EDMONDS, WA: Great Mexican food at Las Brisas

I grew up in Arizona and spent a good portion of my adult life in California, so I like to think I know good Mexican food when I taste it. Add that I’m a foodie, and you can imagine how happy I was to discover a Mexican restaurant in Washington state that appeals to my love of good Mexican food.

On New Year’s Day 2013, my wife and I decided that a drive to the town of Edmonds, on Puget Sound about 18 miles north of Seattle, would be perfect.

Walking around downtown Edmonds that cold, crisp afternoon, we were thrilled to spot what appeared to be a new Mexican restaurant in town. We had eaten at a Mexican restaurant on the downtown traffic circle and had been unimpressed, so we were eager to try some place different.

As it was several hours beyond breakfast, we popped in to Las Brisas and were absolutely delighted.

The location, on 5th Avenue South just south of Dayton Street in the downtown area, has only been open a few months, but it’s only the location that’s new. After our visit, the owner Alvaro told me that the restaurant has been in business for about 11 years in a strip mall near the water. He recently seized the opportunity to move downtown and opened in the new location September 15.

Las Brisas is not your typical Mexican restaurant. Decor is upscale contemporary. Ductwork and electrical conduit are attached to the high ceilings for an industrial look. Combined with the hardwood floors, I can see how it might get noisy when it gets busy.

It was not very busy on New Year’s Day, and we were seated immediately. Warm chips and freshly made salsa came quickly, as did the scratch Margarita we ordered. Made with only tequila, Triple Sec, and freshly squeezed lime juice, it was one of the best scratch Margaritas I’ve had (other than my own).  What a welcome change from the typical preparation using sweet and sour or Margarita mix! A double is $11.

Perusing the menus, a number of things caught our attention, as had the special listed on a blackboard at the front door: Chili Colorado.

My wife and I decided to order different items, then compare and contrast. 

She got the Chili Colorado ($15) and immediately remarked that the meat was so tender, “it must have been slow-cooked for days.” Probably not “days,” but you get the point: it incredibly tender, and very well seasoned. It was served with beans, rice, and tortillas of my wife’s choosing: either flour or white corn.

I opted for the Sopa de Albondigas, ($11) an ethnic soup that was served with two large meatballs and rustic chunks of vegetables including potatoes, celery, and carrots, in a broth that was both fragrant and flavorful. Like our other entree, the soup came with my choice of tortillas.

When the time came to compare and contrast, it was all either of us could do to get the other one to switch entrees in the middle of the meal; neither of us wanted to surrender what we’d ordered.

While prices are more expensive than most corporate Mexican food chains, at Las Brisas you really do get what you pay for. It was worth every penny, and we will happily go back for more.

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Photos by Carl Dombek
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