There is just something about good Mexican food. Comfort food does not get much more comfortable than that, which is probably why there are several good Mexican restaurants in Cuenca. Our favorite is La Enfrijolada.
La Enfrijolada opened five years ago, which is about the time we arrived. Five years is a long time in the here-and-gone Cuenca restaurant scene. They must be doing something right. Not only have they survived, but they have opened a second restaurant, Hummus, serving Lebanese food a few blocks away from the original. (Hummus also hosts a popular food and produce market in front of the restaurant on Wednesday afternoons.)
“They” are Leonardo and Pricilla. Pricilla is Ecuadoran, but spent a few years in Leonardo’s Mexico learning the secrets of Mexican cooking. The result is a restaurant that goes beyond typical Tex-Mex cuisine to prepare Mexican comida typica. The food is like what you might get if a Mexican chef invited you to his home. I have nothing against Tex-Mex food, but it’s rare that you can get this type of home cooking.
It’s difficult to choose a favorite from the menu when you like everything. A good meal for me is black bean soup as a starter followed by cochinita pibil, which is pulled pork tacos moistened with a touch of orange juice. I recently tried the res a la plancha, strips of beef grilled with bacon and served with corn tortillas, which I very much enjoyed. M. seems partial to the enfrijoladas jarochas: chicken burritos covered in a mild bean sauce and crispy bits of chorizo and jalapeno slices. Of course, if there is a special dish on offer, we nearly always choose that since they really give Pricilla a chance to show off her culinary skills.
La Enfrijolada also offers many beverages from fruit juice and soda to a range of mixed drinks. M. has adopted their margarita azul as something of a Friday afternoon standard while I generally have wine. Lately I have been enjoying Sol, a good beer that reminds me of the trips we took to Mexico many years ago.
Of course, drinking in a restaurant can run up the tab anywhere. Some relief is available on Wednesdays when La Enfrijolada participates in Ladies Night and offers selected drinks on a 2 for 1 basis. Their social media feeds also announce occasional drink specials.
I am very happy the La Enfrijolada has stood the test of time and look forward to many more good meals there.
I was unable to find a website for La Enfrijolada, but they have social pages on Facebook and Instagram.
Another review was published in 2016 (Cuenca Highlife) and may be found by clicking here.