Wednesday, February 4, 2015

El Centenario

A really good hole-in-the-wall Mexican joint can be found on Kansas Avenue just south of Downtown Topeka around 13th street. It looks and feels like a hole in the wall, but it doesn't taste like one.

Small guacamole
I've been once before and it was exactly how I remembered it this time. Viva la Mexico plaques decorate the walls with sombreros and lighted signs. It was bright, open and airy.

One server, who was friendly and helpful, served the entire restaurant. Granted, it was like 3 p.m. but he was pouring drinks, serving, taking orders and busing his tables. He was a one man band. He was doing it all with a smile, too.

He brought us our chips and salsa and I ordered some guacamole. It was chunky, just spicy enough and seasoned well. I could taste lime juice, jalepeƱos, cilantro and garlic -- all the ingredients I personally enjoy in my guacamole. The chips were also warm when they came out, which added to the experience. The avocados were nice and ripe and almost melted in my mouth on the freshly fried tortilla chip. The salsa was comparable to other places in town. Nothing stood out about that.

From left: Enchilada, burrito, rice and beans.
For my entree I ordered the special that day -- a burrito, an enchilada, rice and beans. The menu is so big I had no idea what to get so I just went with the special. Plus, it was only $6.49.

The burrito and the enchilada seems like almost the same thing only the burrito had a flour tortilla and the enchilada had a corn tortilla with some sauce added to it.  The enchilada was also a little smaller than the burrito. They were both good, it just seemed like a lot of meat to me. I kind of wish I had some lettuce, tomato and sour cream with it. I definitely got my money's worth with as much ground beef was stuffed in those two tortillas. The rice was soft and spicy, but not overpowering. Spicy in a flavorful way, not a "hot" way. The beans were good too, refried, mashed beans.

My overall experience was pleasant. The food was good, the service was too. I didn't have anything to complain about at El Centenario.