Isalia's Tex-Mex opened its doors to lovers of tacos, enchiladas, and all things queso.
Story by Nancy Huang
Photos by Jamie Medina
The restaurant opened December of last year right behind Fat Sal’s on Guadalupe. It’s a convenient distance from campus, has a nicely-spaced outdoor patio, and offers generous portions of delicious, authentic, mild-to-spicy, reasonably-priced Tex-Mex dishes to their patrons.
Isalia’s also offers an irresistible deal for any student living on a budget: all-day breakfast tacos for $1.50. I sampled the barbacoa breakfast taco, a flour tortilla loaded with shredded beef and its house-made verde sauce, which it was tasty, even with the extra heat from the sauce. Isalia’s also offers eggs, bacon and bean tacos as part of their all-day breakfast deal.
If you’re not in the mood for breakfast, try one of its classic Tex-Mex appetizers or dishes, including queso (of course), stuffed avocados, barbecue tacos and enchiladas verde. Take your Tex-Mex craving one step further and try Isalia’s Especial — the restaurant’s specialty, which is grilled chicken stuffed into a deep-fried bell pepper.
Isalia’s queso could give Kerbey Lane’s a run for its money. The $4.50 appetizer adds a creamy cheesiness to any meal, and is also reasonably priced for those a college budget. It was rich and immensely filling — heavier than I was used to, but good.
Its avocados are stuffed with chicken, fried, and then smothered in a white sauce. Isalia’s stuffed avocados are just as good as Trudy’s, since there's a thicker layer of avocado surrounding the chicken, and it’s closer to campus.
Enchiladas verde was mild enough for the more conservative tongues, but flavorful enough when accompanied with the restaurant’s green salsa. Topped with melted cheese, the meat inside the tortilla was well-cooked and seasoned.
The Isalia’s Especial is its point of pride. Chicken, cheese, and green bell pepper provided an unfamiliar, but welcome combination of tastes. The bell pepper was a little overpowering, making the chicken seem plain, but the deep-fried bell pepper was satisfying all on its own. All large entrees come with rice and beans, and the restaurant serves complimentary chips and salsa upon entering.
The ambience of the restaurant made it seem like an authentic taqueria, and the breakfast tacos, fried avocados and queso are hard to beat. The Isalia’s Especial, however, had meat that was almost flavorless when eaten with the overpowering green bell pepper. The Enchiladas verde was savory, but more mild than expected for a salsa verde dish. Despite this, Isalia’s is a good place to get your Tex-Mex fix. The service is friendly, polite and willing to recommend the best menu items. Be adventurous with the menu, and enjoy eating at Isalia’s.