In celebration of my mother’s 75th birthday, my sister reserved a sizable portion of the back room at Las Trojes Mexican restaurant. The staff was very accommodating and friendly, providing excellent service throughout the meal. Complimentary chips and medium salsa were frequently replenished as we awaited our entrees. A round of margaritas were, of course, in order ($6 each), each heavy on the lime and salt.
Most dishes were served with sides of refried beans, Spanish rice and a simple salad of shredded lettuce, tomato and sour cream. A few included a dollop of mild, chunky guacamole. The rice and beans were both pretty basic and lacking in flavor, but they served their purpose.
The chile relleno special ($9.95) was just that—with rice, beans and corn tortillas. The stuffed Anaheim pepper was smaller and milder than the poblano I prefer, and a bit mushy and overcooked. But the cheese was melted and plentiful, with a reasonably flavorful sauce.
Furthering the relleno parade was a dish featuring a stuffed chile with carnitas taco, and another with a shredded chicken taco (both $11.25). The corn tortillas of the tacos were lightly fried and folded, and the meat in both was moist and well seasoned. In fact, the moisture level and less-than-firm shell made it imperative to eat the well-stuffed taco first, lest it fall apart in your hands.
A tamale combo ($11.95) with shredded beef tamale, cheese enchilada and ground beef taco; and the Trojes special ($12.95) with pork tamale, cheese enchilada and chicken taco were next. The tamales were on the large side and pretty tasty, with a decent ratio of masa vs. filling. The enchiladas included plenty of cheese, though the sauce was somewhat lacking. The beef taco tasted good but suffered from the same “eat it quick,” issue.
A taco salad ($9.95) of ground beef, tomato, lettuce, twice-fried tortilla chips and tons of shredded jack cheese seemed a bit blah to me, but the family member who ordered it seemed content. More interesting was a plate of fish fajitas ($13.95). The grilled fish had a nicely seasoned crust, and the veggies weren't overcooked. The serving seemed a little small for fajitas but was completely enjoyable.
A pungent serving of garlic shrimp ($14.95) was long on the “stinking rose.” The tender shrimp were served on a bed of slightly sweet rice with plenty of lime and cilantro, providing a nice balance against the garlic sauce. I found it a bit odd, though, to include a pile of Spanish rice as well.
Perhaps the least successful dish was my chicken enchiladas montadas ($11.95), ordered with eggs over medium. In my experience, this refers to a stack of corn tortillas with filling in between (most commonly cheese), slathered in sauce, and occasionally topped with fried eggs. I received a pair of rolled enchiladas with very little sauce, and crunchy, over hard eggs. Pouring a bunch of the medium salsa over it helped, but I discarded most of the rubbery, gristly egg.
I'm frequently disappointed when a chimichanga is covered in sauce or condiments, thus ruining the crispy texture that sets apart the deep-fried burrito. Thankfully, our shredded pork chimi ($11.95) was served with accoutrements on the side, a perfectly crispy envelope stuffed full of delicious meat—excellent.