Monday, July 23, 2012
Food truck review: Chile Pepper Grill
Chile Pepper Grill offers the authentic flavors and taste of Mexican cuisine.
Eat your heart out, Dallas. The Chile Pepper Grill is a Fort Worth institution when it comes to authentic Mexican food, and their Chile Pepper Grill trailer takes the same terrific food to the streets. I recently re-connected with them at the newly opened 7th Street Food Court. The food was straightforward, tasted great, and was fairly priced. It was a happy reunion.
On my first visit, I ventured a little from the authentic Mexican fare. The Hawaiian Taco lines the tortilla with thinly sliced prosciutto and adds some finely chunked pineapple to bring the Island experience. The pastor, bacon, cheese, onion, and cilantro blend perfectly to tantalize the taste buds. This may not technically be authentic Mexican but it’s an incredible alternative. YUMMY, YUMMY, YUMMY! My fear that the pineapple would be mushy and syrupy sweet was totally misplaced, and any fear that the pineapple and prosciutto would clash never materialized. The only thing that would make this more "Hawaiian" authentic would be to use Spam instead of pastor. Spam or not, once I’d tasted the Hawaiian, I knew I’d be back.
Fortunately, having been there before, I knew what I wanted to try on this visit. It is time to try the Huarache. I opted for the small version and when I saw how big it was, I was truly glad I’d been conservative. I slid the huge oblong corn tortilla off the edge of the platter and took the first bite. Light, crispy tortilla topped with Carne Asada had all the standards – refried beans, cheese, onion, sour cream, and cilantro. The carne asada was tender and juicy (but not even close to soggy) and the flavors blended together in perfect balance. Luscious! Bite two immediately follows the first one without a pause. There’s plenty of seasoning to make it pleasant and enjoyable with a mild level of heat, but if you like a little more kick, the smoky red sauce is incredible, lime optional.
The Carne Asada Taco differs only by coming on a fresh tortilla, your choice of corn or flour. You get the same luscious flavors; just a familiar but different savory experience because of the difference in the crispy deep fried tortilla versus the fresh grilled tortilla. That’s just what Chef Noe Moya promises: turning seasonal ingredients into straightforward but elegant dishes that rely on traditional, common-sense flavor pairings.
Wanting to continue the authentic experience? Move on to the Chorizo Taco and your taste buds are taken in a different direction. Spicier, ground, bursting with flavor. The danger with chorizo is that it can be greasy. This chorizo, while a little more greasy than the asada, used the drippings to saturate the flavors without saturating the tortilla. A little onion and cilantro and it’s done. All this goodness for $1.50. Nothing fancy here – just satisfying taste that leaves you with a smile.
Another entrée item that deserves your attention is the gordita. A puffy deep fried corn tortilla is the base and another one tops this double decker stuffed with your choice of meat, cheese, onions, and cilantro. It’s a good thing you eat standing up, otherwise you’d end up with a lapful of stuffing. There’s no way to keep all that stuffing in place when you bite through the crispy tortillas. And if the $6 price seems a little steep, you get not one – but two – of these tasty gorditas in your order.
The menu is expansive and the options are extensive. Chile Pepper Grill offers burritos, quesadillas, and tortas, all with your choice of meat, as well. If you are not familiar with the torta, think of it as a taco sandwich. The torta will be more filling because of the bread but reputation has it that the burrito will fill you up because the 12” tortilla is STUFFED with filling. Based on the generous stuffing in the tacos, the burrito must be huge!
It will take some time to eat your way through the menu, but with build-your-own tacos at $1.50 and the Delux tacos only $2.50, these tacos match fast food prices while matching restaurant quality food.
And if you live in Dallas, maybe it’s time for a road trip!
Pegasus News Content partner - Food Truck Connection