When I was in middle school, I had a best friend named Concha Hernandez. She and her four siblings spoke only Spanish to their parents, who were immigrants from Mexico and spoke no English. Visiting her was an awesome experience. I got to brush up on my Spanish, see a little bit of their culture and enjoy authentic Mexican food on a regular basis. I had always been fond of Mexican food when I was growing up, but this was the point in my life when I came to love it.
Since moving to the island, I’ve lamented the fact that the taquerias here, though delicious, have less of that authentic flavor I remember so well. Then I discovered Enrique’s.
Walking in for the first time, I ordered a rice and bean, wet burrito. I was amazed to find Enrique’s rice is that soft rice displaying a tint of red drawn from the sauce it’s cooked in. It’s real Mexican rice, not the sticky white stuffy you get with plate lunches. This part of the burrito alone took me back to memories of dinners at Concha’s house.
The beans are the creamy refried kind that you know can’t be low calorie, but pretend that they’re okay. Because they are beans, they do have a lot of protein. Yes. That’s it. I can feel the pounds shedding away with every bite.
Being a wet burrito, all this came topped with red sauce and cheese to make a perfect concoction of salty goodness that could have come straight from the kitchen of my childhood friend. It was served alongside a wealth of crispy, warm tortilla chips.
One of my favorite things that I found in the Mexican restaurants of old is the bottles of carbonated, non-alcoholic sangria. Sangria is a drink normally consisting of red wine and fruit juices, but taquerias often sell bottles that taste very similar, even though they contain bubbles and lack the alcohol content.
Enrique’s Concina Mexicana is the first place on the island I’ve found that carries this tasty treat. There are also plenty of vegetarian and even vegan items on the menu, as well as daily specials on food and drink specials throughout the week.
You can get these items to go, or sit at the cute picnic-esque tables in front. And, if you want to switch things up a bit, their sister store is next door: Enrique’s Deli & Liquor Store. There you can find made-to-order sandwiches, salads, hot dogs and more. Since it’s a liquor store, you can also find single-serve bottles of Patron. MTW