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Abel's Mexican Restaurant | Dishin & Dishes
I thought since I have been Tweeting and Facebooking so much about my addiction to Abel’s, that I should probably go ahead and write up a review on it. Located a mere stone’s throw from my workplace, this place is way to close for me to eat at about three to four times a week now. You can’t miss Abel’s. Located just East of Macarthur on 50th Street, the brightly painted building is pretty easy to find. Warning: This place is highly addictive! In fact, just yesterday, Mr. Wonderful met our youth pastor Dan there for lunch and then asked me if I wanted to go back for dinner. This is a true feat for Mr. Wonderful. He just isn’t into eating at the same places over and over. I can eat Thai food every day of the week, but if I try to talk him into that? I get the “no way” look out of him. Walking into Abels for the first time, I was surprised to see that we got the last table in the place. If there is one thing to dislike about Abel’s, it’s that there are too many people in there! But doesn’t that just speak volumes about the food? That was taken with my phone. Do you have any idea the looks you get when you snap pictures in restaurants? The customer base seems to be largely Hispanic. When you’re eating cultural food, it’s always a good sign to see that the people of that culture flock to a place. When I see that, I know it’s going to be a good “street culinary experience”. That’s how I knew where to buy the best Pho soup also. I’m also a table gazer at these places. I see what the locals are eating and then grab my waiter or waitress and say “What’s THAT?” Sometimes you get things that aren’t even on the menu that way. Like the first time I went to Abel’s I got fish tacos that way. Nicely seasoned and grilled to perfection along with some onions strips and laid out on a double stack of homemade corn tortillas, these were delicious. These weren’t on the menu, but one cost $2.00 and we easily made two and a half tacos out of the amount of filling. I might mention at this point, there is this amazing green sauce they bring out in a squeeze bottle. It’s green and contains pureed avocados and something like a Salsa Verde with some sort of chilis and I adore it. They also bring out another sauce in a squeeze bottle that tastes like some sort of homemade tobasco sauce. It’s also delicious. The first time I went, I went with my friend Pam from work. I have learned to ask for additional salsas at Mexican restaurants so when I asked our waitress, she said they had one with avocado in it so I said “bring it!” Thinking I’d get a little dish of salsa, we were pleasantly surprised when this arrived. The waitress had misunderstood what I wanted, and brought us a specialty item that I never found on the menu. She charged us $3.00 for it, but it was scrumptious. It had roasted jalapenos and tomatoes with almost an entire avocado smashed into it. We were wiping the moisture underneath our eyes, but oh was this good…and huge! We took half of it home. I took Mr. Wonderful and Chris & Laura back the next Sunday. This was a milestone day in my life. This was the day I tried the Tacos Calvillos. If you’ve tried street tacos before, these will blow anything you’ve had right off the planet. The corn tortillas are homemade, the steak meat so moist and juicy and flavorful, you’ll roll your eyes in wonder. They’re capped off with a sprinkling of cilantro and onions and served with a bevy of lime wedges, radishes and cucumbers. Squeeze a bit of that green sauce over them? Heaven. Mr. Wonderful and Chris decided on ordering something else – and they both ordered the same thing (such a no no to this food blogger’s mind!). The 7 Mares soup ($13.59). This was a huge steamy bowl of soup loaded with seven types of seafood – octopus, Crab Claws, Catfish, Shrimp, White Clams, Crab Meat (imitation I think) and Mussels. It was floating in a sea of spiced vegetable broth and was served with rice, lime, cilantro and onions. Neither of them finished this. It was a lot of food. Laura got the Huevos Rancheros ($6.99) which consisted of three beautifully cooked, over-easy eggs that were topped with Salsa Verde and had a side of rice and beans. I didn’t take a picture and I don’t know why..sorry…I had probably had one bite of my Tacos Calvillos and lost my mind. On the way to our next visit we paid to Abels, my car temperature told me it was 106º outside and I had seen many people with these the visit before. I had to try one. This is what the customers at Abel’s call their Shrimp Cocktail and it’s kind of like a Mexican gazpacho. It’s served in the same thick glass-footed mug that their salt and lime zest lined beer is served in. However, the menu calls it Cocktail De Camaron (Small $6.99 and large $10.99). This was sooooo pleasing to me on this hot day. The base is V8 juice mixed with some of the spicy tabasco sauce and lime juice and another sweet secret ingredient that I pried out of our waiter (you wouldn’t believe what it is!). Then there is a huge mound of freshly chopped tiny tomato and onion pieces along with some large chunks of fresh avocado and chopped fresh cilantro. The small serving has about 6 or 7 jumbo shrimp in it and the large holds a dozen. Both are in the same amount of tomato sauce and other veggies. The shrimp is the main difference. I absolutely loved this and went back for another one the next day for lunch. …