While researching the recipes in the Tex-Mex Cookbook, I encountered one plate of cheese enchiladas that stood out from all the others.
Like many longtime residents of the Lone Star Republic, I get downright sentimental about the goop that's left on the plate after the enchiladas are gone. Especially at places like Larry's. The cheese here has a certain je ne sais quoi, by which I mean that after half an hour of beer drinking, it still has not hardened. —The Tex-Mex Cookbook
I asked the late Eberardo "Larry" Guerrero for the secret to his cheese enchiladas. "It's a special kind of cheese," he told me. Under close interrogation, he admitted that the miracle cheese was Land of Lakes "Extra Melt," the brand name of a commercial product known as "performance cheese" in the restaurant industry. It's a processed American cheese that's designed to melt and stay melted.
Cheese enchilada and chile con queso addicts have made their peace with performance cheese, but many food experts find it necessary to rail against it (see "Warm Crap in a Bag"). No doubt the wannabe food cops also think it's detestible that Texas barbecue joints serve white bread and that Hawaiians eat Spam. Yawn.
116 Hwy 90A, Richmond
Larry's Mexican Restaurant is a museum. Opened in 1960 with the help of Felix Tijierna and Mama Ninfa, it is one of a handful of old-school Tex-Mex joints that have survived relatively unchanged. Since Larry Guerrero died, his family has taken over and they are doing a good job of keeping the tradition alive.
It's a required stopover when you find yourself driving down 90A.