Tuesday, February 21, 2017

El Tio

680 Lancaster Avenue
Berwyn, PA 19312
(484) 329-7717

Someone alerted me to El Tio recently, and I thought I might have found a contender for the reigning champion of the Mexican throne in the burbs But unfortunately, it fell a bit short.

I arrived for a Saturday lunch around noon, and they still had the door locked, though they had been open since eleven. The hostess/server was incredibly nice and accommodating, instructing me to sit wherever I wanted.

The menu featured the standard fare for meats. Carnitas are always a plus, and if you don't serve al pastor, then you are doing it wrong.

Some chips and salsa to start. The chips were well salted, though they were not exactly fresh. The salsa had a nice heat to it, despite looking somewhat mild.

Also, some queso, which I ordered after the salsa, because I didn't realize it was offered. The queso had great flavor, but was lukewarm. Almost cold. I like a little more warmth on my melted cheese sauces.

Next up was the entree course. A shredded chicken burrito, smothered in mole and a house platter "El Tio" with al pastor.

The burrito was well endowed, and the shredded chicken was well executed, however the mole was bit lackluster. I guess I am spoiled on the perfect complexity of El Limon, but this seemed a bit flat.

They did not shy away from stuffings.

A well proportioned burrito.

The al pastor had promise, but was pocketed with chewy cartilage and overly fatty cuts. I liked the smoky flavor, and the char the pork received. but having to spit out a bad piece more than once put a damper on my experience. Observe one very said piece below, front and center.

The shredded Queso Chihuahua was a big plus, and melted perfectly on the warm tortillas. The guacamole has a nice acidity, and the beans and rice were alright. Nothing to write home about.

Maybe I caught them after a bad batch from the CarnicerĂ­a, but I really can't stand inedible bits in my meat. Especially al pastor.

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