Wednesday 23 Jul

Food briefs: You’re toast, er, pretzel

There’s a new food truck on the scene.
07/22/2014 | Comments 0

Upward mobility

Locals can have fresh microgreens and herbs for cooking in a new and convenient way. Microgreens, a chef favorite, are petite vegetable greens that add color, nutrition and flavor to dishes.
07/23/2014 | Comments 0

Vietnamese comfort food

I’ve always had a love affair with the refreshing, healthy cuisine of Vietnam. I love the fragrances, the fresh herbs, cilantro, basil, mint and other Asian herbs: perilla, Vietnamese coriander and sawtooth cilantro. And I love the contrast and balance in almost every dish: spicy vs. cool, salty vs. sweet and steamed vs. crispy.
07/16/2014 | Comments 0

OKG eat: Cool places, cooler drinks

We know. It’s hot. It’s summer in Oklahoma. Cool down by sampling cocktails that local bars and restaurants have concocted just for you. Find a nice, air conditioned space or a shaded patio and while away the hours drinking the flavors of summer. You might decide it’s not that bad after all.

— by Devon Green, photos by Mark Hancock, Shannon Cornman and Lauren Hamilton

07/23/2014 | Comments 0

New kids on the block

There are a wealth of new local eateries cropping up in the metro and even more coming. If they’re not on your radar, they should be. From the comfy atmosphere at The Barrel on Western Avenue to the laid-back vibe at the Plaza District’s coffee shop, you might find a new regular hangout.

— by Devon Green, photos by Mark Hancock and Shannon Cornman

07/16/2014 | Comments 0


Ah, the perils of working with special dietary needs. It can make dining out a pain. Luckily, with restaurateurs becoming more savvy to their diners’ needs, there are a bevy of places in OKC to satisfy your craving for the foods you love without losing taste. All choices this week have been road-tested by gluten-sensitive foodies to guarantee satisfaction.
07/09/2014 | Comments 0
Home · Articles · Food · Restaurant Reviews · The whole enchilada
Restaurant Reviews

The whole enchilada

House-made tortillas are the just the beginning of benevolent offerings from this Flavor Country.

Greg Elwell August 8th, 2012

Alvarado's Mexican Restaurant
1000 E. Second, Edmond

What works:
Tortilla soup and tacos poblanos are must-haves.
What needs work:
Thanks to a college crowd, it can get pretty busy.
The tip:
If you want a hotter salsa, ask for it.

Credit: Mark Hancock

Have you ever seen one of those nature videos where a school of piranhas attacks a cow and just strips all the flesh off in a matter of minutes? That is pretty much what it looks like when my family attacks a basket filled with freshly made tortillas.

Almost every Tuesday night, my parents and my brother and sister-in-elaw descend upon Alvarado’s Mexican Restaurant in Edmond. I’m not sure if the waitress bothers asking what they want anymore. Enchiladas. Flour tortillas. That hot green salsa.

It’s a ritual. Since I don’t live in Edmond, and I have a toddler who views restaurants the same way Mongols viewed much of the Chinese countryside, we don’t get to join them all that often.

Oh, but when we do, the feasting.

The feasting!

Alvarado’s is one of many “Okla- Mex” restaurants that combines a few authentic Mexican dishes with plenty of the Americanized Mexican foods so many of us love. Here you get the “cheese jelly” queso in yellow and white, along with a zesty fresh salsa and chips. It’s the sort of thing you take for granted until you have a child who is desperate to eat the second you sit down.

Regardless of your own encumbrance by children, I do suggest you sit down and immediately order the tortilla soup ($5.99 for a bowl, $1.99 for a cup on the side).

I do not think it is a pretty soup.

Alvarado’s does not decorate it with sauces or tri-colored tortilla strips. It is a bowl. Of soup. There might be some cilantro on top.

What matters is what happens when your spoon enters the bowl. There’s a lot of chicken down there, as well as a creamy, spicy chicken broth. It is a magnificent concoction. Get the bowl if you’re hungry, although I tend to get a cup on the side with an entree.

And now the real battle begins.

Shredded chicken in a fresh flour tortilla, covered in sour cream sauce? Spicy and alluring tacos poblanos? Guiso Mexicano?

Tuesday nights are half-priced enchilada nights, so that’s usually what my family gets. (Similarly, we always seemed to eat Sonic burgers on half-priced nights when I was a kid. Weird, huh?) And while I certainly understand the draw of those enchiladas, I have other favorites.

Tacos poblanos ($9.99) are some of the best things you can put in your mouth. The fresh tortilla barely restrains tender, seasoned chicken (you can have beef, if you’d rather) and sautéed onions and poblano peppers.

Alvarado’s does a good job of seeding the peppers, but that doesn’t mean you won’t get a nice kick of heat. Paired with the spicy soup, you might find yourself sweating.

Their rice and beans are fine as they are, but I tend to switch it up and get frijoles machos (manly beans) and jalapeño rice. Welcome to Flavor Country.

The guiso Mexicano ($9.49) is a dish of seasoned and simmered steak tips in a sauce of tomatillo, jalapeño, onion and cilantro. Please be aware that your brain might have trouble reconciling the desire to shovel this dish into your mouth as quickly as possible with the need to stop and drink water to put out the flames.

For those looking to avoid all burning sensations, it’s hard to recommend the fajitas. I mean, they taste great and they’re not all that spicy, but they do come on a sizzling hot plate. If you have the willpower to leave a searingly hot cast iron skillet alone, you might very much enjoy the shrimp fajitas ($18.99). I’m equally taken with the camerón enchilado ($10.99), which isn’t enchiladas, but seared and seasoned shrimp on a bed of jalapeño rice.

Do you have room for dessert? No.

You don’t. And yet you will still get the brandy butter sopaipilla ($1.29), because you are a human with a functional mouth. Share if you must, but beware: Stronger bonds than yours have been tried and tested by the last bite of this sopaipilla.

Go to Alvarado’s. Enjoy the Mexican fare. Watch the machine churn out tortillas. And if you’re there on a Tuesday, enjoy watching my family eat their ritually mandated meal. But careful with your hands — this lot tends to bite.

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

  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
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