Sol Irlandes Mexican Grill

Written by on November 11, 2011 in I Eat America, I Eat...Out with 0 Comments

( – Dallas, Texas

How I heard of this place: Visiting our friend Niky for the weekend, Chris and I were in the mood for one of three things: Mexican (Tex-Mex), burgers, or BBQ. Niky recommended Sol Irlandes as our lunch-time dining spot since the food is good, it is close to her work and the rustic, elegance of a Tex-Mex vibe is present.

Type of cuisine: Tex-Mex at its finest. Sol Irlandes has won several awards for best lunch in Dallas and they boast is proudly on their menus. Baked potatoes, Texas-style, chalupas, rellenos, open-faced steak sandwiches, burritos, they have it all.

Ambiance: “Constructed between 1892 and 1895, the Sol Irlandes building remains one of the oldest standing structures in beautiful downtown Dallas. Representing the architectural style that was prevalent in Dallas’ central business district during the late 19th century and early 20th centuries, the facade survives as one of the three finely detailed Italiante-styled commercial structures left from the era. Joseph B. Young, a local real estate investor, has been credited with it’s construction, but downtown investor Guy Sumpter purchased the building soon after. For many years it served as a retail location as the Leggitt Drug Store and was later expanded to become a Woolworth 5 and 10 store. Stone street offered early residents of Dallas an easy route from the retail stores and offices lining Main Street to the entertainment district that was Elm Street. During the 1930’s, 40’s and 50’s, Stone street was often referred to as the “Avenue of Many Uses”. In 1966, the city closed the street and created a small urban plaza. It quickly became a haven for street preachers, as well as hippies and beatniks.” Our impression: modern rustic. Brick-faced outdoors leads into deep, rich, thick wooden interior with glass windows from floor to loft-height ceilings looking out. Upon entering the dark space, the restaurant bar can be seen to your right, and a large set of stairs to the left. We were offered seats at the top of the staircase in the loft area. As we made our way up, four small, rusted fans, set together like a chandelier intrigued our eyes and artful senses. The bar below lit ever so slightly and the sparkle of bottles caught our attention as the sunlight just barely made its way through the windows. Several large, flat-screen televisions, almost to the point of having been painted onto the walls could be spotted throughout the establishment, allowing die-hard football fans the opportunity to never be away from the game. At the top of the stairs, the dijon mustard-yellow sponge-painted walls gave color and life to the loft seating area. A rusted wire and metal sun hanging just over the kitchen brought your eyes and attention back to the stairwell and the oversized vase at the top. Brick walls with flickering, flame-like lanterns between floor-to-ceiling rounded-top windows set against the dark wooden floor planks and thick wooden tables set against dark, wooden chairs gave the sense of an old western saloon; while contrasting brightly colored napkins in greens, reds, blues and whites rolled around eating utensils sat atop white plates. A second bar and kitchen area stood at the back of the large, open room, where drinks could be mixed and mini bowls of fresh, spicy salsa kept.

What I ordered: I was immediately attracted to the Steak & Enchiladas ($12) and couldn’t be steered away. The quarter pound of mesquite-grilledfajita steak served over grilled onions and drizzled with chile con queso, with two enchiladas of my choice (chicken and cheese) with my sauce of choice (chile con queso: chopped tomatoes and jalapenos simmered in a rich cheese sauce. Spicy!) came served with Spanish rice and Corpus Crispi vegetables including corn, zucchnini, red onion, and red bell peppers.

Steak Fajitas

Chris chose the Carne Asada ($19), Prime rib eye steak seasoned with a spicy ancho chile rub and topped with sauteed peppers and onions, served with Spanish rice, Borracho beans, guacamole, and pico de gallo.

Steak Asada

Niky selected the Lunch Chimicanga ($8) off of the lunch specials menu, a large flour tortilla stuffed with beef taco meat and fried crispy, served with Spanish rice and refried beans.

Lunch Entree

To drink, the girls went with water, and Chris requested lemonade ($2.25), the pink drink, sweet and tart all in one.

What I loved: Of the two dishes sampled, the steak on Chris’s plate was much more tender and full of tex-mex flavor. The cheesy enchilada just that, full of cheesy goodness. Overall, I was most impressed with and excited about the vibrant medly of soft yet crispy vegetables on my plate; and even more pleased to know that there was enough of them to last until the final bite! The spicy salsa, too, offered us with warm tortilla chips gave our tastebuds a real treat upon first being seated.

Why I loved it: The rustic and warm, cozy feel of the space, the friendly servers and all of the food, keeping us full and satisfied until the wee hours!

Cost: Average to high ($10-$20 per lunch entree)

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