In the mood for something new-to-me, we drove away from our normal stomping ground to Azteca’s Mexican Grill on Miller Hill.
When we got there, the chatter was steady with all-ages eaters in the house. It’s bright and bubbly inside, with what looks like handpainted tables, chairs and booths with images of horses, fields, a sunset — all good vibes on a rainy Friday. He got shrimp fajitas; I ordered the Carne Asada y Mas.
Mine came out with a thin pile of rice, a layer of refried beans with flakes of melted cheese, small scoops of guac and pico de gallo in the center, and thin strips of grill-marked steak. It was colorful, simple-looking and tasting of mad flavor.
Hot off the grill, the steak popped, juicy and zingy. The steak’s cut and the marinade are benchmarks of this dish, said Azteca's owner Jenny Delgado. They cut it thinly and marinate it for at least 24 hours with salt seasoning and Italian dressing, she said.
The dish has been on the menu since the restaurant changed hands in 2016, and it’s an authentic Mexican meal. “Carne asada is known for our grill-out. In America, it’s usually T-bones or ribeyes; for us, it’s a carne asada.”
The Carne Asada y Mas (roasted meat and more) comes with a choice of flour or corn tortillas, and an enchilada, tamale, chimichanga or chile relleno (stuffed poblano pepper). I opted for the chicken tamale, which came out dense and warming.
At $15.50, it was plenty of food for a take-home Round 2 — that is, if you don’t forget your leftovers.
Next time, next time.
Azteca’s Mexican Grill
2224 Mountain Shadow Dr.