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Chile Rellenos in Austin

  • a

I'm looking for a chile relleno made like they do in El Paso (I'm a bit homesick for the food).

What I want is a cheese-stuffed chile that has an egg batter and is then deep fried and has a red (or green) sauce over it and then baked with more cheese on top.

No Chuy's cracker-crumb crust, no raisins or nuts, no cream sauce.

I saw that Curra's has a chile relleno ($9!) but when I'm there, it's becuase I'm craving fajitas, which theirs are the best.

Anyone know what I'm talking about and can suggest?

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  1. Yes! I know what you mean. I grew up in So. California and have been craving the rellenos of my childhood: egg battered and nestled in a perfect red sauce. Traveling through santa Barbara last month I consumed a perfect one, thanks to a westcoast chowhound post.

    You can't find them here.

    The closest I have found is at West Lynn (!) Cafe. The batter and sauce are excellant. You get nuts and raisins, but at least no cream sauce. Still, in all, it is a vey tasty dish.

    Don't you just hate it when they serve you strips of green chile in queso sauce. When you travel into Mexico, chile rellenos become chile rellenos again. They just didn't quite make it to Austin.

    Let me know what you think of West Lynn's.

    11 Replies
    1. re: Travis L

      Had them and yes, they're quite good...just not what I'm craving.

      Actually, for great "non-El Paso" rellenos, I really enjoy Serranos Symphony Square (all the other locations stink). They're batter dipped but stuffed with things like shrimp. Quite good, but again....

      1. re: Travis L

        Travis -

        I don't know how long you've been here, but unless you've tried every single Mex rest in Austin (which you obviously haven't), I think your statements "You can't find them here" and "They just didn't quite make it to Austin" are a little over-reaching.

        Not to mention, just plain wrong.

        Of course you can "find them here."

        I've had them at several Austin places (as well as all over California, Mexico, New Mexico, Arizona, etc.)

        I like the ones at Rosie's Tamale House (out by the lake).

        Have you looked for "them here" there?

        1. re: Chrissie H

          My, aren't we rude...

          1. re: amysuehere

            You don't think saying that "you can't get that in Austin" IS a "bit over-reaching"? Unless in fact, you HAD tried every single Mex rest in town and knew that to be a fact?

            Not only can you get those kinds of chiles rellenos at Rosie's, there are at least ten other local restaurants where they are available.

            I'd think saying, "I have not yet been able to find them either" might have been a better statement. I found his sweeping, negative generalization and total putdown of Austin to be "rude."

            As well as infactual.

            1. re: ChrissieH

              my apologies. So Rosie's makes that type of chile relleno? I think the reason "none here" came up is because fining that specific style is, as far as I have tried in Austin, non-existant. If Rosie's makes that type, I'm anxious to try them.

              1. re: amysuehere

                Actually, Amy, as I said, I believe there are quite a few restaurants here that do. And I was going to list them, but before I made those declarations, wanted to double-check to be sure. So, that means I've got to trot around town doing a little investigating before I post. Which I haven't had time to do, yet.

                So, I probably should hedge my bet here by saying that I THINK La Michoacana in Cedar Park does as well, and I also THINK La Palapa does, too. But, I really hate to make posts where I say things unless I know what I'm talking about. So - take those last two with a grain of sal.

                It does just so happen that that type of chile relleno is my very favorite dish to order at Mexican restaurants, and I get them all the time. It seems we are kindred spirits.

                Rosie's has two locations. It is my opinion that the one on Hwy71 out by the lake is better than the one on North 183, although it's pretty good, too, and the recipes are supposed to be the same (it's run by Rosie's son, I believe), so who knows.

                As for the other two places, I'm pretty sure about them, but you might want to call first before you get your taste buds all ready.

                At any rate, both La Michocana and La Palapa have excellent Mexican food, and I don't think you'd be disappointed in either place. (Although they perhaps might not have the kind of "California Mex" you could be used to.)

                I've lived in Southern California, Arizona, New Mexico and now here in Texas; and fortunately, I'm really pretty easy to please, so I like it all!

                Good luck.

                1. re: ChrissieH

                  Also - Amy - Amaya's Taco Village in Capital Plaza has Chiles Rellenos on Thursdays. It's a small place and sometimes (especially lunch on Thursdays) the line can be out the door, so get there early. They stuff them with beef, and you can either get a queso sauce, or the red "Ranchero" sauce that I believe you are describing.

                  At Rosie's, you have a choice of fillings: cheese, beef or chicken, with the Ranchero Sauce. (Or did I say that already somewhere??)

                  1. re: ChrissieH

                    I appreciate your effort, but, if you look at my original post, that kind of chile relleno is exactly the kind I'm avoiding.

                    I've never lived in California, so I can't say I like that type or not. But if Amayala's is any indication of what you're thinking about, you're way off track from what Travis and I were talking about. So, back to our original feeling that there really isn't a place in Austin that does it the way we're talking about.

