By Amy McCarthy
By Scott Reitz
By Scott Reitz
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
By Alice Laussade
By City of Ate
B.E.E. uses exquisitely fresh ingredients, some of which have certifiably organic pedigrees. So, it's almost silly to waste an order on a cheese enchilada with con carne sauce, although the sturdy Jack cheese is far more flavorful than what most Tex-Mex eateries use, and the sauce has a succinct beefiness. Instead, consider a juicy, slow-cooked beef picadillo or edgy pork carnitas, sporting just a trace of welcome ancho chili heat. Nothing at B.E.E. is really spicy, including the "bee-ware" salsa, but various chiles are used smartly in the simmered meats and well-constructed sauces; the broiled chicken is underscored by smoked chipotle. Beef brisket's not a bad choice either, although the portion I sampled was slightly dry.
Sauces are generally more engaging than the meats. A sheer avocado verde tastes springy and clean, while the ranchera sauce has an attractive tang. B.E.E. and its customers dote on a surprisingly light chipotle crema sauce, which figures in two of the four enchiladas made according to the kitchen's specifications. If your tastes run toward shrimp, fish or tofu, you're relieved of all your decision-making duties: B.E.E. dictates how those enchiladas are served.
The "enchiladas especiale" are $2-$4 more expensive than the standard enchiladas, and the expense isn't always justified. The shrimp diablo enchilada is terrific, thanks to a clump of perfectly cooked shrimp, but the vegetarian preparations are disappointing. While staffers stress the 9-inch length of their enchiladas so frequently that the measurement begins to sound dirty, the enchiladas made with sweet potato and quinoa are skimpy and uninspired. The sweet potato enchilada—featuring a hunk of baked sweet potato wrapped in a tortilla and doused with a peppery Amarillo sauce—is pretty pathetic. And the kitchen cooked all of the crunch out of the quinoa in my enchilada.
202 W. Davis St.
Dallas, TX 75208
Region: Oak Cliff & South Dallas
Still, B.E.E. has the basics down. I have little doubt the restaurant will add another two locations before the year's out, as a proud staffer promised me. B.E.E.—with its apiarian puns, fresh ingredients, pleasant sauces and customizable menu—is surely franchise-ready. It just doesn't get more Dallas than that.