If it seems like the New Yorkers have been showering love on H-Town as of late, it’s because they have. In April, New York Times writer Robert Draper declared Houston as one of the country’s "great eating capitals," and Justin Yu’s win last month at the James Beard Awards seems to indicate that NYC is looking south to find some of the country’s best cuisine.
Now, these precious northerners are back with a new discovery that will blow everyone’s minds: the enchilada. Today, Sam Sifton shares a somewhat sensual love letter to the cheese-drenched, tortilla-wrapped delight, shouting out some of Houston’s finest Tex-Mex establishments along the way:
You can sense it in the huge and crowded dining room of El Real Tex-Mexon Westheimer Street, where locals gather to eat enchiladas and drink cold beer, and in the cramped and crowded one of Teotihuacan on Irvington Boulevard, north of the city center, where they do the same. It is present at the outposts of Molina’s Cantina around town, at the Original Ninfa’s on Navigation, at the Ninfa’s apostate El Tiempo Cantina next door, at Spanish Flowers, at Sylvia’s.
From there, Sifton dives into how to prepare this "molten weeknight casserole" at home, debating whether or not to use real cheese or Velveeta (spoiler alert: he used both) and discussing how to make chile con carne with ground beef and flour (for whatever reason) to "thicken."
For those of us who have been mainlining enchiladas like oxygen since birth, Sifton’s discovery isn’t much of one. But for the rest of the country, perhaps you can expect to see build-your-own enchilada shops (complete with artisanal toppings) pop up across the country.