Doña Chela's is located across the street from Immaculate Heart of Mary Church in Houston's Magnolia Park neighborhood, so on Sunday mornings this place is bumpin'.
But, during the week, you can find plenty of seating and a laid back atmosphere perfect for a hump day feast.
And feast we did.
I was my usual hangry (whaaaat??) self and had some trouble deciding on what I wanted. The menu at Doña Chela's is HUGE and includes many awesome pictures of the dishes it features. However, one such picture kept calling my name: las Enchiladas Mexicanas. For those who are unaware, these are not your typical Tex-Mex chili con carne enchiladas.
Enchiladas mexicanas feature white queso fresco that is both rolled inside lightly fried corn tortillas and crumbled on top. This cheese does not give you the super cheesy Tex-Mex version of enchiladas. Instead, these enchiladas are light in weight but packed full of flavor.
The tomato-based sauce is flavored with garlic, onions, and red chiles. After the corn tortillas are lightly fried, they're dipped in the red sauce before being filled with queso fresco, rolled, and placed on your plate. It is typical to top enchiladas mexicanas with carrots and potatoes.
With every bite I could taste the wonderful flavor of all the ingredients in the sauce. The potatoes and carrots were garlicky and cooked to a perfect soft texture. And the pairing of the cool, crisp lettuce and a squirt of lime juice added a complementary tanginess to every bite.
Oh, there was a quesadilla plate at the table too.
I want to emphasize how delicious these quesadillas were because I feel like they look a little flat in the picture above. But, in fact, the tortillas were made in-house and had a soft, doughy texture to them. The meat was cooked tender. The white cheese inside was not layered too thick and did not overwhelm each bite. Once my quesadilla was peeled apart and filled with the appropriate amounts of guacamole, lettuce, tomato, and the wonderfully garlicky salsa verde, I almost forgot to snap a picture!
Appreciate my depth of field in this taco pic.
These quesadillas were PACKED with flavor despite their thin appearance. This just proves that you can't judge a taco by its thickness!
And for those who are wondering, yes, there was an actual taco on our table as well. Un taco de tripitas that were not over-fried or seasoned. After a squeeze of lime and a dollop of salsa verde was added, the taco was prime for tasting.
Sorry for the blurry picture but I was asked to HURRY UP. Lol.
This taco was served on the same soft and doughy flour tortillas that the quesadillas were made with. Every bite was made up of a soft texture that may have been better complimented with the crunch of freshly diced onion and/or cilantro, which I'm sure would be provided upon request.
I also want to highlight the delicious salsa ranchera served with the chips while you await your entrees. This salsa is served warm and has a spicy kick to it. It is not perfectly blended, which means there are delicious chunks of tomato and cooked jalapeños. We could not get enough of it!
If you're looking for some delicious Mexican food in a calm atmosphere for a weekday dinner, then stop by Doña Chela's and let us know what you ordered!
Shout out to my mom and her boyfriend for introducing us to this spot! ;)
Price of our meal:
1 quesadilla plate
1 enchiladas mexicanas plate
5 taquitos de fajita de pollo
1 taco de tripitas
2 iced teas
Total: $35.00 (and some change)
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