Sometimes You'll Want the Whole Enchilada
With apologies to the Texas Tornados, there’s no room for a little bit or nothing at all when you’re at The Whole Enchilada.
The newest concept from Paseo Grill’s Joe Jungmann, Laurie Rawlinson and Elise Fischbein, The Whole Enchilada is one of the real gems of the downtown lunch consortium.
Borrowing a little from taco stands on both sides of the border, The Whole Enchilada offers inspired interpretations on the iconic taco.
Simple, but clearly intended to play through a gourmet lens, the menu offers variations on tacos, burritos, nachos with a nod to the combination platters of Tex-Mex’s glory days of the 1970s. (That’s right, all trips to the disco rode through a restaurant that started with “El” and ended with “o”.)
Tacos range from $1.50 to $2.25 and include either brisket or pork and a variety of garnishes like jicama slaw, fried jalapenos and queso fresco. While the fillings are neither as broad nor as diverse as you’ll find at Big Truck Tacos, the Ench is significantly more economical.
Nooners are the Ench’s answer to the old combo plates. For between $5.25 and $5.75 you can get various enchiladas and tacos with beans and rice. The burritos are larger forms of the tacos in flour tortillas rather than corn. The Ench offers various sauces to top or fill any of the above. They also have a salsa bar that contains a half or dozen or so different salsas from mild to extra hot with a little sweet fire mixed in.
I have to tell you I’ve tried every filling in one form or another and a couple items that aren’t on the menu yet and have yet to come across anything I would change. Of course it would be great if they had homemade tortillas, but that also goes for Big Truck Tacos, Iguana Mexican Grill and practically every other Mexican restaurant north of the Oklahoma River.
The Ench recently opened a self-serve window next to the entrance. Customers punch their orders into a register, which allows you to add or subtract any ingredient to any entree. After you swipe your credit card (that’s right, this service is plastic-only), the order goes into the kitchen, and the food is then delivered to the window.
The restaurant had limited seating when it opened, but with a recent expansion the place can seat up to 120.
While the Ench is currently opened 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Friday, management is considering extending hours on the evenings of Thunder games. While they’re at it, I wish they would consider opening for breakfast in the near future. A city’s worth is proven by the ease with which its populace can locate a breakfast taco.
The Whole Enchilada is at 4 Santa Fe Plaza, beneath the Santa Fe Parking garage. They offer expansive catering services.
Have you been to the Whole Enchilada? Let me know what you thought.