Living in San Antonio, a city literally filled to the brim with delicious Mexican food, why would I travel 20 minutes outside of downtown to get my taco fix from an Anglo and an Iranian-American? The answer is enchilacos. Yes, you read that correctly, and I’m sure your mind is already running wild with visuals of cheesy goodness wrapped in a soft warm flour tortilla filled with sour cream, guacamole, cheddar cheese, and a fresh pineapple salsa. Enchilada + taco = enchilaco.
Raul’s Enchilacos is owned and operated by friends Raul Vela (top photo) and Saam Miremadi and is located in the rural town of Floresville, Texas. In spite of its location, the roadside shop has gathered a cult-like following.
Let me stop here and say that I am not a food writer. I’m just a guy – a photographer by trade – who loves to share a good idea that everyone wishes they had come up with first. The enchilaco is that idea, the kind of thing that passed us all up – all except Vela and Miremadi.
“I knew it was good because since I was a little kid I always put cheese enchiladas in tortillas whenever I would go to Mexican restaurants,” Vela said. “I never saw it on a menu, nobody ever thought to make that into a menu item.”
Raul’s Enchilacos isn’t located in a highly-trafficked area, to put it mildly. Hungry patrons from San Antonio have to make special plans for the half-hour drive to their enchilaco lunch or dinner.
The small, blue rectangular building serves as a perfect venue when my good friend and fellow photographer, Josh Huskin and I want to meet up. One might even say it’s the glue, I mean queso, that holds our friendship together. We often align our schedules for a visit to the natural habitat of the enchilaco and it’s worth it. Every. Time.
Vela said the location in Floresville, 101 Creekwood Dr., is prime because of the inexpensive rent.
“It was a good way to start this up and get our reputation brewing,” Vela said. “Now that it’s been brewing for a while I feel like if we did make a move to San Antonio we would be pretty well received and there would be enough people there to catch us. I would definitely expect that soon, but soon can mean a lot of things.”
The menu features more than just cheese enchilacos. Chicken, barbacoa, and pulled pork varieties of the enchilaco are available, along with the TRES Hombres Nachos which serves at least three guests. The quesalaco, an enchilaco in a quesadilla, is an off-menu item, and it’s hard not to want to devour the thing, I secretly kind of want to live in it.
In closing, Raul’s Enchilacos is an oasis in the desert, the kind of place that takes a dedicated customer to carefully plan his or her schedule revolving around enchilacos, not the other way around. One thing is for sure, if the restaurant moves to San Antonio you’ll have to get in line behind me.
I’ll leave you with a 30 second elevator pitch given by the man himself, Raul Vela.
“Ding. Hey man, are you bored with what you usually eat? Have you ever heard of an enchilada inside a taco? You haven’t? Well I’m the only one in the world who does it and you can get it in Floresville, Texas. Have a nice day.”
*Featured/top image: Raul Vela stands in front of Raul’s Enchilacos. Photo by Scott Ball.