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October 01, 2007

La Cocina de Consuelo, 4516 Burnet

This cozy eatery opened by local catering luminary Connie Rodriguez brings hole-in-the-wall ambiance to tony Rosedale, on a strip of Burnet that is undergoing a culinary renaissance of sorts. While Blue Star missed the mark (just slightly) the last time for me, Maru is turning out decent sushi and Sampaio's menu, though bank-breaking, has some genuine treats.

I keep going back to Connie's for the breakfast burritos - really, somewhere between a burrito and a taco, if you subscribe to the Mission-size criteria for true burrito-dom. "Stacy's" burrito packs egg, machacado and avocado into a homemade flour tortilla and makes a solid breakfast for under three bucks - in some ways, it's a better deal than two breakfast tacos, and a welcome break from the holy grease/cheese/egg trinity of Texas mornings.

Go here for lunch and, if you can find a seat in the four-table dining room or the two-table patio (yes, it really is damn tiny – the kitchen is bigger than the dining area), get the signature chicken enchiladas with green tomatillo sauce; they're exemplary – impossibly light and almost refreshing, something you don't expect from a plate of enchiladas. Combined with Connie's subtle, earthy preparation of nopalitos, this is a dish I'll come back for again and again.

Sadly, the light hand didn't fare well for the carne guisada, which was slightly bland and, worse, insubstantial. A dish that brooks no "light" interpretations, carne guisada should be hearty and plentiful, but this entree was neither, despite a big push from the server.

Whatever you get, try some green sauce with it, because Connie has refined her tomatillo recipe to a near-perfect blend of flavor and heat. This is a model green sauce, complex and bracing, showcasing every ingredient without allowing one to dominate. It's smack-your-mama stuff, making even the oppressive Mexican Jesus music recede for a moment as you revel in its verdant bounty. Uh, or something.


Posted by brentbuford at October 1, 2007 06:10 PM


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