                    I will, however, not give up, and try the other two places you suggested, with a grain of salt.

                    1. re: amysuehere

                      Oh. Well.

                      You can't get that here.

                      No, seriously, I thought you meant you were avoiding the ones with nuts and raisins and cream sauce and the rest of the "cocina" thrown in. And I read that someone posting here was from California, so I got that mixed up.

                      I'd still suggest you try Rosie's out on the lake. Say you want them stuffed with cheese.

                      And, again, good luck. Although El Paso certainly has more of a "New Mexican" influence than central Texas, as you are surely discovering, this is a pretty varied place, and with persistance, you can find almost everything if you're willing to look hard.

                      1. re: ChrissieH

                        quite true. Thank you. I will try Rosie's next time I'm out by the lake.

        2. my girlfriend loves chile rellenos, always looking for the perfect one. any recs in dallas? we've only had them at cafe navarro, don't remember them to be, well memorable. but the queso flameado kicked.

          1 Reply
          1. re: alithang

            Someone before suggested El Fenix on Lemmon.

            That was my old haunt for Wednesday enchiladas.

          2. Amy, I know exactly what you're talking about and I've had one in the last year, but I can't remember where! Until I can remember, would you like the recipe? They're really easy to do at home.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Greg Spence

              I do make them at home (quite yummy, if I do say so myself - got the recipe from Lucy's on Mesa!), but sometimes you just want someone else to do the cooking. You know what I mean? Thanks for the offer, though. Keep thinking about who it is.

            2. I have been wracking my feeble brain for another relleno I liked in Austin, and finally remembered this: Whole Foods downtown has a hot bar across from its salad bar that on some days serves mexican food. On those days they sell a chile relleno, $5.99/pound, that is hot and ready to eat there (they have tables) or to take home. It is very, very good. It is not the relleno of my childhood in SoCal, and it does have pecans and even maybe currants. But very worth trying. I get one every time I see them available.

              1 Reply
              1. re: Travis Lo

                Whole foods does Mexican on Tuesdays and Fridays at the Central Location (6th Street & Lamar).

              2. In Houston you can get an excellent Chille Relleno at Otilla's on Longpoint. It is just how you describe and is served with an addicting red sauce.

                1. Rosie's Tamale House - the one on 71 out by the lake. Wonderful. You can get cheese or beef or chicken.

                  1. Hi,

                    I realize this is an older post - but I wonder if amysuehere found that type of chile relleno or if there are new suggestions out there. My family is visiting and we are used to that type of relleno - from Chicago, suprisingly. Definitely no raisins!

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: anjgupta

                      At the moment there are two quite good chile rellenos (actually three) in town.

                      Habenero on Oltorf and First Makes an excellent relleno. However, they have a fatal flaw - they don't sauce it and I haven't found a sauce there that works with it.

                      Jeorge's on Hancock does an upscale chile relleno, but damn I just LOVE the New Mexico sauce on it.

                      Polvo's has a good chile relleno, but they've just been having lots of trouble at night. I only go on Saturday lunch anymore.

                      1. re: anjgupta

                        ...if only I could get a Habenero relleno and take it over to Jeorge's to plate with their beans/rice/sauce....mmmmm!

                      2. I think the Texican in Manchaca has a good one. They claim to have some El Paso influence. I went to El Meson one day and saw some fresh ones in togo containers as it was their special. They looked just right but they had run out. There was no sauce but as I was finishing my lunch I saw the maestro making fresh ones. I almost asked for one togo but chickened out. Has anybody tried them at Habenero? I've also had good ones at Casa Garcia.

                        1. Dear poor Amysuehere: You haven't found one in Austin because they don't exist! I'm from El Paso and I have yearned for the same thing to no avail! In late August/early September you can find Hatch green chiles at Central Market and all HEB's and other places I'm sure, you really should buy a years supply and freeze them. You can make a fantastic chile relleno yourself with a little practice, look up the recipe on the net. Here is one more suggestion which may sound dumb but it is as close as you are going to get short of making them yourself from scratch...go to the nearest Panchos all you can eat restaurant which use to be Round Rock, but is now either San Antonio or Temple, and order one or more dozen rellenos to go. When you get home put them in a pan and slather them with Old El Paso green enchilada sauce and cheese and heat them up, they are as close to El Paso Rellenos as you'll get. Ed

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: gntlmn6464

                            I grew up eating chile rellenos; they where made with poblano peppers, filled with Mexican fresh cheese and onions, dipped in an egg batter and fried. La Michocana serves them daily, all locations. BTW i grew up in South Texas. Have eating chile rellenos in the Mexican states of Neuvo Leon, San Luis Potosi and Jalisco, prepared the same way, they also had meat filling.

