Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Sol Azteca, Brookline

I love Boston.  I know that that is not an especially surprising statement. It seems pretty obvious from flipping through A Boston Food Diary.  I love that it sits on the ocean rendering a great Lobster Roll in the summer.  I love that it has a fantastic Italian influence in the North End.  I love that Fenway sits in the middle of this great city making it easy to enjoy a hot dog and a game.  I love that many different people of different ethnic backgrounds have found places to open restaurants celebrating their culture.  However, there is one area which seems to allude us up here in the Northeast.  We can get some good Cantonese food, some darn decent French, we have places that celebrate Greek cuisine, and some rock star sushi, but for some reason, we are sorely lacking in tried and true, delicious Mexican food.  Yes, there are a handful of places that are authentic and tasty, but by and large, Mexican food in Boston appears to be a mass of some sort of protein, wrapped in an elastic type tortilla with tasteless re fried beans heaped on top and all covered with a mountain of cheese.  Don't get me wrong- I love cheese- but really?  Is this REALLY how we're celebrating the culture of Mexico?  It appears that for every dozen of these garishly decorated spots, there is one, or maybe two places that put love and care into every dish that they create and truly present the beauty and complexity of Mexican cuisine.  One such place lies in Sol Azteca, located both on Beacon Street in Brookline, and in Newton Center.

Over the past couple of weeks I have dined at Sol Azteca multiple times and each time I have been greeted by a friendly staff, who are helpful with the menu and with a joke from time to time if needed.  Each time I have been I have ordered the same, beef fajitas.  The steak is tender, and arrives to the table almost sizzling, but not in that Chili's type of way, in a good, delicious way with the aroma of the peppers and onion cooked with beef mingling with spices to give off an inviting scent.  Rice and beans accompany the dish, but the rice is clean and well seasoned, not overly salted as I've found other places.  The guacamole served with is made fresh, with chunks of avocados mercifully spared from the masher and giving the spread the most enjoyable texture.  My favorite part though?  The tortillas served to encase the other ingredients, are homemade, and have the perfect subtle cornmeal flavor that can only be an authentic tortilla.  They are served warm and supple, up to the challenge that I put before them of over stuffing- because really if you aren't a mess after eating a fajita-whats the point?

Other good points to Sol Azteca- their delicious mole sauces, served in several varieties, the salsa served with the chips at the start of the meal- though it isn't spicy it is addictive and delicious, and the lovely server who will tolerate Spanish speaking...for a while.  Though Sol Azteca holds merely a candle to its West Coast counterparts, it is a delicious fix for a sit down Mexican meal here in Boston.


Sol Azteca on Urbanspoon


Anonymous said...

I love Mexican! Sol Azteca is one of my favorites. Even though I never had their fajitas. I do have to say their chicken Quesadillas are amazing. Also Nachitos may be the Nachos in town.

The Small Boston Kitchen said...

Yes, yes, YES! Love Sol Azteca! And I personally say that their mole is amazing! Great recap!

Emily said...

Sol Azteca is one of my all time faves. Have you tried Casa Romero or Ole? Also really great Mexican, in my opinion.

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