Everyone has his favorite Tex-Mex. I love Mia’s, because my mom loves it, and she used to drive us all the way to Lemmon Avenue from our house in Plano. But we also loved Mario’s Chiquita in Plano. (Is it still open?) We’d go nearly every week, and I would eat soft cheese tacos or puff tacos; eventually I graduated to sour cream chicken enchiladas. That’s probably why I had so much fun last night at Ojeda’s, because it sent me way back to childhood, as some restaurants can. I saw puff tacos on the menu and immediately had to have them; once I saw a combo plate with a sour cream chicken enchilada and a puff taco, well, that was a no-brainer. The fact that the plate also came with a chile relleno served the adult side of me, who has come to love those too.
Even though we’ve all been seduced by fancier establishments such as Mi Cocina (don’t deny it), Ojeda’s is comforting in that old-school Mexican restaurant sort of way, and you need that to bring you back down to Tex-Mex reality. Salsa–a bit like Pace, only hotter–is served in a plastic pitcher you pour yourself, and the menu is packed full of every imaginable combination plate, breakfast (served all day), and potent margaritas (limit one if you’re not eating; limit three if you are).
We started with four jalapenos stuffed with shredded chicken and cheese, lightly fried, and served with a side of queso. They were fat and satisfying, primarly because no chicken was spared in the filling. A side of ranch might have made a better dip, because our lips were left tingling after every bite. Then again, what’s so bad about queso? Nothing, turns out, especially when it comes atop a tostada with a side of guac–the lead-in to the Ojeda’s Dinner, which also comes with two beef enchiladas smothered in ranchero and cheese, a puff taco, and rice and beans. Once you start to dig in, all of the flavors meld into a Tex-Mex mess, but somehow it’s all good.
I was surprised by the chile relleno, which looked a lot like an enchilada, because it was so long and skinny. Smothered in ranchero and cheese, it could have passed for the beef enchilada on the Ojeda’s Dinner; only after cutting into it could I see the sliver of a poblano. It was a bit mushy, I must admit, and I prefer a sturdier pepper shell. The sour cream chicken enchilada just seemed flat, but maybe that’s because none can compare to the Mario’s Chiquita version I have in my head. But, oh, the puff taco, my old friend, with soupy–and I mean that in a good way–beef, shredded lettuce and cheese, and crisp puffed shell. That was as good as any of the ones in my childhood memories.