POSTED ON SEPTEMBER 28, 2011:
Soaring and Shining
Aguila O Sol gives excellent service and offers authentic Mexican cuisine
Just past the southeast border of T-town into Broken Arrow there is an out-of-the-way restaurant that will cure the craving for chips, salsa and a tasty margarita called Aguila O Sol.
For those not fluent in Spanish, the direct meaning is "eagle or sun", which refers to the flip of a coin; a colloquialism that equates to "heads or tails". This information is found in a helpful manual on each table that explains what to expect as you dine. This is definitely not a fast food experience. In fact, you are asked to enjoy your meal and your company as you would in your own home.
This kick back and relax mantra guarantees you will never be rushed by the arrival of the check at your table, and will only experience outstanding service and "the best Mexican cooking you'll ever have." A tall order, but one I discovered was easily filled.
Happy hour welcomed my compadre and me with $1-off margaritas available in several flavors and sizes, from a $2 6oz. cocktail to the 71oz. pitcher for only $12.99. They also had a selection of domestic and Mexican beers that were more than reasonably priced, starting at $3. From 5-8pm, Monday-Friday, a fiesta can be created for very little dinero. Feeling conservative on a week night, I chose the 6oz. drink, which proved to be great tasting -- not too sour or syrupy -- with a nice kick of tequila for only $1 during happy hour. The homemade recipe is also available to go in premixed one-liter or one-gallon containers. It is certainly worthy of an invitation to any fiesta or football watch party!
1500 W. Kenosha St., Broken Arrow 918-258-2966
I believe the hallmark of any restaurant is in its simplest dishes. Using this concept as my guide, I sampled the standard Mexican fare, the tried and true, like the beef red burrito ($3.75),Hector's Red Chile Relleno ($5.49), pork red tamale ($3.75), starting it all off with a comforting trio of well-balanced salsa, creamy white queso and guacamole ($4.99). To add a splash of exotic to the repertoire, I added the evening's salmon special served with rice ($12.99), which isn't exotic on most menus but a Mexican preparation intrigued me.
The menu has many specialty items, such as the mole poblano ($8.75), a pork loin or chicken specialty dish from central Mexico, or the cochinita pilbil ($8.75) which I was told is a specialty dish from the Yucatan region passed down from the owner's abuelita.
A last minute addition, the shrimp cocktail, arrived first. Now in ol' Méjico, shrimp cocktail is a little different. Instead of shrimp laid bare, ready for a dunk in a ketchup and horseradish bath, the shrimp in the Mexican cocktail swim freely with avocado, onion and cilantro. Aguila's offering was no disappointment. My small order of shrimp cocktail ($6.99) arrived in a goblet fit for Montezuma himself, with a plump, cherubic shrimp perched on the side and about 10 of his buddies submerged in the sweet-yet-acidic pool of tomatoey goodness. One of the best I've had in town and a refreshing mix on a hot summer day.
Sizzle and Spice.
Then the fiesta ala carte paraded to the table. The chicken chile relleno was the first to tempt, boasting a crispy but not soggy or thick coating on the outside of a poblano pepper, stuffed with a heavenly combo of juicy pulled chicken and a creamy note of cheese sauce. I could've left happy with just this!
Next we dove into the cheese enchilada, with creaminess unmatched by any enchilada I've had before, topped with a mild yet flavorful red sauce. Its beefy companion, the beef enchilada, lacked the same charisma. The beef red burrito shared this fate because of the bland ground beef, though it was still oddly comforting wrapped in a fresh flour tortilla and doused in a pleasant red sauce.
The pork tamale raced in to save the day with moist, masterfully seasoned pork wrapped in a heavenly masa sleeping bag. Not to be outdone, the salmon made its move. On first glance, it looked to be overdone; but when wrapped into the warm flour tortillas and built with avocado and accompanying salad, it was precisely how a Mexican version of salmon should be prepared.
The wait staff indulged this complicated gringa's every whim. I even received attention from the proprietor of the place, Gabriela Meredith. Her visit wasn't due to my peculiar order, but was simply part of any customer's experience.
I've dined at many places and the service manifesto of this restaurant outshines any I've seen or experienced, which is one of the reasons why Aguila O Sol celebrates its fifth anniversary this month. There are far more stuffy establishments that could take a lesson or two from Gabriela's playbook.
A savvy businesswoman, Gabriela even helped us properly "check in" at Aguilo O Sol on Facebook so we could receive 10 percent off our meal! There are many deals on their regularly updated Facebook page, so definitely a great restaurant page to 'gusto'.
Overall Aguila O Sol is worth the short trek to Broken Arrow, with lovingly prepared food and thoughtful service it will surely become a new favorite for great Mexican food.
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