Weigh the pros and cons of El Campanario.
Carnitas Don Ramón
This is the Tuesday special, and you know the carnitas are going to be good because El Campanario is little brother to Adelita’s, where they know a thing or two about braising and then carmelizing “little meats.” Let it all hang out by choosing french fries instead of beans.
These are housemade and well-cut with potato skins left on and a light dusting of red chile. Don’t be afraid to ask for 30 seconds of extra fry time—they’re sometimes served a little soft.
A velvety twist on classic chilaquiles, the mole version is made particularly lusty because of the delicious, fresh-made corn tortillas.
Fried Ice Cream
It’s hard to go wrong by coating a hard-frozen ball of ice cream in cornflakes and deep-frying it, but this is perhaps El Campanario’s most finely plated dish: It looks like a platter of rococo Christmas ornaments.
Del Norte Brewing Mañana Lager
On tap, $3 gets you 16 ounces. It’s kind of like an American-made Negra Modelo and pretty weird for a lager, but this beer is weirdly perfect with a Frito pie or a carne adovada plate.
If you’re a fan of it, put your cryface on: You’ll probably be getting it in a nasty little packet.
Although the TVs here are more discreet than at many places, one still wonders: Why, God, why?
Good patties, good fries; unimpressive bun, lettuce, tomato, pickle, etc.—they’re serviceable but without a real juicy presence.
Breaded Popcorn Shrimp with Shrimp Sauce
Come on…that’s just nasty.
The 1970s called, and it wants its style back. The stout, private booths have a retro-Mexican restaurant chic, but the tortured blend of belfry paintings, mermaid statuettes, goofy pendant lamps, surveillance cameras and stick-on Kokopellis isn’t kitsch enough to be cool. The exterior is, if possible, even worse.
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