June 10, 2011 at 4:19 pm , by Serina Patrick
Over the years, the quality had been pretty consistent. I always ordered a quesadilla. Never greasy, the huge tortillas were appropriately filled with the ingredients of choice, usually chicken, black beans, onions, and jalapenos. Guacamole on the side was better than average, although lacking enough cilantro. Their salsas were good too, like the exceptionally fresh pico di gallo and kicky green sauce.
LC and I were in the mood to sit on a patio somewhere, despite the blazing heat. Pure? Not again. Tijuana Garage or El Taco? That’s when I thought of Elmyr. He had never been. For me, it was like taking someone to my hometown where I know all the secrets.
We chose a table on the patio, which is screened in and covered….not exactly outdoors. I warned him of Elmyr’s notoriously divey reputation, with tattooed servers and a bar full of regulars drinking PBR. Not the type of place you want to take your Mama, unless your Mama is Blondie from The Clermont.
A couple of Coronas with lime provided a bit of relief in the sweltering heat as LC reviewed the menu. I recommended the quesadillas, momentarily forgetting the disappointing, flacid thing filled with handfuls of raw onion and a smattering of tough chicken that was passed off as a quesadilla a few months back.
Against my better (yet questionable) judgment, I allowed SS to stop by to say hello. He belongs at Elmyr. All the bartenders and servers know him by name. His arms are covered with ink, much more so than back in the day when we lived together in Grant Park. That called for a shot of tequila and another Corona.
Meanwhile, I had ordered the usual and LC tried a quesadilla with BBQ chicken and a slew of fillings like onions, avocado, jalapenos….too many for me to remember. When they came out he was taken aback by the size of the tortillas which are nearly too big for the plate.
Thankfully, my quesadilla was as awesome as they used to be. The chicken was tender, complimented by an appropriate amount of sauteed onions, cheese, and jalapenos. LC loved his selection, raving about it for several days.
I’ve always loved Elmyr, through good times and bad, when I was rich, when I was poor. But I had become disillusioned. Had years of success made Elmyr’s owners and staff complacent? Did they think they could get away with serving me an mediocre quesadilla? I thought I was special.
Then I remembered…..if you love something, you have to give it a chance at redemption. I’m glad I did.
1091 Euclid Avenue 404-588-0250
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