Over the years, the building has housed a sandwich shop, an Italian spot and, most recently — and most successfully — Camino Viejo, a Mexican restaurant. Camino Viejo means ‘the old road’ in Spanish, but the restaurant just off the square on Houston St. is working hard to reinvent that road as something other than traditional Tex-Mex.
I met a friend at 1 p.m. on a Wednesday for lunch at Camino. Already, she had declared that it was one of her favorite places in Sherman, and as I appreciated her tastes in food, was more than ready to give it a try. The restaurant has a lengthy menu and so I spent a few minutes taking a look while we worked on the basket of chips and salsa on the table.
My friend is a vegetarian, and the chef at Camino knows her and goes out of his way to accommodate her wishes. She ordered a cheese quesadilla with sour cream, and, after some indecision, I decided on an enchilada combo — one beef and one chicken. My order comes with a choice of rice, Mexican or cilantro lime and beans, black or charro. I asked if anything else was available and was told I could have roasted vegetables. That sold me.
There was mix up on the pick up and the waitress brought two quesadillas. She corrected the error quickly and came back with my enchiladas. The presentation, with the entrees flanked by the roasted vegetables — carrots, bell peppers, onions, zucchini, and yellow squash — was a lot more attractive and colorful than the usual additions of rice and a sea of refried beans.
My friend’s quesadilla was large and more than enough for her to have the evening’s supper in hand. At the end of the meal, she asked for and got a small cup to hold a little salsa for later on as well.
On my side of the table, things were going well. The beef enchilada came topped with chili and a sprinkling of cheese, while the chicken came with cheese and a fresh sour cream sauce. Both enchiladas were hand-rolled, neat, well-filled and tender. If the tortillas are not fresh enchiladas can get chewy, but these were fork-tender. The vegetables were tasty, but undercooked for my liking. A few more minutes in the pan or under the broiler would have made them more tender.
We spent as much time talking as eating, and in the process went through another basket of chips and salsa. And then I asked about dessert. They have several — Mexican churros, sopapillas, a brownie Sundae, an apple crisp and, my choice, a caramel flan. It was smooth but not overpoweringly sweet, and the caramel sauce provided just enough extra sweetness to highlight the custard.
Camino Viejo is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner and is a good choice if you are downtown and looking for something to eat.
Complaints, suggestions, ideas? Let me know at Sparkes@heralddemocrat.com.