Ode to the Northside – Spanish Flower Review

Brief Overview:

Food & Pricing: Comfort food all the way, but not overly greasy. Very tasty! – Most expensive dish is approx. 21.00 with the rest being well under. – See more details below, not a great place for vegans & vegetarians.

Parking: Ample free parking onsite. + Street parking but I have never needed it.

Patio: Ample patio seating, I don’t believe they are dog friendly.

Service and Cleanliness: Not the fastest bar service and table checks, but always polite. – Always clean, great upkeep for being there since 1979.

Take out: Available, they do party packs, etc. – Expect Styrofoam however if you are just getting a plate to go.

Now on to the Review:

Shout out to all the true children of the North. Those us that lived there when it was a blight that the upper middle class drove on through with their car doors locked, where as now they will do anything to take a piece of that precious land to gentrify. Those of us with relatives buried at Hollywood Cemetery and attended (dragged to in my case) mass at Holy Name Church. Or had friends at the Irvington Courts, and took risky late night walks at Moody Park. Shout to all the Luna’s, Sosa’s, Guzman’s, Franco’s, Martinez’s and every family in between.

Much has changed in hood since the early 90’s… Withstanding the trials of time, and the curse of gentrification is Spanish Flower. Some of the few memories that I have of breaking bread with dear old dad are there. Where my grandma used to have to decide to go either there or Casa Grande on Sundays if they weren’t picking up barbacoa tacos and sweet breads after church. – Or maybe just the some stuff from the Paleta guy out front 🙂

Open 24 hr’s and always clean and festive inside, you are greeted by friendly staff inside and seated right away. – Note, SF has huge patio outside if you want to catch a breeze, many tables have umbrellas, but the chairs are the kind that can hurt the back of your bare legs after a while.

SF INSIDE 2

Chips and salsa are then brought out, the real stuff, not the watery Rotel-like crap that Tex-Mex chains like Lupe carry. Drink orders are also taken at this time. During peak hours it can take a while for your drink to hit so the sooner you order the better! They are always somewhat steady inside.

For this trip, we opted to keep it simple and ordered a couple of Pacifico’s to wash everything down.

DRUFY 2

So let me get something out in the open right now before I get to the food, blasphemous though it may be. – I am not certain anything here is really vegetarian….. At least when we are talking sauces, rice, & beans. So most stuff considering this is a Mexican joint. I am not Vegetarian when it “suits me” unless I am here, reliving my childhood memories, just to clarify. Hopefully I haven’t lost too much respect from the vegans & veggies out there!

Lets start with what Dru had, the Spanish Flowers Dinner. – (Chicken enchilada, crispy beef taco, chile con queso, tamale, guacamole, rice, and beans $12.49) – Not pictured is a side of sour cream on a separate plate that comes with. You aren’t on a diet are you?

SPANISH FLOWER DINNER 2

Gooey and delicious!!! Also unlike many Tex-Mex chains, while supplying an ample amount of food, the tacos, enchiladas, and tamales are smaller sized, not large burrito sized, and full of flavor with out being super salty. (Not Salt free by any means, but not overly so which seems to be a big issue with Mexican food in the H these days.) – No complaints out of Dru, he cleaned his plate!

Now on to my meal, the Vegetarian Special. – (Cheese enchilada, bean tostada, chile con queso, guacamole, and a mini-quesadilla. Served with rice $12.75) – Sour cream is included with this also.

VEGETARIAN SPECIAL 2

So if you are veg, you know that when an item is labeled as such, particularly in this type of venue, that in reality it is oft times only a name, one that only implies flesh will not be physically present on the plate. (IE there could be unseen animal products aplenty in the meal, not just eggs & dairy.) – Here I would assume that there are, I have never asked, because well I don’t want to know TBH.

So cheesy, so melty, so filling and comforting, I really love this plate! Another way SF differs from many of the chains is that they use a white Mexican cheese in the dillas and enchiladas. Just a simple mild white cheese, no blended mix of stuff, no Velveeta, yum 🙂 When I order this dish this to go, the mini quesadilla doesn’t even make it out of the parking lot.

Hint, make sure to get no lettuce under the guac, because you wont get much out of it if they do. – The food also comes out really quick if you are in a hurry. My only complaint is that it could be a spicier (heat level wise), something that I look forward to at the more authentic types of Mexican fare such as this.

Overall I really recommend going here, my childhood biasness aside. Might be best to leave your veggie friends at home for this one, unless they are okay with some very limited choices. They do have a really nice fruit plate on the menu for vegans and there is always the old salad stand by as well.

– N

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