I may be Irish and German by birth, but when it comes to dining I love a good trip down south of the border.
The aromas, the texture, the spices, and just the fun of Mexican food prepared fresh and in an authentic style is just about irresistible for me. And so when a new Mexican restaurant opened in Crossroads Mall recently, I quickly dispatched myself to check it out, along with my favorite dining companion.
The folks at Hacienda Vieja, in the north end of the mall near J.C. Penney’s, greeted me with a heaping basket of warm nacho chips that tasted like they had to be homemade.
Searching through the appetizers, main courses, lunch specials and more, I was delighted to find a section designated as “small combos.” Too often these days, mega meals come with so much more than I really need to eat. A smaller platter is perfect for me, and many of my fellow diners.
I chose a beef enchilada with sides of rice and beans, and it even came with a lettuce salad topped with fresh cut tomatoes. If you’re expecting a mini meal, this isn’t it. Even the small combo is a very generous portion, and filled me quickly to the brim with delightful flavors.
Topped with red sauce, sour cream and guacamole, the enchilada was fabulous. While I sometimes find enchiladas a little overcooked elsewhere, the shell on this was fork tender, soft and delicious, and more flavorful than the typical tortilla. Of course, all that guacamole and sour cream only amped up the flavor power.
Seasoned to perfection, the rice offered a robust flavor and a great complement to the entrée.
The menu offers an array of selections — including seafood and all the traditional Mexican fare — and I check-marked many choices to check out on our return visit in the near future.Hacienda Vieja
Hours: Sunday: 11 a.m. – 9 p.m. Mon. – Thur.: 11 a.m. – 10 p.m.
Fri. – Sat: 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.