The New El Guapo’s Cantina in South Tulsa Delivers an Unexpected Brunch

By on October 27, 2015

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Sundays are the pause buttons to our weeks: the time when we recline a little more easily, we talk a little more readily, we share a little more effortlessly. If you’re like me, your Sunday echoes those “Sunday Dinners”, when my family met around my Grandmother’s collection of meats, vegetables and desserts. This was the one meal of the week that brought us all together, at the same time, a noteworthy feat with seven sibling’s school, sports and activities schedules. While the Dallas Cowboys played in the background, my brothers cracked jokes (often at my expense), we lingered around mounds of food my Grandmother carefully gathered all week. The meal began right after Sunday morning services and often lasted until we returned to church (again!) for Sunday evening prayers.

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Perhaps these memories are why Sunday Brunch is such a special meal to me and why, I suspect, it is to others. Sunday Brunch is part of our Midwestern agrarian heritage, a remembrance of a time when work on the farm halted so all could have time with families. Though we no longer march to the beat of the farm, our lives welcome a weekly opportunity to slow down, catch up and catch our collective breaths.

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El Guapo’s Cantina, located at 81st and Harvard, presented their flavorful version of Sunday Brunch and the lineup is impressive: six entrees and six hand crafted cocktails are included in this special menu. Developed from McNellie’s group tireless efforts to be innovative and to listen to their guests, the Sunday Brunch debuted in early October. Currently, it is only being offered at the south Tulsa Cantina location at 81st and Harvard.

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While on my visit, Jarred Lopez, El Guapo’s Cantina’s Front House Manager, took me through the new menu, beginning with an Iced Horchata. It’s my new favorite indulgent, a south-of-the-border version of iced coffee. With a refreshing gluten-free blend of almond and spices it’s a new way to begin a Sunday meal. For some extra excitement, add vanilla infused Tequila or Patron Café XO.

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McNellie’s beverage director Tony Collins has developed five other brunch drinks, including the Meximosa, a mimosa that features custom flavors you chose such as strawberry banana, coconut pineapple, tamarind mango, peach or grape. Another tasty choice, the Blood Carmen, is a spicy way to jumpstart your Sunday. Jalapeno infused Espolon tequila mixed with El Guapo’s home made blend of Bloody Mary mix and Mexican peppers make this a spicy, salty drink. Also appearing: Sangria, Mexican Firing Squad (a deadly mix of tequila, fresh squeezed lime, bitters and house made grenadine over ice) and a Mexican Martini, sparkling wine with a twist of tequila.

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Six entrees, with a collection of sides, round out this menu. While visiting, I enjoyed Burrito de Desayuno, a large flour tortilla filled with scrambled egg, corn and black bean salsa and guests’ choice of chorizo, carne asada, ground beef or smoked chicken. White queso and a spicy tomatillo jalapeno sauce, served with guacamole and sour cream top this headliner. A very nice option includes the opportunity to make this a vegetarian item.

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Huevos Rancheros, a traditional Mexican dish, finds new flavors at El Guapo’s. With their commitment to hand slicing and preparing all vegetables and fruits, this dish really pleases. Two corn tortillas covered in house made salsa roja with refried beans, eggs, cotija cheese and fresh avocado fuse with Mexican crema and choice of chorizo, careen asada, ground beef or smoked chicken. A large, fresh, colorful bowl of fruit or perfectly-crispy-brown break potatoes make this meal complete.

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Perhaps my favorite on the menu is Chorizo Tacos, two flour tortillas filled with rice and topped with their homemade chorizo, Monterrey jack cheese, Pico de Gallo and Mexican crema that can be paired with either the fruit or breakfast potato option. Other sides that can be added include Charro beans, Refried beans or rice. Carne y Huevo Tacos and Fritata also are included on the Sunday Brunch menu which is served Saturdays and Sundays, 10 – 2:30 at El Guapo’s Cantina, located at 8161 S Harvard Ave. 918.728.RITA or www.elguaposcantina.com

The Novel Gardener

About The Novel Gardener

"The Novel Gardener", Maurie Traylor, lives, creates, writes, paints, gardens and cooks in Mid-Town Tulsa. Her work has appeared in Oklahoma Gardener, Edible Tulsa Magazine and The Tulsa Literary Review. When not writing or painting, Maurie works with clients in creating meaningful spaces for home and garden. Her inspiration for her creative life stems from her family, namely her grandmother, whose garden and kitchen fed migrant workers and a large family during The Great Depression. Following that example, Maurie begins each day with the question, "What can we create today?"

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