El Olmeca is a small Mexican restaurant located directly on 431/Governors in Owen’s Cross Roads. I had eaten there ages ago with coworkers, and this week, upon seeing it again, decided to stop in with the hubby. The Sunday crowd was light which made for a quiet meal, though I remember my weekday lunch as being bustling. We were quickly seated and I was rather taken by the colorful carved table. I’ve been accustomed to the brightly painted carved chairs that seem to have swept Mexican restaurants everywhere, but this was the first time I had seen a table to match.
The server took our drink orders and brought out chips and salsa. The chips were dry and too crunchy without a strong flavor of their own. The salsa was thin and tomato-ey with a nice medium level of spiciness.
I ordered the lunch fajitas with beef while the hubby went for a Burrito Reale. As is often the case, even a lunch sized portion of fajitas was enough for me to easily make two meals of. The beef and vegetables (shown above) filled one plate, tortillas piled on top, while the sides filled an entire second dinner plate.
The beef was a little chewy but juicy and flavorful and were nicely balanced by bellpeppers which kept the edge of their crunchiness while being tender and bursting with marinade. The onions were slightly sweet but the lifeless tomatoes were mealy and detracted from both the flavor and the aesthetics.
The rice was a classic soft rice that stayed just this side of mushy with a pleasant, mild flavor and a not overly greasy feel. The guacamole was heavily laced with cilantro and overly spiced for my tastes. I am of the opinion that a rich, full bodied avocado should be the star of guacamole, and that flavor was completely lost. The beans, clearly homemade, were creamy, salty, and otherwise a bit plain.
The tortillas were standard flour tortillas that ran to the tough side. I wasn’t thrilled about the choice to stack the wrapped tortilla package on top of the plate of meat and veggies–the marinade left the foil a sticky, juicy mess which was unpleasant to deal with.
The thing that struck me the most, once I finished sampling the various components and complied them into a tortilla, was how salty the overall combination was. While only the beans read as salty singly, the flavor combinations were completely lost to the overwhelming salt.
My hubby enjoyed the rice and beans, but his burrito went entirely unremarked upon.
An out of the way sort of place, this isn’t a restaurant I would make a pilgrimage back to. However, if I was in the area and others wanted to eat there, I wouldn’t overly object.
Total for the meal: $18.32 (includes two lunches and two drinks)
View Larger Map