|Tacos, rice and beans|
El Azteca is one of the good Mexican places. The Clarksville restaurant makes a serious effort to cook serious food -- from Tex-Mex down south of the border. But it's a fun place. Fun from the start -- a bowl of chips with a fresh tomato salsa.
That's the good-restaurant salsa. Fresh, spicy, great with just the chips or drinks while you're looking at the menu.
Then you get into dinner. They're not just dumping the same sauce on everything. The pork tacos came with a green sauce that was on fire. Grilled meat with vegetables on a corn tortilla. Then brought alive by just a little dab of the fiery green. Spicy in the freshest, most delicious fashion.
On the other side was the chicken mole. That tender, sliced white meat was covered in a dark, nuanced sauce. Moles are one of those dishes that I can't make at home. I hear it's made with chocolates and spices. Mrs. HowChow forked up her chicken happily. She didn't eat the side dishes.
It's a mystery that I have found at most Mexican restaurants. Why not flavorful beans and rice? Why not options? El Azteca puts real effort into the tortilla soup, which comes with enough chicken to almost qualify as a rich stew. Creating that broth takes time and talent. I spooned it happy -- especially happy because my throat was sore. I wish I'd had a bowl. Just like I wish I had some great rice and beans.