The Eagle soars

All the photography magazines tell you to carry a camera with you at all times.  “The best camera is the one you have with you”, they all cry.

Needless to say, I didn’t have one with me today at lunch.  Even forgot to use my iPhone camera.

Which is a shame, because we had lunch at a new Mexican restaurant in Pleasant Hill that was incredible.

El Aguila {The Eagle} is just a small place in a strip mall at 1300 Contra Costa Blvd.  Barely seats 30, but every seat was filled and we had to wait at 1:30 this afternoon.  Of course, that may be because there was a hugely laudatory article in the paper about them, which is how we found it ourselves.  But with food this good, there will continue to be a wait for tables.

The chef/owner is a veteran of local top-drawer establishments Prima and Esin, and has brought modern sensibilities to what is often fast and cheap cuisine.

Ingredients are fresh and locally sourced, organic and healthy. Recipes are authentic and not the standard Cali-Mex tacos and burritos.  I had the chicken con mole verde, free-range Rocky Jr. chicken in

“the most delicious Oaxacan Mole Verde sauce, made with toasted ground pumpkin seeds.  Served with grilled calabacitas, spanish rice and 2 fresh handmade corn tortillas”

The sauce was purely spectacular.  I scooped it up and put it on the rice, the sopped up the remainder with the thick, soft, hot-off-the-grill, handmade corn tortillas.  Calabacitas turns out to be grilled zucchini.  I still don’t like zucchini, but this is the best zucchini I ever didn’t like.

Gail had the daily special, which today was Taquitos, little crispy rolled tacos, served with guacamole and rice and lettuce.  There were no leftovers there, either.

In fact, the portions are sufficient that we didn’t even want the dessert I ordered, so we brought home an arroz con leche,  rice pudding.  I expect to enjoy it later tonight.

El Aguila is a strange hybrid–very different, upscale Mexican food in a downscale strip-mall setting.  You surely don’t have to dress up or make reservations.  Prices are reasonable, they have beer and wine and diet Coke and they’ll pack your leftovers for later.  Don’t go on Monday, they’re closed.

Service is decent for this kind of eatery. You place your order at the counter and they give you a number on a table marker, then the food is brought out.

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