El Vecino is a good sized place in a small shopping center in the Casa Linda area. The bare wood tables are well spaced and set with cloth napkins wrapped around the flatware. The colors are bright and the place is too, but there are windows all across the front to the outside free parking lot. They offer a good sized menu with lunch specials for weekdays, special selections for brunch on weekends and some summer specials. They have a second location that has opened in Travis Walk but we were at the original. They have a full bar and you will see it when you first enter. It has stools so you could probably eat there if they were full. There are benches on the covered patio out front, I’m guessing for waiting. The name “El Vecino” translates to neighbor and they want to be a neighborhood place, opening in the fall of 2017. The owners, the McBride family, have Mexican restaurants in their blood with his grandfather starting El Fenix and he working in NYC’s Rosa Mexicano. Service was efficient but did try to ‘upsale’ extra stuff to order several times.
Tables are serviced with warm crisp corn chips and two kinds of salsa, one red and the other green. The chips were slightly salted and very crisp and corn flavored. They tasted good on their own. Neither of the salsas were very spicy but the green had the slightest kick but I thought it was a tad thin. The red had better texture and was easier to dip.
We had the Steak Fajita with Eggs which included grilled fajita steak, three eggs sunny side up, guacamole, pico de gallo, corn tortillas and refried beans. The meat was tender and flavorful and the eggs properly cooked. The corn tortillas were thin but nice and the guacamole was excellent. It was made with chunks of flavorful avocado and seasonings. The beans were okay and overall it was a tasty and generous plate of food.
Charley’s Choice contained a brisket enchilada with guajillo sauce, chicken mole enchilada, a shrimp enchilada with poblano cream, spinach/poblano-green rice and black beans. It was another generous plate of food. All sauces were different but blended well (they do run together on the plate and mix with both rice and beans). The fillings were moist and also flavorful and they were all well stuffed. The tortillas weren’t the most tender I’ve eaten in enchiladas but they were acceptable and I’d order them again. The rice and black beans would rate only an okay but I look forward to going back and trying some more of their offerings.