I observed the birth and development of Compadres in Broken Arrow, wondering all the while, almost two years ago, what this new venture would be. And I was right! Yet another Mexican restaurant. Yippee.
Like the attention given most every new restaurant, business boomed early on with curiosity seekers looking for a new dining adventure.
From what I observe lately, the honeymoon continues.
For lunch, it's best to get to Compadres early (from 11am-noon) to beat the lunch crowd and by 6pm for the dinner crowd. Manager Jeremiah Lindsay says, "We stay pretty busy."
Lunch and dinner are about equally popular. I have been here a number of times, and have thoroughly enjoyed each visit. My lunch companion this day also frequents the place, but oddly enough has had mediocre service (messing up orders, drinks--sugar soda rather than a diet soda--and more), but still, she comes again and again also. And so I imagined it must be the food and atmosphere carry Compadres through when sometimes the service might be marginal.
What I have found, around the world, that if the food and location/atmosphere are good, bad service is not enough to bring the house down.
This day we lunched early, and upon being seated, my friend commented on how much she always enjoys the simple, yet festive atmosphere here: avocado green and tangerine orange stucco walls dotted with framed prints do add a nice touch.
We were immediately brought chips and salsa; the chips were exceptional--thin, light and not greasy. The salsa was smooth and not too spicy.
To begin, we ordered the Fiesta Trio appetizer ($4.75), which is a combination of white or yellow queso, pico de gallo and guacamole. We picked the white American Cheese queso. The trio came straight away, and so we continued with the preliminaries. White queso has become a favorite of mine; this was version is rich, creamy and buttery tasting.
The quac was fabulous with small pieces of avocado and onion adding texture to every bite. The fresh pieces of jalapeno peppers added a kick to the pico.
My dining companion said Compadres has one of the best lunch menus for the price--$4.50 and $4.99. We opted rather for items from the main menu: the Chili Verde Dinner ($7.50) drew my attention from the Especial de la Casa section, and my friend chose the a new dish from the Del Mar (seafood) section, Pollo del Mar ($9.99).
My meal was very tasty--it is described as "tender chunks of pork cooked with our irresistible green sauce, served with rice, beans, 4 tortillas, lettuce, tomatoes and cheese . . ."
The pork was melt-in-the mouth tender and the sauce did give me pause. While the Verde could easily be inside the flour tortillas which came with the meal, I rather preferred it that way, rather than having to dip into the dish. Melted white American cheese was plentiful on top; bright yellow, fluffy rice with little pieces of whole kernel corn, peas and carrots and smooth brown soupy beans were sides.
Manager Lindsay was reluctant to give away the "secret" spice behind the yellowness of the rice. Saffron is my guess.
All I got out of him was an "uh-huh." (a friendly non-answer, sometimes typical of restaurant owners for whom English is a second language and a convenient excuse for not "understanding").
Regardless, this meal was a great choice --- my only complaint was that it was almost cool temperature-wise.
My friend's meal was an eight-ounce chicken breast very thinly sliced with seasoned shrimp, then topped with grilled zucchini and yellow squash, served with rice and beans. It was a very attractive presentation.
My friend especially enjoyed the thin pieces of chicken and the grilled veggies. She said it was a good combination of flavors. The shrimp, she said were good, but not remarkable.
The menu is filled with predictable "favorites," such as Burritos, Enchiladas and Fajitas, but also American Meals (mainly comprised of chicken dishes) and Kids' Meals are available. So what sets them apart?
"Great service, large quantity of food for the price. We make everything from scratch every morning," Lindsay says. "We work hard to make it pleasant for the customers."
The most requested item on the menu? Compadres Dinner, says Lindsay. This meal is a blend of grilled steak, bacon, sausage, onions and tomatoes.
And, while I did not indulge this time, the margaritas here previously are some of the best I've ever had; sodas were continually being refilled. Prices are reasonable, most everything is under $10, with the most expensive dish, Fajitas for Two, at $14.99.
A second Compadres is now open in Owasso, 12551 E. 86th North, 274-8970.
Compadres Mexican Grill
101st & 145th St., Broken Arrow
Sun.-Thurs. 11am-9pm or later
Fri.-Sat. 11am-10pm or later
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