The dish…on just one dish!

I’ve encountered several surprises in my culinary adventures over the past few years.

I’ve been cursed out while interviewing a chef.

I’ve entered a restaurant’s restroom, only to find stairs that ascended to the commode.

Heck, I’ve even done a booze tasting at a Plain White T’s concert (Not proud).

The point is…when it comes to food, often times it’s wise to expect the unexpected.

Even with this mantra buried in my brain, nothing could prepare me for the moment I bit into the burrito especial at Eliella Ristorante in SWLR and tasted chopped hot dog. Yes, mixed in amongst the moist and perfectly seasoned chicken and sautéed onions were slices of hot dog in my burrito. And I’m not talking about one of those kosher, no fillers-added dogs. No. This was the $1/8-pack kinda dog.

Apparently, this isn’t an uncommon act in other areas of the world.

And while inclusion of the hot dog was a downer, the other aspects of my beautifully presented plate proved to overshadow my perceived mishap, not the least of which was the fresh, homemade flour tortilla that encased the burrito’s fillings.

Some wonderfully simple guacamole, as well as rice and charro beans, were also included on the plate. I dislike when places overdo it with too many ingredients in the guac. Instead, I prefer just a nice, smashed avocado with a few choice enhancers (in small amounts), which is what I found in Eliella’s version. Finally, I rather enjoyed the beans, which no doubt had been stewing a in a pot for several hours.

Next time around (and there will definitely be a next time), I’ll just ask for my burrito sans hot dog. It was the only imperfection in an otherwise fantastic meal. Eliella favors a very simple approach to Mexican food, relying on mostly quality ingredients served up in an unpretentious manner.

Finally, this was a special lunch as we were celebrating the birth of one of Little Rock’s finest…the wonderful Kelli “a.k.a. KD” Reep! It was a lunch none of us will soon forget.

Positives: Friendly service, open kitchen, inexpensive, plenty of parking
Negatives: No complimentary chips or salsa


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