June is busting out all over, even if the calendar says July. By that, I mean that Latin restaurants are appearing everywhere, especially in the North Dallas/Addison/Carrollton area near mi casa. I have to call them Latin restaurants because they aren't all Tex-Mex, nor Mex-Mex. Surely, these qualify as Latin too, but I'm specifically referring to establishments featuring cuisines from farther south of the border, namely Central and South America. Many of you are no doubt aware of Gloria's, the pride of Salvatex (Mexico plus El Salvador) cuisine, but rest assured, there are plenty of others as well. Since I've been searching lately for new taste sensations (whether or not they have been sweeping the nation), and despite the fact that my lovely wife the Rock Star was temporarily unavailable to assist me in my quest, I decided to explore El Fogon Restaurant one recently Sabbath for lunch.
According to legend, El Fogon started life as one of the only Ecuadoran restaurants in Big D, but since they have added numerous Peruvian and Tex-Mex dishes, their food now can be best described as Latin. I received a very warm welcome from the family/staff, with no fewer than half-a-dozen people attending to my needs. They started to grill me on what types of dishes I usually liked, but I already had my answer. Outside temperature was 110 in the shade, and I knew that one of the best light lunches on such a day would be ceviche. El Fogon boasts several types, but when I discovered the Ceviche Ecuatoriana, I knew I had a winner. Tomato puree was combined with bell peppers, red onion, cilantro, fish (tilapia, I think), and shrimp into a pastoral delight that was cool as the proverbial cucumber and much more satisfying. Served with fresh lime and remarkably good plantain chips, it was infinitely pleasing, and made me eager to try the many other dishes on the menu. Don't worry, there are plenty of familiar menu items for the uncurious, such as quesadillas, nachos, and taquitoes. These came in handy, too, as the owner's family was dining at the next table and the ninos wanted burritos. Service? Ask yourself this: In how many high-end places will the owner interrupt his own family's repast to refill your tea glass? Not many, I'll warrant. Website for this smallish place can be found at www.elfogondallas.com, where you will find out that Saturdays are Ladies Nights. I'm sure this information will come in handy someday. Discover El Fogon soon, and remember:
LIFE IS TOO SHORT FOR MEDIOCRE FOOD!!!