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Alvarado's Mexican Restaurant

1000 E. 2nd St.
Edmond, OK
(405) 359-8860

Alvarado's in Edmond

Alvarado's is one of the oldest Mexican restaurants in the Oklahoma City area, and in fact my early visits to the restaurant were so many years ago it is hard to remember how many times I have actually eaten here. I do know, though, that it has always been one of my family's favorites.

Because Alvarado's is not one of the city's trendy new restaurants it does not seem to get much attention with discussion boards and restaurant reviews. I will admit that I prefer the type of authentic Mexican food that has become available in Oklahoma City recently to the more traditional Tex-Mex found in the restaurants that were popular in the 1980's and 1990's. Still, though, not all Tex-Mex restaurants are alike, and I think Alvarado's is one of the better ones.

Chips, salsa, and queso
Chips, salsa, and queso

Alvarado's follows the standard formula of serving chips, salsa, and queso as appetizers. I did not find anything in the Queso to recommend it over others in the city, but as far as I am concerned I have not found any queso appetizers that are close to the chile con queso served in El Paso (but at least the queso at Alvarado's is free).

The Salsa, although very mild and being what I would call the standard "Okie version" of Tex-Mex salsa, was quite fresh and very good. This is my way of saying that I found nothing authentic about it, but I enjoyed it. Alvarado's also has a green Spicy Salsa served on request that was more authentic and more enjoyable (especially to add as seasoning to tacos). Still, I liked the regular salsa with the chips.

The Chips were thin and not very notable. I got tired of eating the chips long before I had had enough of the "Okie version" salsa.

Tacos carne asada
Tacos carne asada

Tacos Carne Asada are one of "Alvarado's Specialties" on the menu, and they are an example of what I like about the restaurant. They were recommended as one of the more authentic Mexican dishes, and I usually find the dishes that remind me of the food in Mexico to be the ones with meat. With this dish, though, the way the meat was cooked was probably the best part. Although advertised as fajita meat, this is perhaps the first time I have found fajita meat in Oklahoma that really tasted like Mexican style cooking. The meat was moist and full of spices, and it tasted as if it had gone through a much more thorough preparation process than is done with the average fajita meat. I think calling them "carne asada" (roast beef) tacos was really an accurate representation.

Equally impressive, though, were the condiments that came with the tacos. The onions were grilled just right, and the cilantro that came with it was the way I frequently find tacos prepared in the authentic restaurants. The green spicy salsa went very well with the tacos, and I thought everything was excellent.

The Corn Tortillas tasted home made, although they were not the best I have ever had. Still, though, they contributed to the quality of the meal.

The tacos carne asada come with a choice of dipping sauce, and this may be somewhat unique to Alvarado's. There is a choice of cilantro or chipotle dip, and the cilantro dip I got tasted a lot like salad dressing (it was good, but I did not like it very much on the taco).

The meat on the tacos was perhaps not as good as the seasoning they put on it, but the whole experience was very good.

Charro Beans were on the side, and I thought they were excellent. The Refried Beans that have come with some dishes in the past were less than satisfactory to me.

A small Corn on the Cob that came with the tacos was actually an unexpected highlight of the dinner. This corn was fresh and very flavorful (and in my opinion was a very good quality corn).

My "Tex-Mex" experience has included a Chile Relleno that I thought was very good, and was made with excellent white cheese.

The Enchiladas (Tex-Mex style) were not very good at all.

The Gorditas were OK, but a definite disappointment if you've ever had the ones in El Paso.

Quite a few restaurant in Oklahoma City have authentic dishes in additon to the regular Tex-Mex, as is the case with Alvarado's. What stood out for me at Alvarado's, though, was the fact that many of the items that you "get for free" (but really pay for with higher meal prices) were pretty good. This was especially true of the salsa. Sopaipillas are not included with the meal "for free" (but are available if you want to pay extra), and this was another feature I liked about Alvarado's.

The tacos carne asada plate was especially good, though, because there was not anything on the plate that I considered a "filler" or something restaurants frequently include to make the meal look bigger. Everything was good quality, and I was not stuck with low quality rice or beans as is frequently the case with Mexican restaurants.

Some of the Tex-Mex items are good, but many of the side items and appetizers are also better than average. My best meal so far, though, has been the "Mexican style" tacos recommended by the waitress. I would say at Alvarado's it is probably best to ask the staff for a recommendation (unless you already know what you like).

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RESTAURANT DETAILS

RATING: 20

Cuisine: Mexican Tex-Mex
Cost: $$
Hours: Closed Sun.
Accessible: Yes
Additional Location: 11641 S. Western (Okla. City)
Smoking: No Smoking
Alcohol: Beer

Chile Index:

Most Recent Visit
Apr. 2, 2011

Number of Visits: 3

Best Items
Tacos Carne Asada, Spicy Salsa, Charro Beans

Special Ratings
Tacos Carne Asada:
Chile Relleno:
Corn Tortillas:
Corn on the Cob:
Charro Beans:
Salsa:
Salsa: spicy
Chips:
Queso:



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