Monday, March 8, 2010

Vega's Cafe

Today Ian and I were dropping off an order to a customer in the Northwest so we had the perfect excuse to drop into Vega's Cafe, a restaurant my family has been eating at since I was a little girl. The location has changed a couple of times, and although it is now a lot further from us than it ever has been, the new spot is definitely an improvement upon the previous two. Well, at least the last location. I'll always remember the dimmed lights, big red booths and glass blower tucked in the corner of the second dining room at the first place on Charleston. I am really glad they have moved from their seedier early locations, however, to one that is more welcoming to those who don't already know how good the food is.

The restaurant is run by Ernie, who does the serving, and his wife Celia, who does all the cooking. She makes the best flour tortillas in Vegas and is also known for her famous chile rellenos, which she makes using pasilla peppers rather than the more common anaheim chiles. She covers it in a delicous white sauce that is from an old family recipe she won't share. After making the same food for thirty years you would expect it to be something special, and it is. I often get the chile verde bowl with tender chicken but today we shared another favorite, the machaca burrito enchilada style ($9.75). This is made wrapping machaca, or shredded beef and eggs, in one of her home-made tortillas which is then baked with enchilada sauce and gooey cheese and accompanied by fluffy rice and smooth refried beans. You really don't need to add much to one of her tortillas, and it almost seems like a shame to add so many other delicious components, but the fantastic flavor is still able to come through. Everything about it just works.

To top it off, each dish always tastes exactly the same, which is no easy feat for a non-chain restaurant. No matter how many times they've moved, the food hasn't changed one bit with the passing of time. This is comfort Mexican food that is done well, and I strongly recommend you try it, even if it is a little out of the way for most of the Valley's residents.

Tip: On Monday, Wednesday, and Friday the soup of the day is fideo, or noodle soup, and on Tuesday and Thursday it's albondigas, or meatball. I prefer the albondigas because the noodles in the fideo get mushy. Also, don't come here on a diet!

Today's Food Rating: 8.5
Would we go back? NO REASON TO STOP NOW!

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