Being a great taco in Austin is a little bit like being a supermodel in Brazil – meaning, it's hard for Mexican food to shine, really shine. Yet somehow El Naranjo is a Mexican restaurant that I, a San Antonio native, can't stop thinking about since my recent visit. Was it their chocolatey mole sauce? The juicy pork bursting out of their chili relleno? How about their orange flan – a dessert I was all prepared to hate, until that first transcendent bite, when my tongue had the good fortune to taste that silky pudding sliced through with citrus? It's probably all of the above, these tributes to Mexican food traditionalism – reminding me that sometimes, the best food is classic food, handled with care.
Rainey Street's newest addition, and my
my, is it a welcome one. A food trailer-turned-upscale restaurant, El Naranjo applies a more culinary eye to your standard Mexican fare. Order the delicious, cocoa-tinged mole sauce on absolutely anything (except, perhaps, the flan).