Friday 25 Apr
 
 

Green is good

Two enterprising former restaurant owners looked around Oklahoma City’s restaurant industry and thought it could be a lot greener. Chris Buerger and his partner, Brian DeShazo, took notice of the fact that there is no infrastructure to recycle in area restaurants.
04/23/2014 | Comments 0

Chow time

Chow’s Chinese Restaurant

3033 N. May Ave.

949-1663

What works: Dumplings, anything with ginger-scallion sauce, and lots more.

What needs work: Watch out for the raw garlic.

Tip: Take-out is a big time-saver.

04/23/2014 | Comments 0

Peru-fect

Naylamp Peruvian Restaurant

2106 SW 44th St.

601-2629

facebook.com/naylamprestaurante

What works: The friendly staff and authentic food give guests a true Peruvian experience.

What needs work: The small restaurant is kind of difficult to spot.

Tip: The choritos a la chalaca are a must-try for seafood fans.

04/23/2014 | Comments 0

OKG eat: Highfalutin dining

You don’t have to be a millionaire or a head of state to eat like one. While dining like a king every night might quickly take its toll on your pocketbook, sometimes it feels good to eat like a well-heeled big wheel. For a special occasion or maybe just as a special treat, look no farther than these upscale eateries to tempt your taste buds and delight your palate.

— By Louis Fowler, photos by Mark Hancock and Shannon Cornman

04/23/2014 | Comments 0

OKG7 eat: Fresh off the farm

There was a time not too terribly long ago in Oklahoma City when there was a chain on every corner and the closest you could get to local was to make a trip to your farmers market and make the food yourself. We always celebrate all things local, and luckily, it’s getting easier for OKC restaurants to incorporate locally grown, all- natural ingredients into what they offer.


— By Devon Green

photos by Mark Hancock and Shannon Cornman

04/16/2014 | Comments 0

OKG7 eat: Soccer pub crawl

Football season is finally here! We call it soccer, but that doesn’t have to stop you from indulging in two favorite European traditions: walking and pub crawling. Since the Energy FC games will be alcohol-free, we’ve created a list of pubs and taverns within walking distance from Clement E. Pribil Stadium at Bishop McGuinness Catholic High School.

— by Devon Green 

photos by Mark Hancock and Shannon Cornman

04/09/2014 | Comments 0
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Restaurant Reviews
 

Chillin’ at Chelino’s


Chelino’s creates a homey atmosphere for hearty Mexican fare.

Carol Smaglinski September 28th, 2011

Soaking wet (What, was that rain?), we opened the door of the Chelino’s on 50th near MacArthur and were delighted to see the colorful, bright orange interior transporting us right to the heart of Mexico. Who knew Mexico was this close?

This is the most recent addition to the locally based Chelino’s chain. Diners were mostly groups of four to six men who filled the tables in the simple, cheerful dining room while inhaling the food from the kitchen. There was no way they were leaving the least bit hungry.

The Chelino’s menu takes a bit of studying before ordering, but most of us have our favorites, and it is easy to zero in on them. 

So with our forks poised, server Esperanza Sanchez brought us complimentary chips, salsa good enough to be eaten with a spoon and cheese sauce, along with corn and flour tortillas. We ordered three scoops of so-healthy guacamole ($5.99), which is made fresh all day long. It came on a bed of crisp lettuce, garnished with a slice of tomato.

Then we shared the botana ($7.99), a pleasurable plate holding grilled onions, tomatoes, Mexican potatoes and sliced avocados, along with flavorful fried jalapeños that set our tongues tingling. Those green jalapeño peppers are incidentally named after Xalapa, the capital city of the state of Veracruz, Mexico.

Other starters range from five versions of nachos ($6.99 to $9.99) — including a deluxe, fiesta, grande, bean and a cheese — and a plato fiesta ($7.99) that could easily make a whole meal.

I chose my entrée under the fiesta dinners section of the large menu, and it was the chicken and rice dinner ($10.99). The 5-ounce tender and tasty chicken breast was grilled and topped with melted Jack and Cheddar cheeses on top, and came with rice, refried beans, pico de gallo and guacamole. I requested the well-seasoned borracho beans instead of refried beans, and it was done with a smile.

Our other menu item was topshelf! We were wowed by the Free Willy ($13.99, with lots of bang for the buck). It’s a whole catfish grilled with its head on, cheeks intact. While it was being cooked, our server popped out a few times to beg for more time. It arrived shortly, with the addition of sliced avocado and Mexican potatoes also worthy of attention.

We were wowed by the Free Willy, a whole catfish grilled with its head on.

For dessert, we had a slice of its awesome flan ($2.75) and churros ($1.95) done in the form of triangles, made from sweet dough that had been fried and then sprinkled with confectioners’ sugar.

Along with familiar south-ofthe-border menu items, Chelino’s also features a ranchero steak and shrimp dinner ($13.99) cooked with onions, tomatoes and bell peppers served on a sizzling skillet. The excellent fish tacos ($11.99) are done with catfish grilled in spices and garlic with grilled fresh vegetables. The nifty shrimp cocktail ($10.99) is presented in a large, chilled goblet with V8 juice, Tabasco, diced avocado, diced onion, cilantro and zinged up with a bit of lime juice.

As we observed and scrutinized the place, I thought: Big dreams sure turned into reality here. The local Chelino’s chain is owned by Marcelino Garcia and began with just three workers. He got his start, like so many do, as a dishwasher at age 16, then a busboy and then a fry cook. In the late 1980s, he opened his own place, which has grown to a dozen locations.

This 50th street version is owned by Marcelino’s brother, Armando. Armando’s son, Armando Jr., is the chef, and his brother, Jonathan, is a waiter. Armando Jr. started cooking when he was just 8 years old.

As far as the reviewed meal, we could not clean our plates, but that’s the thing with familyowned restaurants: You feel pretty guilty if you don’t, and they want to know why. Filled white boxes went home with us.

Photo by Mark Hancock

Oklahoma Gazette’s restaurant review policy is to highlight the positive aspects, and include constructive criticism regarding food, ambience or service when appropriate.

 
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