When Is An Enchilada Not An Enchilada?

NACHOS AND BEER AT FRIJOLITO.

I don’t have a punchline to the title of this post. Well, maybe I do. But it’s not funny. An enchilada is not an enchilada, apparently, when it is served at the “Mexican” restaurant Frijolitos in Sevilla. San Geraldo, Teré, and I went to Frijolitos las night for dinner. San Geraldo loves Mexican food, and he loves nachos.

I’d been told the food at Frijolitos is good… and authentic. It was good. But, it wasn’t really what we know as Mexican. We ordered a plate of nachos with just guacamole and “salsa.” Although the guacamole came from a jar, it had good flavor. San Geraldo ordered another nachos plate for his main course, this time with chicken and beans and all the other fixings. I ordered a beef enchilada. My dish arrived and I thought I had received the wrong thing. But Teré said it was the enchilada. It was a small casserole smothered in melted cheese. Beneath the thick layer of delicious cheese, the bowl was filled with a ground beef mixture that was also delicious. No tortilla in sight. It was definitely not a Mexican enchilada. I still enjoyed it, but we won’t be heading over there again any time soon anyway (definitely not the friendliest place in town… not by a long-shot). However, we had a great evening. The food, although not what we expected, was good. Besides, we were with Teré. We couldn’t have a bad time.

 I NEVER DID FIND THE REAL ENCHILADA, BUT IT TASTED GOOD.

In Sevilla over this past year, I’ve learned that just about every word can be made more endearing by adding “ito” or “ita” to the end. I’ve for years called The Dowager Duchess “Mamasita” which turns “Mama” into “Little Mama.” And I knew I could do the same with just about any name. I often call Teré Teresita. But I had no idea how commonly it’s done in Southern Spain for just about everything. Our first week at El Sanedrín, we noticed café (coffee) being referred to as cafelito; zumo (juice) is quite often zumito; tostadas, tostaditos. Even a cuchilla (knife) is often called a cuchillita. A very popular beer from Mexico is Corona. So, when Teré said last night she’d love a Coronita, I thought it was just more local talk. I myself ordered a Corona. Then I saw the label. It turns out the brand sells in Spain as Coronita. Although it was served with a little slice of lemon as opposed to a little wedge of lime, it tasted pretty much the same.

If we do feel the need for a more authentic-tasting Mexican meal, we’ll stick with Iguanas Ranas. It’s a high-quality chain restaurant. We went to one near IKEA a while back and more recently went to the newer one closer to home, across the street from the Archives, which are across the street from the Cathedral. Iguanas Ranas serve a delicious and recognizable seafood enchilada. I’m sure they’ve got Coronitas. And they even have baby Margaritas for San Geraldo. I wonder if they should be called Margaritatitas.

SAN GERALDO’S BABY MARGARITA AT IGUANAS RANAS.
BETTER NACHOS AT IGUANAS RANAS WITH FRESH GUACAMOLE.
THE IGUANAS RANAS MENU WITH ONE OF ITS ODDLY WORDED DESCRIPTIONS.
THE DOWAGER DUCHESS WOULD NOT APPROVE.

Author: Moving with Mitchell

From Brooklyn, New York; to North Massapequa; back to Brooklyn; Brockport, New York; back to Brooklyn... To Boston, Massachusetts, where I met Jerry... To Marina del Rey, California; Washington, DC; New Haven and Guilford, Connecticut; San Diego, San Francisco, Palm Springs, and Santa Barbara, California; Las Vegas, Nevada; Irvine, California; Sevilla, Spain. And Fuengirola, Málaga..

17 thoughts on “When Is An Enchilada Not An Enchilada?”

  1. I remember being in Madrid for the first time and ordering a tortilla. We received a thick egg omelette, delicious but not what we were expecting. Probably not much turkey there in Spain but I wish you both a very Happy Thanksgiving.

    1. Stephen:
      Yep, we learned about Spanish tortillas before we arrived here. When in Spain, I expect a Spanish tortilla… unless I go to a Mexican restaurant. Then I expect a Mexican tortilla!

      Hope you had a happy Thanksgiving (Día de Gracia). We went to Restaurante Catalina. They seemed to be all out of turkey and pumpkin pie (permanently all out). But we had an amazing meal anyway.

  2. Dear Mitchell,
    I think that I would like the Spanish Enchilada over the Mexican ones. It looked very nice.

    Interestingly we often called our Mother Mamasita when we were children but we never knew it was Spanish – it was just an affectation I suppose. Nowadays we just call her Mama.

    Kirk

    1. Kirk:
      Oh, but I LOVE Mexican-style seafood enchiladas (especially with shrimp and crab).

      I still often call my mother Mamasita, especially when I send an email. She's got so many nicknames now, though, it's hard to keep track.

  3. I certainly hope that among their main dishes "iguanitas" and "ranitas" are not part of the menu.

    saludos,
    raulito

    1. Judeet:
      That's the funny thing here. The diminutives, "ita" and "ito," are added to the ends of words even when they're not meant to be diminutive. That Coronita is a full-sized bottle. It's the name for the brand here. I like the idea of a smaller bottle! Must have been a fun wedding.

Share your thoughts and experiences. It's always nice to know I'm not alone.