El Naranjo left Oaxaca just before being mortared into the ground. Now, they're finally going brick-n-mortar here in Austin, moving into a Rainey St bungalow behind their original trailer location, giving it an authentic-yet-modern look via cleanly finished contrasting hardwoods.
Meals start with biscuits replacing tortilla chips (w/ lime butter and a trio of salsas), followed by starters like Western Mexican-influenced Enchiladas Placeras de Jicama (stuffed w/ ancho, guajillo, and topped by 'peno, cotija, potatoes & carrots) and Nopales Clasicos: a salad of tomatoes, serranos, chiles, white onion, cilantro, and cactus paddles, though why the hell do you have a canoe in the desert?
More substantial eats include a chile relleno bursting with tomato-almond-sauced slow-braised pork, rotating moles like Pipian Verde al Estilo de Puebla (pumpkin seeds, green herbs, shrimp), and mains such as rabbit marinated in dried chile sauce and cooked in parchment, so good luck reading that illuminated manuscript from 8th-century Ireland.
Refreshments include Mexi-beers (Bohemia, Negra Modelo, Victoria), margaritas starting at $4 and fueled by Luna Azul reposado, and a South American-heavy wine list that'll ensure you end your night wanting to make it Rainey, even if you live in a trailer.
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