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Mexican: El Machito 

click to enlarge El Machito’s meat-filled mesquite grill
  • El Machito’s meat-filled mesquite grill

El Machito
7300 Jones Maltsberger, (210) 314-3971,
chefjohnnyhernandez.com/elmachito

The recent history behind the Alamo Cement Company buildings demands a certain level of gravitas. Stone Werks relocated down the road, while Firebird Mexican Grill couldn’t hack it. Maybe the third time’s the charm?

With Johnny Hernandez’s latest, El Machito, the building and patio have received new life. A visit to the eatery guarantees a full belly and a dent in your wallet, but also a unique experience from the same mind that brought you Southtown’s The Fruteria and the Pearl’s La Gloria.

The eatery blends a luchador-inspired style and the now-prevalent Dia De Los Muertos aesthetic. Again, Hernandez’s keen eye helps set this place apart. As far as northern Mexican-style eats, there’s nothing quite like El Machito; its menu includes botanas, tacos and quesos, Mexican-style grilled meats, and especialidades ranging from enchiladas Suizas, Chamorro de Puerco al ajillo and roasted duck, as well as a refreshing bebida lineup.

A visit to this asadero, with its angel-adorned meat altar, demands an order of the parrillada for two (but really, four guests) with cecina asada de Yecapixtla (thinly sliced and salted beef that’s allowed to dry, coated in olive oil and grilled over mesquite), tender pork ribs, house-made chorizo (the verde is singularly exotic, drawing earthy notes from roasted poblano peppers, cilantro and pumpkin seeds) and the delicately seasoned shrimp. Don’t forget to spring for the churros con cajeta.

Pay your respects to the gods of meat at El Machito, and remember do wash it down with a cold cerveza. Dressed, of course.

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