Enchiladas are the first meal I remember. There was a Monterrey House catty-corner from my preschool in Houston and when my parents were late and I was the last kid picked-up, they’d make amends by feeding me.
And after digging the candy out of the chips (please comment if you did this) I’d get cheese enchiladas with rice and beans. And now, here I am. Built from the days of no seat belts nor casual levels of parenting shame. And a sucker for a plate of Tex-Mex.
So, when I went to La Palapa del Sabor this weekend, on a scale from one to Buddy in Elf when he sees a sign for the “World’s Greatest Cup of Coffee,” I’m on par with him with these “World Famous Seafood Enchiladas.”
Olga Sosa has been the soul behind this restaurant since it first opened as Mesa back in 2011. Mesa closed late last year and Sosa reopened as La Palapa del Sabor in January. The Oak Cliff Mexican food restaurant has always focused on cuisines from the coastal Mexican city of Veracruz.
Sosa said with this new place, her goal was to appeal to the local community with lower prices than Mesa, as well as those who will drive from anywhere for her famed mole.
On a recent Sunday, her plans seems to have worked. Guests were perched at the indoor-outdoor bar and families were gathered around long tables.
At our table I tapped on the “World Famous Enchiladas” on the menu and whispered, “Bet?” to my date.
Then, I slid all my chips to the middle of the table.
In the end, Sosa won.
These are, in fact, fantastic seafood enchiladas. And the beauty is in the ratios. First, the house-made corn tortillas are soft and thin enough that they don’t get in the way of the seafood flavor. They're a balanced all purpose vehicle. And the bell pepper cream sauce is as light as a cream sauce can get and still identify as one.
But, the point-guard on the plate is definitely the seafood, which includes lobster, blue crab and shrimp. I tasted mostly crab. There’s so much of it that the price tag of $24 for the plate seems reasonable. An extra dollop of the seafood mix sits atop the enchiladas along with a slice of avocado.
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As an appetizer we tried the enmoladas – folded house-made tortillas smothered in mole sauce – and they were a delight.
And to wash it all down, I asked the waitress if she suggested the spicy margarita or the blueberry. She was a hard yes on the blueberry and those, again, were great.
I feel like I need to say something negative about this spot for balance, but … I just don’t have anything. I did go to another place last week and absolutely hated it, so it does happen, just not on this day.
La Palapa del Sabor, 118 W. Jefferson Blvd. (North Oak Cliff). Open 4 to 10 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday; closed Monday.