Tequila and Enchilada Tasting at Sylvia's Enchilada Kitchen

Sylvia's Enchilada Kitchen has invented a holiday I fully endorse: National Enchilada Week. In fact, given the multitude of types of enchiladas, I wouldn't object to a National Enchilada Month -- ah, a girl can dream.

In anticipation of this glorious event (May 9 - 14), Sylvia's hosted a tequila tasting and dinner that gave patrons a peek at some of the specialty enchiladas that will be on offer. Several local and national tequila vendors were on hand, including Cavalino, which was pouring a terrific reposado tequila. I don't usually think of tequila as a sipping spirit, but this reposado's wonderful bouquet made me want to linger over a small glass on a warm summer evening. As a follower of HBO's Entourage, I also got a kick out of trying some Aviόn tequilas, including a lovely silver variety with a slight taste of honey.

In addition to serving mini-shots of their tequila, Republic Tequila was proffering samples of some of their "spirit blends." Available exclusively at Central Market, these simple (four-ingredient) cocktail mixes come in several flavors. I was particularly fond of the Prickly Pear, a floral concoction that would pair wonderfully with shellfish, and the Jalapeno Lime, which combined citrus and pepper for a slightly tart kick.

More after the jump.

After we all had that warm and fuzzy feeling that comes with drinking some high-quality spirits, the other guests and I were introduced to the special menu designed for the upcoming enchilada celebration. The menu, which chef Sylvia Casares calls her "No Borders Road Trip," features two different Parillas of Enchiladas: The Tex or The Mex, each of which comprises four different signature enchiladas.

I ordered The Tex Parilla, my dining companion (and DD) chose The Mex, and both of us stole bites off each other's plates. Of The Tex, I particularly enjoyed the "Refugio" enchilada, stuffed with cheddar cheese and topped with a spicy chili gravy, and the "Laguna Madre," a crab enchilada absolutely dripping with rich seafood cream. Of The Mex, my easy favorite was the "Hidalgo," crammed with savory shredded pork and covered in an earthy red sauce and avocado slices.

When I return to Sylvia's for National Enchilada Week, I might just order both Parillas for myself as all eight enchilada varieties were almost too good to share. I will, however, limit myself to four tequilas.

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Joanna O'Leary