Wagon wheel count: 8,000
When I walked into La Parrillada at dinnertime, I wasn't sure if they were really open. They had multiple signs out front that said, "Yes, we're open." But zero people were inside. There weren't even crickets inside, mocking the emptiness of the place, it was so empty. Crickets were on the porch smoking cigarettes, like, "Yo, this place is sad enough inside without us in it. It'd just be mean for us to cricket in there." Other cricket to the first cricket: "Stop saying 'yo.' Even Jesse from Breaking Bad thinks he sounds like a dork when he says 'yo.'" First Cricket: (so completely cricket-embarrassed)
During the day, La Parrillada has a walk-up taco window that offers a wide variety of dollar tacos. When it's dollar taco time, I prefer the La Banqueta location that is directly across the street from La Parrillada. But that doesn't mean La Parrillada is useless to me. The fact that La Parrillada is open late and is right next door to The Goat means that it will serve a distinct purpose in my future.
I was going to need to try their chicken fajitas sober, to see if they'd be any good when I was future drunk. I ordered the fajitas, which are $11.50 at night and appear to be $6.50 during the day. (The menu lists 10 lunch specials that are $5.25, including tacos, enchiladas, tamales and several other items that are cheaper than 10 bucks.) I asked my waitress if the "fajita lunch" special on the menu was just a smaller version of the dinner plate of fajitas and she said, "Yes." I'm pretty sure she understood the question I was asking, but I'm not positive -- she was focused on that telenovela that was blasting on the TV screen.
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After she took my order, she went to the kitchen, then came right back with a plate of nachos. I was like, "Sweet! Nachos!" But they were her nachos. She was eating dinner, watching her stories, like she was at home. I was impressed. Suddenly, I wanted her job. When my chicken fajitas came to the table, they were smoking balls. I've never seen fajitas smoke that hard, and I used to wait tables at the Galleria Bennigan's (Where, for some reason, people ordered fajitas all the damned time. You could judge people for ordering fajitas at an Irish pub, but then you'd be saying that Bennigan's was an Irish pub. And that would just be hilarious and false.)
When the fajitas stopped screaming smoke at me, I made them into a taco. It was good. It wasn't the best fajita taco I've ever had, but if you're done karaoke-ing at The Goat and you need to sober up, this place is perfection.
La Parrillada 7260 Gaston Ave. 214- 327-5513