El Sombrero- Forsyth Road
Mexican food has become a steady staple of the southern diet. These days more southerns know what Carnitas Fajitas taste like more so than say a potato knish or even hummus. With that level of comfort with ethnic cuisine comes a level of expectation for Mexican restaurants to live up to in central Georgia. El Som, as some of the locals refer to it, always provides a consistent experience for this reviewer. It seems that every two weeks it comes down to the decision of where to go to eat that has some different items to try on the menu. It is usually not so much a desire for Mexican food since I can whip up a mean burrito with little notice, but more a desire to have a good sit down meal with a varied menu, convenient location and a cold beer. SNAP, let’s go to El Som! This location caters to a lot of families and groups so getting a booth is a must to keep the noise and my allergies to small children to a minimum. My friend that accompanied me on my last visit thoroughly enjoys Mexican beer and was pleased with the selection El Sombreo offers. I of course went right to the top shelf tequila for a margarita on ice and hold the salt on the rim please.
One of the few areas I would hesitate to brag about at this El Som location is the chips and salsa. This did not stop my dinner guest from polishing off an entire basket of chips as he popped the top on his second Dos Equis (is there a singular tense to that name??). Making up for my lack of enthusiasm for the chips is the Pollo de Caldo or Mexican chicken soup. You don't have to rely on my taste buds alone for the top rating on this soup, it made the gatekeeper's TOP 5 list for Best Bowl of Soup in Macon.
Feel free to read that review separately. For the main entrée, I try to keep my choices varied from Fajitas, to fish tacos and the occasional combo platter but it seems I often find myself ordering the huevos rancheros with chorizo. Maybe its the fact that I like to order this dish with my best Spanish accent and it sounds like I am bragging about my manhood... huevos rancheros with chorizo por favor and hold the salsa verde. It just sounds manly. Seriously, this is a great dish that puts a whole new spin on breakfast for dinner. Add in the fresh flour tortillas and lots of that zesty El Som salsa and my taste buds are freaking out with the unique taste of this excellently prepared Mexican cuisine. Huevos rancheros alone would probably not be half as good without the chorizo. Basically chorizo is well cooked sausage that is seasoned with spicy Mexican stuff (the technical term) and it adds just the right kick to the scrambled eggs and salsa. Yum, I'm getting hungry just thinking about rolling up in a warm tortilla sloppy with salsa. My dinner champion was already on his third Dos Equis by the time his favorite El Som entree arrived. We have dined together at this location at least a half dozen times and he always orders the same tbing: The Baja Chicken burrito with extra white cheese. This is a hardy entree that when I tried it I was only able to eat a little more than half of it before asking for a to go container. When asked to give a few details, my guest informed me that the chicken was tender, the baja ingredients were fresh and the extra cheese was as always just what the dish needed.
Our meals were served by a very friendly waitress who gave me a big smile when I used my entire Spanish vocabulary to say "Hello", "Thank you" and "that was so good"... I find that anytime you make an effort to speak any Spanish at all the staff is pleased you attempted to learn at least the basics. I'm not sure if it helps the level of service, but it seems I always get good service at El Som.
Overall, I would highly recommend this restaurant over any of the other dozen Mexican food options that can be found in Macon. It is great a for a quick meal and judging by the crowds at this location it is great for family dining and large groups as well.