El Arado 1063 Virginia Avenue.
Pat and Fran tried this place out on Labor Day, and they both liked it. Good food, good prices and cheap beer. Actually I was a little apprehensive about the joint because, frankly the reviews on Urbanspoon were not too positive. I don’t rely entirely upon reviews to decide on what joint to try, but if the majority of comments are negative you probably should take notice. As I mentioned in an extraneous posting regarding reviews I checked for dates. One was June this year and the remaining negative tales were in 2013. The listing showed a few positive reviews in 2012 and 2011. So maybe the issue is time sensitive. Restaurants are not static. They develop and grow in time. And since they are all built around people you never know what to expect. My job is to visit a joint with my buddy Pat. Eat a lunch and give our thoughts on the food and service. We do so in a matter of fact way. We eat, we write you decide.
The place is a pretty good size. It has a few hand painted murals that fit a Mexican theme, and the surroundings and furniture are pretty comfortable. As soon as we walked in we were approached by a server/ host that directed us to a table. In a few minutes we had our water and chips and salsa.
Now I found this salsa to be excellent. Fresh tomatoes, jalapeno and cilantro. I also enjoyed that they offered yellow tortilla chips. Not the red,white and blue chips that seem to be so common in some joints.
On Thursday they offer the Super Donkey burro for $7.99. Now this is a huge flour tortilla stuffed with steak or chicken, beans,rice,pico- de Gallo, guacamole, lettuce, tomato and sour cream. Now that is one big boy. You have your choice of 3 sauces. Green, red or cheese. Pat ordered an altered chicken Super Donkey, with cheese sauce.
Since Pat ordered chicken, I ordered steak with red and green sauce. The tomatillo sauce was spicy and definitely on point. They make it in-house, and it definitely hit the spot. The steak was a little chewy but with all the stuff going on it was definitely worth ordering. The red chile was warm and comforting. All in all a very tasty combination.
Even though neither one of us could finish our burros we decided to share a sopaipilla. Now in New Mex and the part of Old Mex I lived, the sopaipilla I have eaten have been like big fluffy pillows. The kind you tear and add honey to. This sopa was flat,like a tostada. Sprinkled with cinnamon sugar, shot with honey and drizzled with chocolate sauce. Cut in four pieces and topped with whipped cream. Wow. It was good. Not what I expected. But good. And the crazy thing was $1.99. You can also get it with ice cream.
So. There you have it, our review,our opinion of El Arada. We think it is worth trying. Bon Appetite.