If Mexican cuisine is high on the list for dining out destinations, Tulsa is teeming with options. From nominal chain restaurants to one-of-a-kind mom and pop places -- Mexican food is a dominate cuisine throughout the city. I have a few favorite places that I am notorious for frequenting when the craving for Mexican food overpowers me. One of my favorites is Señor Tequila on Brookside, not just for the food but also for the atmosphere and friendly service.
Everyone is an amigo here.
A friend and I dined here one weeknight recently. Inviting and cheery Mexican music was our welcome to Señor Tequila. This set the tone for an enjoyable, slow-paced Mexican dining experience. Since the dinner rush was seemingly over, we were one of a handful of tables occupied this particular evening. Our server perfectly paced the evening, without being overly attentive and allowing time to enjoy each dish.
We were promptly served complimentary chips and salsa. Our beverage order was next: Top Shelf Margarita ($5.50) for me and a Negro Modelo ($3.50) for my friend. The Margarita is made with premium Tequila1800 and Grand Marnier -- it was just okay; the Grand Marnier was sparse. Margaritas are plentiful here, from The Big Mama (45.5 ounces of "pure pleasure," also known as the Panty Dropper) to the Blue-Eyed Gringa -- Tequila1800 with Cointreau and Blue Curacao. Almost 40 types of tequilas are available straight up with salt and lime, ranging in price from $4.25 to $70.
Señor Tequila's boasts of serving "authentic Mexican cooking, traditional to modern recipes." And, from the menu selections, we found many Mexican favorites, alongside dishes not as common, such as Burrito California (the "big daddy" of all burritos -- extra large flour tortilla filled with grilled fajita-style beef, rice, beans) and Chile Colorado (chunks of juicy beef filled with a ranchero sauce).
The appetizers for the most part are what one would expect: a few versions of nachos, Cocktail de Camaron "Acapulco," Quesadilla Rellena, Taquitos Mexicanos and Buffalo Wings, yes, Buffalo Wings -- chipotle-spiced chicken drummettes. We simply asked for a side of Guacamole Dip ($3.50).
We were pleased with our servings of salsa and guac. The salsa was a pureed version with small pieces of cooked onion. The guacamole was a moderate-size serving of fresh, avocado salad -- smooth for the most part. Señor Tequila's version did have a few pieces of avocado which added interest to each bite. It was somewhat bland -- salt and a few sprinkles of fresh lime juice added an extra flavorful burst to it.
Menus at Mexican restaurants can be overwhelming at times. Unending pages of clever concoctions of many of the same items are presented, which can leave a diner perplexed. Señor Tequila's menu is moderate, with ample selections for most all palates. Major divisions include Ensaladas (Salads), Especialidades de la Casa y Tradiciones Mexicanas (Fajitas, From the Grill, From the Sea), Combinaciones (Platters, Burritos, Chimichangas, Enchiladas), Combinaciones Vegetarianas (vegetarian combinations), Almuerzos (lunch specials), and Especiales del dia (daily specials).
For our dinner this evening, we settled on the Tortilla Soup ($3.99), Carne Asada "Al Tequila" ($10.99) and the Burrito de Chile Verde ($7.50). My friend desired the soup, which we both agreed was a very good version: a savory chicken broth with Mexican spices and strips of chicken, then garnished with avocados, cilantro and tortilla chips. The broth seemed to be built with a solid chicken broth, tomato sauce and a touch of cream. The chicken had a distinctly grilled flavor, and the avocado pieces were large and welcome in this slightly spicy soup. Cilantro (also known as Chinese parsley and coriander) dominated the flavor, adding a fresh, bright taste to the soup.
My friend's Carne Asada is described as a "lean, tenderized skirt steak grilled to perfection topped with our special Tequila sauce." This flat steak, my friend said, had a dominant grilled flavor and was slightly spicy. Red pepper flakes were lightly scattered on the steak.
This dish came with a cheese enchilada, rice, beans and homemade tortillas. The cheese enchilada was "ordinary, something you can get anywhere," he determined. The rice was light to taste and texture, with airy grains, and a few green peas were part of this side dish. It was a filling accompaniment, nothing more. The pinto beans, likewise, were mashed and creamy and just okay. Nothing there to call attention to them.
My dish was good -- tender chunks of pork cooked with salsa verde were wrapped in a large flour tortilla and then topped with lettuce, guacamole, and their special homemade sauce. The most noticeable part of this dish was that the flour tortilla had been grilled, which added a little crispiness to the otherwise soft textured meal. The flavor of the chile verde was, again, just okay. There was nothing to wow me or bring me back to Señor Tequila for this same dish. It was hearty and filling, though.
Lunch specials at Señor Tequila are quite reasonable, ranging in price from $4.75 for a taco, rice and beans to fajitas at $6.99. And, children have their own menu of which includes a Hot Dog, Taco Niño, Enchilada Niño, Niño Cheeseburger and Burrito Niño.
Other local Señor Tequila locations include 6973 E. 71st St. and 9999 S. Mingo.
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