Road trip through Arkansas. Mid-afternoon on a Sunday. Pulled off the Interstate and into Arkadelphia looking for something to eat. Almost passed by El Parian because, well, I'm from San Antonio, and I know Mexican food, and there's no way I'm gonna find good Mexcian food in Arkadelphia. But I was hungry, so I stopped. Very attractively decorated with colorful folkish tables and chairs. Promising menu, with items that suggested the owners originated in Northern Mexico. Tried the enchiladas verdes, a dish I've had at many, many restaurants. This was the best version I've had, by far. Plenty of chicken filling (cubed, not shredded), nicely stewed for deep flavor. The tortillas encasing the chicken were not limp and flavorless, as is the norm. The tomatillo sauce had an ideal balance of heat and deep flavor, and lots of both. No rice or beans on the side, but a dollop of OK guacamole and one of sour cream, and some shredded lettuce and chopped tomato. Salsa was too tomatoey for my taste, but the chips were OK -- salsa and chips is an American thing, anyway. But the enchiladas verdes were good enough to restore your faith in the future of humankind. Nice, hardworking people, too.
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