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El Rodeo Mexican Restaurant (Closed)

4600 N.W. 39th St.
Oklahoma City, OK

El Rodeo Restaurant on historic U.S. 66

El Rodeo is a well known, very popular Mexican restaurant from Guthrie that has now opened in Oklahoma City on N. W. 39th Street (the old U. S. Highway 66). El Rodeo took the place of Diego's Restaurant which I believe has now moved to the former MexiCasa on N. W. 23rd Street. The important point, though, is that if anyone goes to this location thinking Diego's is still here (expecting the better than average food Diego's serves), I believe El Rodeo might be even better. At least on my initial visit I was quite impressed with it.

The owner of El Rodeo is from the Mexican state of Aguascalientes in the central region, and I have found that cooks from different areas of Mexico prepare food with their own unique seasonings and flavors. On the surface the menu does not include any specialties from Aguascalientes, but has a more generic menu that is similar to the ones found at almost all Mexican restaurants. I think the difference here, though, is in the flavor, which I found to be quite excellent.

Everything was good, including the chips, salsa, rice, drink, and even the sopapillas (which at most restaurants are rather flavorless balls of dough with sugar on top). I did not find anything that was exceptional enough to say that it was the best in OKC, but what made El Rodeo unique was the fact that everything I tried was enjoyable.

The standard Salsa that looked as if it were made with chopped tomatoes was better than most, and also spicier than average. The Hot Salsa made with green chiles, served on request, was even better. I did not find it overwhelmingly hot so that it was hard to eat, but it was good as an appetizer and also a condiment to the food that was served.

Tostadas de camaron
Tostadas de camarón

I ordered Tostadas de Camarón (shrimp) after seeing them served at another table. These had fresh avocados with good quality shrimp and a lime flavored sauce. These are one of the specialties of the restaurant, and I think for good reason. The way they were prepared was almost like a salad, and I enjoyed the fact that the shrimp was fresh.

Most of the menu was Tex-Mex, but I found much of the food to be more authentic Mexican than Tex-Mex. For instance, the Chile Relleno I sampled had a good quality chile, light cheese (not the gloppy American style cheese I often find), and a very good crust. The only thing that detracted from it on the version I tried was the ground beef (but this was an optional feature).

The Cheese Enchilada was definitely Tex-Mex style, but it had a better flavor than most, with better quality cheese. I have had good Tex-Mex food in Austin and San Antonio, and my problem with many Oklahoma restaurants is not that they serve Tex-Mex, but that it is not as good as the restaurants in Texas. El Rodeo, though, may be as good as some of the restaurants in the Alamo city.

The Rice was excellent, with a complex flavor. It was not overcooked, and I think was cooked like most good Mexican or Tex-Mex chefs would prepare it.

Horchata was freshly made and flavorful, but was the only agua fresca drink served.

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Cuisine: Mexican
Cost: $$
Smoking: No Smoking
Alcohol: Beer

Chile Index:

Most Recent Visit
Jun. 15, 2010

Number of Visits: 1

Best Items
Tostadas de Camarón, Rice, Horchata

Special Ratings
Tostadas de Camarón:
Chile Relleno:
Cheese Enchiladas:
Salsa: hot