                          2. Hi,

                            Wondering if anyone's tried Takoba's, El Azteca's or Sazon's chile relleno? Sound like they might fit the bill. The annual search for a chile relleno the folks would like begins again ...

                            1816 S Lamar Blvd, Austin, TX 78704

                            2 Replies
                            1. re: anjgupta

                              Los Pinos in Hudson Bend came the closest I've had so far for the chile itself and Jorge's on Hancock has the perfect smokey red sauce, but their batter is on the heavy/greasy side.

                              Unfortunately, Pinos had a fire just recently and I haven't heard whether they've reopened. I was craving their crazy-good salsa this weekend too.

                              1. re: amysuehere

                                I read the thread title, and thought wait, wasn't there a thread years ago about chili rellenos? I searched for a while, and then realized ... this is the thread from years ago! Funny.

                            2. el sol y la luna has a 6.99 special for chili rellenos very similar to what you describe on thursdays - poblano pepper stuffed w/ cheese, egg batter, red sauce. they don't add more cheese to the top, but it doesn't need it. it's quite good and well worth the price. i find the restaurant pretty unexceptional except for that item. definitely worth a try and my favorite version in austin.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: charlie71

                                I had ESylL waaaaay back when they were on S. Congress, but unfortunately, I'm way up north now and would never make it on my lunch break. Maybe I'll give them another go over a weekend. Thanks for the heads-up.

                              2. Tres Amigos, El Azteca, and Matt's El Rancho all serve chili rellenos. I am on a low carb diet and eat all all three of these places regularly because of this dish.

                                1. I just had a very good chile relleno at Kirbey Lane (the original on Kirbey Lane), that mostly fits your description. It's on the seasonal menu.

                                  6 Replies
                                  1. re: travisleroy

                                    you mean Kerby Lane.
                                    Sorry to nitpick, but if someone was looking for it, they might not find it

                                    1. re: TroyTempest

                                      Well, if we're really going to nitpick - it's Kerbey Lane :)

                                      1. re: texasgirly

                                        Ha!, you got me.
                                        That's what i deserved.

                                        1. re: TroyTempest

                                          Holy cow, ya'll. I posted that in 2002!!! That just scares me to no end...

                                          and so far, the closest to my heart so far is Los Pinos in Hudson Bend.

                                          1. re: amysuehere

                                            The thread that lives forever! I read an Austin-based mystery a while back - 'Hippie Hollow - Murder on a Nude Beach' - where the hero, one B B Rivers, constantly stops in at local (actual) Austin eateries to sample his favorite dish - Chile Rellenos. Probably worth a read!

                                            1. re: TAF

                                              I read it years ago and remember thinking he had some misses and some hits. I'll have to re-read it again. Thanks for the reminder.

                                  2. Ha, yes, this is indeed an old thread!

                                    I'll add, albeit with reservations, that I always really liked El Chile's relleno. It's not fried... filled with cochinita pibil and served with rice and refried beans. The reservations part comes with the fact that I've heard nothing but bad stuff about EC these days, and I haven't been in a loooong time. I had friends report back that their meals were horrible, but I can't vouch for that because the only thing I ever ordered was the chile relleno, and it was always good. Anybody have any good (or bad) experiences there lately? I always liked the vibe. Bummer it apparently went down the tubes.

                                    8 Replies
                                    1. re: popvulture

                                      The Chile Relleno taco at TacoDeli is pretty awesome. I forget which day they have it.

                                      1. re: ieathereforeiam

                                        So, is it what sounds like? A chile Relleno chopped up into a taco? If so, that sounds pretty tasty.

                                        1. re: TroyTempest

                                          They don't chop it up. They put it in a tortilla. The chile is stuffed with their Cochinita Pibil, and topped with pickled red onions. Its their Wednesday lunch special if i remember correctly, unless they have it on their regular menu all the time now.

                                          1. re: Homero

                                            Actually, you can get it anytime...and it is quite good.

                                            1. re: Homero

                                              The one I've had there, which you can get every day, is a chile stuffed with cheese that's been battered and fried. I love it.

                                              1. re: hlk

                                                Thats what I get for not going to tacodeli regularly... great news about the veggie chile relleno, and that you can get it anytime!

                                                Has anyone tried the chile relleno at Elsi's on Burnet or the chile relleno at Taco More?

                                                1. re: Homero

                                                  they used to also serve it at breakfast. it was one of my fave non-meat breakfast taco options, specially when you slather on the green crack sauce.

                                                  1. re: Homero

                                                    Homero: I have not had the Elsi's relleno, but I have had their Salvadoran green bean special. It's a bundle of green beens around some poblano slices and cheese, battered & fried & served w/red sauce. It's seriously good. I'd bet the relleno is good too.

                                        2. Have you tried the Texican by Lakeline? A coworker and I ate there for lunch and we both had the rellenos (once cheese one beef). I think they are at least similar to what you are looking for.