Food Porn: El Canelo

*** UPDATE: Since this article has been written El Canelo has moved from this Downtown location to the south towns in a plaza across the street from the McKinley Mall.

It had been a while since I had visited a Mexican restaurant and when my brother (who is an avid Mighty Taco fan) came to hang out with me downtown, I knew that we had to get some Mexican.  This was my first time going to El Canelo, but I had heard that it was one of the more “authentic” Mexican restaurants in Buffalo.  As soon as we walked  in we were seated, given a drink and a basket of chips and a dish of salsa.  Their service is top notch.

The home-made tortilla chips tasted like they had just come out of the fryer; they were warm and fresh.  The salsa wasn’t incredible but the chips were so good on their own, it really didn’t matter.

I haven’t had a hard shell taco in a long, long time.  I use to look forward to eating bunches of them at a time in the school cafeteria or at home on Taco night.  I don’t know what happened since then, but now I always go for the burrito or soft shell.  Well, after having two of El Canelo’s hard shell tacos I might come out of hard shell retirement.  Their fresh ground beef was delicious, and the taco included a generous amounts of shredded cheese and shredded lettuce.  They were part of the Special Dinner for Two ($14.99) that we ordered, which also included:

A Chalupa: a shallow corn cup that is formed by deep frying dough and then covering it with beef, shredded lettuce, cheese, tomato slices and optional guacamole.

Tamal: (to the far left) which is beef steamed inside a leaf wrapper

A Burrito and some Spanish Rice and Refried Beans (to the right)

A Chille Relleno: which is traditionally a chili filled with cheese and a meat or pork then typically fried after being coated in batter (not in this case) and covered with a tomato sauce

And, finally, an Enchilada: basically a burrito covered in a chili pepper sauce

It was a pretty decent sized feast for two people to share, and for 14.99 it was a really great price.  The Chalupa was very tasty; the corn tortilla very fresh and still warm.  The Tamal wasn’t my favorite menu item as there didn’t seem to be a lot of flavor in the meat.  The burrito and enchilada went great with the sides of refried beans and guacamole.  All in all, this Mexican experience was probably the closest I could get to eating “authentic” Mexican food while living in Buffalo (if there is a place you consider to be even more “authentic” please let me know).  I realize that we will never be Los Angeles, Texas, or any state with proper Mexican food (including Taco trucks which I would kill for on Allen). But,  for a really good price (almost everything on their menu is under 9 dollars), you can enjoy a delicious and filling meal at El Canelo.

El Canelo on Urbanspoon

2 thoughts on “Food Porn: El Canelo

  1. RJ

    Glad you didn’t get food poisoning. I went there once, and all four of us in our party got a bad case of it. Violently ill for days on end. And the food was terrible.

  2. JC King

    Looks like the same fozen enchiladas & tamales you get from Chichis’ or La Talteca. Buffalo needs an authentic Mexican joint.

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