Thursday, March 29, 2012

Mexican Food Worth Driving Six Hours For

Last weekend we traveled to Oklahoma to celebrate Olivia's second birthday with family.


She loved being the center of attention, even if she didn't really understand why.

This little purse from her Aunt Janet was her favorite. She carried it around all weekend.

Of course, there was also birthday cake. Look at her eyeing it. "Do I have to share this?"

Jackson was all too eager to help her blow out the candle.

Several of her cousins came over to celebrate with us. It was a loud, rowdy house full of kids. Just the way I like it. Feel free to call me crazy.

I couldn't help think back to her first birthday, which we spent in New York, just the four of us. We still had a good time, but I'm really grateful that this year was different because we live so much closer to our family.

This two-year-old loves her grandma. They crack each other up.

One thing that me, Tony, and his mom all have in common is that we could eat Mexican food pretty much every day. In fact, we did eat it three days in a row on this visit.

I didn't have my camera the first day, when we went to Abuelita's. It was decent, but the least awesome of the three.

Next day, we went to Pepe Delgado's, which in my opinion is the best Mexican restaurant on the planet. It's not an exaggeration to say I've eaten there hundreds of times in my life and yet I still want to catch a meal there every time I am in Oklahoma.

We started with chips and salsa. You get three kinds of salsa -- a fresh salsa, a spicier cooked salsa, and an avocado salsa.

I ordered the Plato Vegetariano, which is a pile of potatoes, green peppers, and onions, covered in tomatillo salsa, guacamole, sour cream and cilantro. I can never finish it, but I always try. This is my favorite meal of all meals, ever, seriously. I've tried to duplicate it at home but I don't know the magical spell to make it as good as Pepe's.

The next day we hit Ted's Cafe Escondido. The story with Ted's is that there used to be just one location, in Oklahoma City, and you would have to wait for at least an hour to get a table because it was so popular. But now there are a couple of other locations, so the crowds have dispersed somewhat. We went for lunch at the Norman location, and didn't have to wait at all.

So, here is something that Tex-Mex restaurants here in Austin don't do, but almost all the ones in Oklahoma do. When you sit down, they immediately bring to your table a setup of chips, salsas, queso, hot pickled vegetables, and fresh tortillas. And it is all free (as long as you order an entree and don't try to just fill up on the free stuff!)

It's pretty awesome. In Austin, you might get chips and salsa, but some places even charge for those.

I ordered the spinach enchiladas, which were covered in a sour cream-lime sauce. On the side, corn studded with jalapenos, and papas (Mexican mashed potatoes). The enchilada sauce looks heavy, but it was actually very light. These were some fantastic enchiladas.

The other thing that differentiates Oklahoma Mexican (Okla-Mex?) restaurants from the ones in Austin, is that you get free sopapillas at the end of your meal. Yes, if you still have any room in your stomach, they will bring you a little puffy cloud of fried dough, liberally sprinkled with cinnamon sugar and drizzled with honey.

The perfect end to a perfect meal for our birthday girl.


  1. Are y'all gonna be in town for Texas VegFest? There's lots of fun stuff for kids to do, too!

    1. yes i'm really excited about it! i'm definitely taking the kids for a few hours.

  2. Yum all of that Mexican food looks awesome! I've recently over the past few years become really into mexican food and rice and beans is one of my favorite meals ever!! Everything looks really great, I love that first Plato Vegetariano, it looks like a perfect mix of goodness!

  3. Wow! Looks delicious! Mmmm sopapillas!!