An alambre is sort of the Mexican version of a Philly cheese steak filling … with bacon … can’t go wrong with that.
At La Estrella it is tender slices of steak, oozy cheese, chopped grilled onions, sliced bacon and red and green peppers mixed together. What is Spanish for ‘yum’?
It comes with standard Spanish rice, smooth refried beans, and warm tortillas. There is a salsa station with salsa fresca, creamy green salsa, a thin spicy salsa plus pickled carrots and jalapenos
Alambre means ‘wire’ and there are different versions of this dish. The owner’s family is from Jalisco and said in that region people joke with the name of the dish. When they order one, they tend to say "Un Alambre sin puas”. That means "a barbed wire without the sharp pointed twisted wires."
The guess by the owner’s dad is that the combo looks like tangled wires. After trying I have my own theory. The cheese, like cheese on a hot pizza or lasagna, has melty strands … wires.
Here’s a picture from the website. If the larger image doesn’t work, then the second link is the thumbnail
More on alambre on the General Board.
I was surprised and happy to see how La Estella has transformed itself since it opened in 2005 and when I first wrote about it in this post (scroll down).
The restaurant has expanded its menu and there are photos above the counter of the dishes. The mojarra (whole fried fish) looks great. They also plate very nicely, like the four tacos one customer ordered.
It is one of the few places that serves menudo every day. Breakfast is served all day. There is a vegetarian menu. In addition to aqua frescas, there is a cooler with a better than average selection of bottled beer.
Here’s the website which in addition to having the menu and photos of the food, has a nice view of the front of the shop.
There’s a pretty mural on the wall, and the inside is pleasant … as is the staff.
It is across the street from the McDonald’s on Macdonald.
Three years ago I would have made a bet that this place would last less than a year. It was good, but just another taco shop that was the same as so many others.
They have blossomed beautifully into a pleasant refuge from the sometimes dark Richmond streets. Estrella is a tiny star, but it shines brightly.
325 23rd St, Richmond, CA 94804