August 23rd, 2012 by Brian Schwartz – Comments (4)
Cruise down Sheridan and just past 21st Street you’ll see a tiny house with a lavish splash of color on the front. Inside that tiny house, huge platters of food await. It’s good food too, not the best Mexican in Tulsa by any means, but definitely a cut above average.
You’ve seen the menu a thousand times before. It’s what you’ll find (though it’s longer and more elaborate than most) at a thousand little joints scattered throughout the southwest, from Barstow in the west all the way through Flagstaff, Winslow, Texas and probably all the way through to St. Louis and beyond. It’s authentic Mexican, but it’s not the style you’ll find way down south in Pueblo and Oaxaca. Definitely not Tex-Mex chain style either. It’s its own style… call it the far north region of Mexico.
Queso, guacamole and nachos for starters, fajitas, several kinds of taco salads, needless to say enchiladas, burritos and chimichangas galore, along with various grilled beef plates, carnitas and chile verde, shrimp and fish with various sauces. (They used to make cochinita pibil, but sadly no more.) Adjacent to the small dining room, there’s a bar area with many rare tequilas proudly displayed behind the bar. And of course diners get chips and salsa. I rarely pay attention to salsa but, like a sign announcing good eating ahead, this rich chunky salsa was far better than most.
Cathe got enchiladas.
These are Enchiladas Suizas ($9.49), topped with a mellow cream sauce and a bit of melted cheese. I loved the refined presentation. Cathe loved the taste. Sure better than Chimi’s, she said. (Incidentally, these are definitely an authentic Mexican dish. Suizas means Swiss; there were indeed Swiss immigrants to Mexico and they became famous for their dairy farms, so recipes that feature cream sauce are often named Suiza.)
Refuting what I said above, Betty got a dish I haven’t seen anywhere else.
It’s called Sharandas Burritos ($8.29). Under that delicious scattering of salad, queso, guacamole and sour cream are three miniature burritos: one shrimp, one chicken, one steak. I didn’t get to taste it; I was busy with my fajitas.
Fajitas Cozumel ($13). Though quite good, for me this was a disappointment. I’d read rave reviews of these fajitas, and they turned out to be just about average. Tiny dry pieces of beef and chicken, well-seasoned though, a few yummy shrimp, and a short rib. Still, I did eat it all, and it was a huge portion. Enchiladas next time though, or maybe those mini-burritos.
The young friendly owner was at the cash register when we went out. His story made the meal better. He started out as a dishwasher at Senor Tequila. (His dad, who played guitar there, got him the job.) He worked hard, he did a good job, and while he worked he studied the business. He was promoted. He met his wife at Senor Tequila. Now they have their own restaurant. It’s a splended American story mixed with fine Mexican food.
2165 S. Sheridan Road
Open daily from 11 AM to 10 PM
Born in NYC, age 0, on my birthday. College in Oxford at age 16. Law School in New Haven, Conn. 6 years travel in Africa and Asia. Haven’t done much lately. Still, I’m the only Tulsa member of the little-known Omega Society. www.theomegasociety.com
I speak enough Chinese to order food not on any English menu. Spanish French Italian too (not fluently but food-ently) My favorite restaurant is Jean-Georges in New York. But those NYC chefs would sell their soul to get the produce available from the farms around Inola.
“A writer writes alone. His words tumble forth from a magical inner void that is mysterious even to himself, and that no one else can enter.” And yet, the most important thing to me the writer is YOU. Without you to hear them, my words are worth less than silence.
Tags: Mexican Food