Sunday Brunching With TQLA's Insanely Decadent Mole
On a recent Sunday "morning," I woke up with a massive craving for chicken enchiladas. Okay, so it was nearing noon and I may have had a teeny bit of a hangover, but all the better to brunch with, my dear.
Photo by Brooke Viggiano Holy mole! (Sorry, I couldn't help myself.)
My fiancé and I decided to try out TQLA on Washington, since we hadn't been, and, let's face it, we love tequila. Turns out, tequila -- they offer 170 varieties, many of which are on tap -- is not all the restaurant does right. The chic, vibrant eatery celebrates the best of Southwestern, Tex-Mex and coastal Mexican cuisine.
And the service isn't too shabby, either. Immediately upon taking our seats, we were greeted with both a warm smile and an even warmer bowl of freshly fried tortilla chips. The corn chips, which were unimaginably thin and incredibly crisp, were accompanied by a pair of salsas -- a bright green, creamy and citrusy tomatillo and a fiery, earthy and slightly sweet roasted ancho chile sauce. Each chip was better than the last, but alas, it was time for my enchiladas.
I had gone in thinking I'd get a classic red or green chile sauce, but when I saw the option for mole sauce, I knew what I had to do. I couldn't have been happier when my plate of chicken enchiladas with mole sauce ($12.50 on the regular menu) arrived.
The richest, most velvety mole sauce smothered two corn tortillas, each stuffed to the brim with moist, tender chunks of pulled chicken, buttery queso fresco, fiery poblano peppers and sweet caramelized onions. I could tell the fresh corn tortillas were made with care, as they were delicate enough to fork through but thick enough to hold the massive amount of fillings.
But it was the mole sauce that really did it for me -- the dark, almost black sauce was full of complexity; spicy, nutty, sweet, smoky, chocolaty and piquant all at once. The end result was worth every insanely decadent bite.
I took turns moving between forkfuls of the enchiladas, the hearty, smooth black beans drizzled with crema, and the zesty rice speckled with bits of corn, black beans and tomato; sometimes I even assembled them together on my fork at the same time and treated myself to the ultimate taste sensation.
Photo by Brooke Viggiano You'll need this to wash down your enchiladas ...
I washed it all down with a bright-pink prickly pear lemonade ($5 on the Sunday brunch menu) and called it a day. Well, that and a $2 tequila straight from the tap (on special all day long every Sunday). Hair of the dog, am I right?