Coyote Flaco serves yummy finals fuel

Coyote Flaco cooks up delicious Mexican dishes such as carne a la tampiqueña, featuring unique skirt steak. Photo Courtesy of Minwei Cao.

It’s my last week of college and my last food review: Coyote Flaco! I’ve been meaning to eat at Coyote Flaco since my first year but never got the chance. Finally, this past Sunday, I had the opportunity to try a scrumptious dinner there and was not disappointed. The restaurant serves huge portions of everything so make sure you go when you are hungry!

We started the dinner with chips, salsa and guacamole. The chips and salsa were complimentary, but the guacamole was on the more expensive side: $10 for about one and a half avocadoes worth. It was very fresh and chunky, full of cilantro, onions and occasionally some tomatoes. The guacamole was served on top of avocado shells: no frill, just good old comforting guacamole. The chips were very crunchy and still warm, so I knew they were freshly made.

For my entree I got the carne a la tampiqueña, which is a traditional Mexican meal full of everything you’ve ever wanted for dinner. It was first created in the border region of Tampico, Tamaulipas, Mexico and derives its name from the Tampico citizens, nicknamed “tampiqueños.” Tamaulipas is included in the region of La Huasteca, a geographical and cultural region bordering the Gulf of Mexico. The grilled skirt steak is the main part of the meal, but there is much more to the dish. A green enchilada filled with cheese and chicken, topped with bechamel sauce called enchilada suiza, a Spanish sausage grilled to juicy perfection, a bed of rice and a side of black beans and guacamole served in giant tortilla chips. I could have been full on just the enchilada alone!

Not to mention before the steak arrived, there was the house salad. The steak was juicy and perfectly medium rare. Skirt steak is a fairly lean cut of meat from the diaphragm muscles of the cow. Often used in Mexican cuisine for fajitas, it’s not the most tender but is full of flavor. The marinade the steak was cooked in was full of smoky umami and made the steak more enjoyable bite after bite. The meat was tougher than some other cuts I’ve had but not because it was overcooked – that’s just the nature of the skirt steak.

I really enjoyed the enchilada suiza with the sausage. The chicken and the cheese went well together, but the sausage added some extra salt that I thought the enchilada lacked. The béchamel sauce was creamy but not overpowering. The rice was well seasoned and filled me up even more.

I also tried some of my friend’s entree: flautas con pollo. You may wonder: flautas (literally “flutes,” because they are rolled up flour tortillas stuffed with a meat filling and then deep fried) and taquitos, what’s the difference? I really don’t know and would love to do more research on this! Some people have said the difference is in what kind of tortilla is used: flour versus corn. And some have said it’s in the way the tortilla is rolled. These chicken flautas from Coyote Flaco were fried but not too oily. The cheese topping had a hint of agave nectar because it was lightly sweet. They were very delicious but seemed more like an appetizer than an entree to me.

I left Coyote Flaco very happy after eating way too much, but I was disappointed in my Spanish skills after the waiter tried to converse with me in Spanish. After all, I did take Spanish 103 my first semester of college and even forgot how to say “claro” when the waiter asked if he could check my ID. While I brush up on some Spanish vocabulary, you should go treat yourself before finals period starts and have a meal at Coyote Flaco.