Wednesday, August 17, 2022
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La Playa 3The charro beans were amazing.

I do not say this lightly. In fact, the charro beans served to me at La Playa on Sunset Strip in Harlingen were just a precursor of things to come, a great and pleasantly surprising way to start my meal.

Like the ninth batter at the end of a baseball lineup, charro beans are usually overlooked and just something that must happen, usually not given a second glance. This tiny cup of charros was flavor packed beyond any beans I have ever had. I asked a fellow diner what their thoughts were, and they quickly said they are the best beans in the Valley, as he packed pieces of fajita and rice into his and transformed his simple cup into a miniature meal in a bowl.

La Playa’s menu is chock full of goodness. I was especially attracted to the specialty fajitas. I was torn between the Devil’s Backbone fajitas, with a special Diabla sauce and roasted arbol peppers and the Fajitas Las Brasas and after much debate settled on the Las Brasas.

As I waited for my plate, I noticed that the restaurant was at its pandemic-forced capacity, but the way the tables were set up there was plenty of room for servers to maneuver and you did not feel like others were breathing down your neck. (take this out first)

When my sizzling order arrived, smoke billowing from the skillet and sending out a mesmerizing aroma, I already surmised that this was going to be a tantalizing adventure - even then I underestimated it.

The beef and chicken fajitas — long slices, not little chunks — were tender and flavor packed, scrumptiously enhanced by a creamy Pico de Gallo white wine sauce that I imagine would enhance any meat you want to combine it with. Large pieces of perfectly cooked onions and mushrooms mixed in completed the dish. If you order extra tortillas, the dish is large enough to feed two. Luckily, I did not bring anyone - this was all mine.La Playa 2

My server said the plate is very popular and it truly made me want to try other delicious options, but I’m one of those people when I find a menu item that overwhelms me with taste, it’s hard for me to try something else. There were so many great options on the menu and dishes with unique recipes I am going to be hard pressed to make a choice next time I go. I feel that whatever I order it will be a delectable decision.

My daughter asked me to bring an order of street tacos home for her. My server packed my to-go order with an extra cup of charro beans. I was thoroughly excited, especially since my daughter does not like charro beans.

After arriving home on this cold, rainy day, I gave my daughter her food and just told her to leave whatever she didn’t want in the fridge, knowing full well that meant two wonderful and warm cups of those amazing charros for late night or breakfast (yes, breakfast).

Next morning, I went to the fridge - I was horrified - there were no leftovers. I panicked and went to her room, figuring she just did the teen thing and left the food there before passing out for the night.

Nothing there either. (take this out if needed) I was left pondering, so I asked her how dinner was, planning to dig around to find where my beans had been devilishly hidden.

“Amazing,” she replied, wiping the sleep out of her eyes. “And they put two cups of beans in there.

“They were amazing too and I never eat beans.”

Ugh. Told you they were amazing.