                There was another place I went to off I-35 called Jose's, I think, but they had two signs up when we went, and another one said La Posada. (Name change maybe?) Their enchiladas have the melty cheese your hubby likes. I think the sauce was a light brown gravy.

                My favorite cheese enchiladas are the ones with the dark red sauce. I'll keep an eye out for orange-y sauces though. And, I've softened a bit on the American cheese thing. As long as I like a sauce, I don't get upset over processed cheese. I'm sad that Pappasito's has slipped. We haven't been in a few months, but they had my favorite cheese enchiladas back when we did go.

                1 Reply
                1. re: stephanieh

                  cool, thanks for the tip. We're headed out to Dart Bowl today on a double quest: cheeseburger/fries and cheese enchiladas. I think we'll do Jardin Corona for lunch one day this week. I know the american cheese thing seems weird. It took us awhile to figure out what it was that did it for us with cheese enchiladas and one day we finally clued in that it was american cheese. My husband makes a killer grilled cheese sandwich (velveeta) that is in our dinner menu rotation.

                2. For this sort of fare, give Jorge's a try?

                  And someone else's thoughts on their enchiladas:

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: tom in austin

                    Indeed, the Act Of Congress at Jorge's is one of the first things I thought of. 2 cheese enchiladas topped with meat gravy and queso. I second Amaya's and Dario's as well.

                  2. Update: We tried Dart Bowl and the cheese enchiladas were good. Not great but good. The cheese was american. The chili sauce was slightly off and I can't describe why. They weren't really cheese enchiladas though. They were beef enchiladas with cheese on top. Loved the atmosphere - felt like we'd time traveled back a few decades.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: mwreese

                      mwreese, beef enchiladas? I've had those cheese enchiladas at Dart Bowl before and enjoyed them quite a bit, but mine only ever had cheese inside. There was a chili/meat sauce and onions on top, but the only thing inside my enchiladas was cheese. One time, there was very little cheese and another time the chili was a little runnier than I would have liked, but I still liked the dish.

                      I agree that the place is like stepping back in time, in a good way. I collect vintage beer signs, and I was happy to see the vintage beer cans lining the wall all the way around the place.

                      1. re: angusb

                        Runny - that's exactly what was wrong with the sauce - thank you. Regarding the filling beef vs. cheese, I checked w/ the hubby and that's what he thinks but now we're not so sure. I shouldn't have waited so long before posting our results. :-) The more I think about it, I think you're right, it was probably cheese and my mind was just stuck on the issue with the imperfect chili. This was a cool place because in addition to a very decent meal, we bowled two games. I am a terrible bowler, but it was fun.

                    2. I had some really good cheese enchiladas today at El Matador (Round Rock, Main st) and it made me think of your post. They had the creamy cheese that you like, and plenty of it, although not so much that I got the "stick to the roof of my mouth" feeling I sometimes get with Velveeta and Velveeta-esque cheese. They were smothered in a really dark rich chili that had plenty of chili flavor. I didn't detect a lot of cumin, but it did have a lot of chili powder. These were the best cheese enchiladas I've found since our Antonio's closed (on Jollyville). Also, staff was really friendly at El Matador. When I asked if the enchiladas came with onions, our waiter said "would you like them to?" They kept our drinks and chips refilled without asking, and were just really pleasant.