Elena's Taco Shop
6105 Summer Ave. #101
There was a LOT of hype when Elena's opened last year and I wanted to check it out immediately. I tried to take the monkeys (Satchel, 11, and Jiro, 9) on a Friday night for dinner one night, but Warren warned that I should call first since it was almost 7:00pm. Who doesn't stay open past 7:00 on a Friday night? I asked with a shitty tone of voice. Elena's doesn't, that's who. (Neither does Elwood's Shack which is why I haven't been there either.)
So, a few weeks later, Warren brought some fish tacos and carne asada fries home after one of his Saturday Kendo classes in Bartlett. I had my fix, and then pretty much forgot about it. Luckily, when we found ourselves out in Bartlett this past Saturday, Warren suggested we all for lunch.
I was a little surprised to see that it was attached to a gas station. And it's really not in the best part of town, or even on the best part of Summer Ave., so the early closing hour makes more sense now.
Inside it is very colorful and has a surfer theme.
You order at the counter and then sit down. There's a nice big menu board to help you decide what to order, in case the huge photo of the carne asada fries on the window doesn't suck you in.
They also have kids meals for $3.99. Both monkeys went for those, with drink upgrades from fountain to Jarrito. Warren got a tamale (since it was Saturday and that's the only day you can get one) and an order of carne asada fries, and I got two fish tacos and an order of chips and salsa. Our total was $31.07.
One of the most exciting things about Elena's is the salsa bar.
While I finished up the ordering and paying, Warren and the kids got a sample of each and every one to go with our chips.
When you buy chips & salsa ($1.99) you get one big cup to fill with your favorite salsa. I was a little cranky about having to pay for chips and then getting such a small serving, but Satchel later pointed out that we barely finished them before our food came out.
Warren's pork tamale came first. He said it was really good.
Jiro took one bite of his carne asada taco and said, "Oh my gosh this is so good."
Satchel's flautas came out with lettuce, tomato, and sour cream on top despite ordering them plain, so we had to wait a few minutes for them to get them corrected.
Satchel, who was already smitten with the salsa bar, specifically the "Oakland" salsa, said, "I hate to say this, but this but this is better than the Rhodes buffet." (I took his soccer team to the Rhodes College refectory, aka "The Rat," which is all you can eat, for our end of season party last week and they LOVED it.)
Jiro quickly defended the Rat. "No, it's not! Well...some of it is."
This was high praise from the monkeys who were already planning their birthday parties at the Rat.
My fish tacos were very tasty and very filling. I went with the fried ones at the cashier's suggestion. I also really like the fluffy rice. The beans are nothing special but good.
Let's be real. It was all about the carne asada fries.
They were so good I couldn't get a clear shot of them!
The only other thing I would like to note is that the pickled carrots & peppers on the salsa bar are also quite tasty.
Elena's is definitely worth the drive. The people are nice, the service is good, and the food is tasty.