Today we went couch shopping.
There's only one way to attack furniture shopping. Drunk.
So we decided to hit the Trudy's up north for some Tex-Mex and Mexican Martinis before we ventured across the street to FURNITURE ROW, and specifically, SOFA MART. When I hear names like that, why is it I can only think of this?
Started out with chips, queso, salsa and two jugs of Mexican Martinis while we perused the menu for our order. The queso is of the classic Austin variety, that creamy base of either Velveeta or Land O'Lakes Extra Melt Yellow, with a RoTel-like pepper mix, though I'm fairly certain they don't use the out of the can stuff but instead there own mix. Served with or without guacamole and pico de gallo, this is just a great way to start (a) a meal and (b) a day of furniture shopping. The salsas here are excellent. Chips are served with both a green and a red, with the green holding onto a whole lot of heat from the peppers, presumably a mix of jalapeno and serrano, and the pungent tang of tomatillos. The red is a milder salsa with chunks of onion and peppers in it, which is incredibly fresh, and equally as good despite its lesser heat.
For the uneducated, a Mexican Martini is really just a margarita shaken with ice, left in the Boston Shaker, brought out with a strainer and a salt rimmed martini glass. While the $9 price tag may seem steep, it's a whole lot of drink, which is limited, by a tricky marketing tactic, to two per person, though it is clearly quantity, not potency, which is the reason for it.
I opted for the smoked chicken chimichanga and MLWMG opted for the appetizer portion of their flaquities, which is substantial enough in size to order as a meal, unless of course you want rice and beans with it, which is apparently the only difference.
I was happy to see that my chimichanga wasn't the type with dimensions that exceed that of the human stomach, which all to often happens. It was nice sized, with a filling of rotisserie pulled smoked chicken, green onions, cheese and cilantro. The filling was surprisingly light, and was perfect for the flaky, crispy deep fried flour tortilla that it was wrapped in. Unlike so many chimichangas, this was not a gutbuster, and was quite excellent. On top of that, it was served on top of a basic, not-to-fancy chipotle sauce, which seemed to be a bit more, and milder, than pureed chipotles in adobo, and appeared to be home-stewed, likely with some tomatoes and onion. The smokiness of the sauce matched that of the chicken perfectly, and had I gotten it with the as-stated drizzle of sour cream on the top of it, it would have been nicely offset by that coolness and tartness. I, however, noticed that one of their sauces, the Suiza sauce, was more or less a kicked up sour cream, mixed with their spicy verde (green chile) sauce, and asked if I could have that as a substitute for the sour cream, which they obliged. It was an excellent sauce, though my only regret was that it was a warm sauce, and I think their executive chef had the dish right as invented, with the cooling power of basic sour cream to offset the spice and smokiness of the chipotle. All in all though, very, very good, and I'd recommend it to anyone either way.
And an illustration of it meeting with my approval...
After the fantastic combinations of flavor in my dish, the flaquities were a bit of a comedown, though excellent in their own right. Somewhere between my chimichanga, minus the greens inside, and a traditional corn tortilla flauta, these were larger than the typcial flauta, and contained nicely chile seasoned braised and pulled chicken in a flour tortilla, deep fried, cut in fours and served with sides of ranch, guacamole and queso.
As far as the accompaniments, the rice was a pretty standard Mexican red rice, slightly dry if anything, but the beans were excellent. I chose the refried borracho beans, which was the first I'd seen of these, which was a combination of my favorite flavors of bacon and onion from borracho beans, with the epoxy-like texture of refried pintos, catching everything in its wake as it travels through the digestive tract, no digestiv or fiber needed, thank you.
Good spot and a good atmosphere for some good quality Tex-Mex, though I'll opt for the campus location and outdoor patio any day, especially a day that is 90 degrees and sunny like today. For this location though, it was perfect, and did exactly what we intended for it to do. Adding two inches, primarily of cheese to our waists, and slowing down our metabolism and energy with the martinis, we bought the first couch we saw at the first place we went and called it a day.
Atmosphere: large, echoey Tex-Mex joint with full bar, bar seating, optional buffet, televisions and a large crowd, good for groups, good for happy hour, good bang for the buck, good for sitting at the bar for a bite
Dog Friendly: no
When to Go: lunch, happy hour, dinner
Crowd: rather large folks at this one
What to Order for the First Timer: smoked chicken chimichanga