Cheese Enchiladas from Carolina's Mexican Food

Tacos may very well be the perfect food, but let's face it, the standard Meximerican fare can get a bit stale after a while. Taco the Town is here to highlight some of the more unusual Mexican finds in the valley.

This week: Cheese Enchiladas from Carolina's Mexican Food

¿Como se dice?: Cheese enchiladas may sound deceptively simple, but we've endured too many greasy masses of corn tortilla that sink to the bottom of out gut, so a place that does cheese enchiladas right is a place that can get the more complex dishes right too. Carolina's will have you forgetting every bland Meximerican enchilada disaster you've encountered (and Phoenix certainly has its fair share). Forget about the soggy platter of rolled tortillas so covered in cheese that it completely obscures the zing of the namesake chile sauce. Carolina's packs a punch and will satisfy even the pickiest of enchilada purists. Plus since you're already there, you can pick up a dozen fluffy, homemade tortillas for later. Never a bad thing.

La Comida y El Sabor: The basic cheese enchilada takes on new dimensions at Carolina's. When something as simple as cheese, tortillas, and red sauce can rival the best Sonoran Mexican food in the valley, you know anything else off the menu is going to be just as solid. Carolina's succeeds where others fail because they recognize that en-chil-adas rely almost entirely on the quality of chiles used in the red sauce. Well, that and the tortillas, and Carolina's has won "Best Of" for their perfect tortillas more times that we can count.

You don't have to worry about a one-dimensional sauce that flounders under the weight of one type of chile, as Carolinas uses a blend of dried chiles that set your mouth a-tingling and pack some serious flavor. None of that perpetrating Tex Mex Kraft-style "enchiladas" made with tomato sauce with a sprinkle of chile powder, just good old fashioned northern Mexican comfort food.

Bring a bit of México to your kitchen: We've previously covered the technique for making perfect enchiladas, which depends largely on the quality of your dried chiles for the saucy base. The blend is different between chefs, and the good news is, you get to eat your mistakes when perfecting your perfect cheese enchilada recipe. After mastering the humble cheese enchilada, move on to enmoladas or enfrijolas to mix it up a bit.

Know of any Mexican gems in the valley? Reveal your family secrets in the comment section.

Follow Chow Bella on Facebook and Twitter and Pinterest.

KEEP PHOENIX NEW TIMES FREE... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Erica O'Neil