Chow, Baby: Wednesday, June 18, 2008
Down Mijo Way

In the category of south-of-the-border foods, over the last year or two Chow, Baby’s been so hyped about taco trucks, Salvadoran pupusas, and camarones al mojo de ajo that last week’s craving came as a back-to-basics shock: “Gee, it’s been a long time since I’ve had a plain old everyday enchilada plate.” Well, it didn’t get one at Mijo’s! No, what Chow, Baby got was a “Mijo’s Style” enchilada platter ($7.29), flour tortillas stuffed with rich, tender barbacoa and floating in thick queso and tingly epazote sauce. (Epazote is a sort of citrusy-minty medicinal herb that’s claimed to, among other things, counter the gastrointestinal effects of beans. Seems to work fine.) On the side, Mexican rice and incredible pureed black beans dotted with Mexican cheese. Not your plain old everyday enchilada plate, not by a long shot.
All this Mex-aliciousness was a little discombobulating, because going by location (a Pantego strip mall at 2304 W. Park Row), clientele (even older and whiter than Chow, Baby, with a high percentage in Aggie t-shirts), and menu (sizzling fajitas, $8.29-$10.95), Chow, Baby was all set to peg Mijo’s as more Tex-Mex than Mex-Mex. That is, until it bit into the carnitas charras ($7.99), slow-cooked pork chunks in a smoky, spicy, apple-and-green-chile sauce, paired with rice and pico-topped pinto beans. You won’t find that dish at Frank’s House of Tex-Mex, no sir. And the fish tacos ($6.99) are straight outta Baja California, slabs of grilled grouper topped with lettuce, pico, añejo cheese, and a sunny chipotle sauce. Throw in some housemade flan ($2.95) steeped in caramel sauce, and Chow, Baby will happily doze beneath Mijo’s senorita-y-mariachi murals all day long.
Sushi Yoko, Good
Chow, Baby has eaten a lot of sushi this year, and, if you haven’t noticed, is getting a bit repetitive a bit repetitive about it. Tuna, silky. Sauce-swirl, pretty. Specialty roll, adorable. Chef pants, yum. Décor, hip. Music, techno-lite. Yada yada yada. It’s all good, but honestly, what else is there to say about sushi?
Let’s start with Sushi Yoko’s (6333 Camp Bowie Blvd.) Longhorn Roll ($13), an adorable — whoops — an impressive concoction of crab, avocado, and asparagus wrapped in, get this, thin slices of rare rib-eye. This was Chow, Baby’s first brush with red meat in a sushi roll, and it was both disorienting and fabulous. A whole new taste sensation! Another never-seen-the-likes-before: the DFW Tower ($13), a soup-can-sized stack of — uh-oh, take cover: From out of the darkening skies a cruel weather god (Chow, Baby) starts striking at the tower with its lightning ax (chopsticks), ooh a direct hit to the top, ooh more hits to the sides, until the tower implodes into a rubble of sushi rice, cucumbers, smooshed avocado, and crab, with hail-sized chunks of spicy tuna scattered all over downtown Fort Worth (the plate). The cruel weather god then uses its lightning ax to greedily grasp the spoils of mass destruction. That never happened at Ronin.
The Tower is not the only fantasy-inspiring roll on the menu (sultry Honeymoon in Phuket, $13); nevertheless, Sushi Yoko is aimed at the sober-minded. No hip to the décor, no electro to the music, certainly no TVs anywhere; just low-key elegance and gracious, kimono-clad servers. Chow, Baby doesn’t know how they do it, but Sushi Yoko makes old-school seem fresh and new.

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