Guess where I ate today! El Palenque Mexican Restaurant
Anytime my mom and I are tasked with getting dinner for just the two of us, we usually try to eat somewhere that we wouldn’t get to if we were with my dad. My dad not being the biggest fan of Mexican cuisine, we chose El Palenque to grab dinner on a recent night. Both the interior and exterior still show the buildings past as a Denny’s, which is what it was the last time I stepped foot in the building some five or six years ago to grab breakfast before going to my father’s restaurant which was located just down Sheridan Drive. Although hints of it’s past shine through, the interior has been some-what remodeled, designed to mimic a traditional Mexican cantina. Corona was also a common theme in the decor. There was a pretty steady flow of traffic for a Thursday night but we did not have to wait for a table. After being seated, our waiter brought chips and salsa that rendered the decision of what appetizer to order pointless and this was plenty to keep us tide over until our food arrived.
The Meal: After a minor argument between my mom and I about who should order what, I settled on the Enchilada On Salsa Verde which contained peppers, onions, tomatoes served beneath tomatillo salsa. The flavors involved in this dish co-existed beautifully with not one overpowering another. My sole disappointment lies with the flour tortilla of the enchilada that ended up to have the texture of a greasy Communion wafer. When smothered in tomatillo sauce, one tends to overlook this aspect and continues to enjoy the rest of his meal, which tasted fantastic. In an attempt to get a fuller view of their menu selections, I additionally ordered a single beef taco which was also very tasty. If a Mexican restaurant doesn’t have a good taco meat, it doesn’t have much going for it now does it? My mom ordered the Enchilada Suizas which was basically the same dish as mine with a cheese sauce rather than tomatillo.
Closing Thoughts: Looks are deceiving. What looks like a “pop-up-shop” restaurant in former diner, turns out to be an excellent Mexican restaurant. Many foodies joke about the lack of authentic Mexican food in the buffalo area, and I generally agree that we are lacking in Mexican department, but El Palenque is about as close as you will get in the area. We only dropped $30 for this meal, including tip and for that price, it’s a refreshing change from the standby drive-thru “Mexican” of Mighty Taco.