Warm chips and salsa were brought to our table almost immediately. Their salsa has nice chunks of fresh tomatoes and onions mixed in with a pureed fire-roasted salsa, perfect for those that like chunky salsa or those that just like the salsa juice. Our server came around to see if we'd like some guacamole to go along with our chips. Why, yes, we would! Enrique's guacamole is creamy and whipped with only a few small pieces of tomatoes and red onions. I usually prefer a chunky guacamole, but it tasted great: very avocado-y.
Salsa and Guacamole
Dear Ben had trouble deciding what to get. Last time, he ordered the "Carne en su Jugo," which was great (thinly sliced beef slowly cooked with bacon, cilantro, onion, serrano chili served with mixed bean soup). Tonight, he was leaning towards their most popular, off-menu - but almost always available - pork shank. It comes falling off the bone in a salsa verde. BUT... ribs were on special. Ribs? At a Mexican restaurant? Yes, and Enrique's knows how to do meat, and with a hearty endorsement by the server, that's what he got!
Lightly coated in a tangy and mildly spicy BBQ sauce. Smoky flavor on the outside and falling off the bone on the inside. It's served with tortillas (your choice: flour or corn), so you can make little rib meat tacos too. You also get a plate of broccoli and hand-cut french fries. The picture might not do the presentation justice because everyone around us ohhh'ed and ahhh'ed upon it's arrival at our table. We noticed several of those people ended up ordering the same thing!
Special: Enrique's Ribs
I picked something from the Combination Menu. I thought about just ordering enchiladas since that is my true love, but I really love their Pacific Coast tacos. It's an off-menu item, and it's highly recommended (thanks, Castillo's, for clueing me in!). So, I got the #15: Cheese enchilada, chili verde tamale, and I substituted the regular taco for the Pacific Coast (slight price increase). The plate comes with rice and your choice of refried or black beans - I got the black.
My plate looked amazing, and I knew just where to start. The taco. It was gigantic; so much filling stuffed inside the two corn tortillas. Grilled, seasoned white-meat chicken, guacamole, lettuce, spicy adobo sauce, and thick shreds of white cheese. It was so good that I felt it would just be wrong to not let Dear Ben have a few bites.
The enchilada in a very mild enchilada sauce was next. I picked some of the cheese off the top and placed it on the rice for later. I've been doing that a lot lately. It was a pretty ordinary enchilada, and that's fine with me. I enjoyed it.
Finally, it was time for the tamale. A nice masa shell filled and topped with chili verde pork. I was getting full, so I only ate half. I could have continued stuffing myself, but it really wasn't my favorite tamale. It didn't take away from the experience at all though; Dear Ben is going to love it leftover.
We were both over-the-top full, but we succumbed to the flan. Perfectly formed in a pool of thin carmel sauce and seasoned with a bit more cinnamon. Yum! Dear Ben and I rolled out of Enrique's a very happy couple. Genuine service and hospitality and generous, tasty Mexican fare.
Enrique's Mexican Restaurant
6210 E Pacific Coast Hwy
Long Beach, CA 90803