Tacos Cavillo at Abel's Mexican Restaurant in Oklahoma City

Abel’s Mexican Restaurant: the Taqueria / Okla-Mex combo

by | August 25, 2010 | 33 Comments

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Abel's

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5822 NW 50th
Warr Acres, OK 73122
405-491-0911
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Abel’s is one of those places I have driven past for awhile, but I have never bothered to stop.  So, one weekend with family in town, we decided on a whim to try it because it was one of a few places open on a holiday.  When I called to ask how late they were open, they said – oh, maybe 7, maybe 8, it just depends.  I knew already I would like the place.

Upon entering the orange building, we were seated next to a wall painted with beautiful panoramas, and were immediately provided chips, salsa and queso.  I’ve had better queso (it is, as Andrew used to say, your typical “cheese jelly”), but the chips were warm and the salsa was fresh. They even have a couple of other salsa options if you ask for them. The green salsa is smoky and delicious.

My Mom and cousin ordered their chicken taco salad and veggie taco salad ($7.29 each), and they looked like your pretty standard Okla-Mex taco salad dishes. Other members of the family chose from the lunch menu ($1 extra in the evenings), going with the Enchiladas ($7.29), Fajitas ($8.99 – see a picture) and Quesadilla ($7.99).  All reported in with good things to say. I think I hit the jackpot, however, with the Tacos Calvillo ($9.99 – see a picture).  This is a dish of five steak tacos topped with cilantro, onion, lettuce and special salsa.  It was delicious and kept the taste buds tingling. And it was more than enough for me to let everyone have a taste.

So, you’ve got basic Okla-Mex fare mixed in with amazing dishes like the Tacos Cavillo. This is why Abel’s is such an interesting place. They offer a lot of the things we’ve all come to expect from our standard Okla-mex restaurants — free chips, salsa, and queso along with the standard dishes — but then they also offer the options you’ll typically find only at Mexican taquerias or more authentic Mexican restaurants, which are most often found in south OKC and are harder to find in Warr Acres.

The Tacos Calvillo are essentially street tacos, and very good ones at that. Abel says the tortillas used are made especially for him with his own recipe and they are, indeed, thicker and softer than what you typically get. This, plus the meat is just about the best taqueria steak ever. That said, at $10 for five (or $2 each) they are a bit more than most taquerias (for example, Chalos Tacos sells similar-sized tacos for $1.35 each just down the street), but at Abels you are getting the whole Okla-Mex set up to go along with them.

Abel’s also offers taqueria-style street tacos of many types, sold individually. They’re not on the menu, but are instead written on a big sign on the wall, and I had to ask about the pricing. They cost $1.25 each if you get them to go and $1.75 each if you dine in (since you get all the chips and everything when dining in). They have all the meats you would expect from a taqueria including marinated pork, steak, barbacoa, tripe, tongue … etc. So, as you can see, Abel’s truly is a full-on taqueria.

Abel’s also has an extensive seafood menu with a lot of dishes you won’t find at most Okla-Mex restaurants like the Caldo De Pescado (fish soup – $11.99) and 7 Mares (just about every kind of seafood mixed into a soup – $13.59). I haven’t tried these, but have heard from several people that they are very good. I look forward to exploring more of these options in the future.

And to top it all off, they offer aguas frescas including pineapple, canteloupe, horchata (rice milk), tamarind, strawberry and more at $2.50 for a 32oz glass. Now, this is something that is rare to find this far north in our city and if you haven’t given aguas frescas a try, I highly recommend stopping by for one. At Abel’s, they are all made onsite using real fruit juices.

The service at Abel’s was outstanding, and except for a few determined flies, we had a great time. Plus, you’re likely to get to meet Abel, who comes out from the kitchen every so often to talk with the guests. Tim even got a picture with him when he went (see the picture). It’s worth the trip just to get to talk to Abel. He’s super friendly, very passionate about his restaurant, and more than happy to answer any questions you may have.

So, next time you’re in the area, stop in and give Abel’s a try. If you’ve been, let us know what you tried and what you thought by leaving a comment below.

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More Photos from Abel’s Mexican Restaurant

Tacos Cavillo at Abel's Mexican Restaurant in Oklahoma CityChicken Fajitas at Abel's Mexican Restaurant in Oklahoma CityTaco at Abel's Mexican Restaurant in Oklahoma CityTacos at Abel's Mexican Restaurant in Oklahoma CityExterior of Abel's Mexican Restaurant in Oklahoma CityAbel's Mexican Restaurant in Oklahoma CityTacos Cavillo at Abel's Mexican Restaurant in Oklahoma City

This article was posted by Sarah Sutton on Wednesday, August 25th, 2010. It is filed under:

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  • cherigw says:
    August 25th, 2010 at 7:36 pm   

    realize it’s all subjective, but. . . I think I had the best Chile Relleno ever since I left El Paso in 1966.

  • Lori says:
    August 26th, 2010 at 11:08 am   

    Best authentic Mexican, not Tex-Mex, in the far West side of OKC/Warr Acres area. Similar in authentic style to Tacos San Pedros, one of my all time favorites! You must try!

  • RedSuzaku says:
    August 26th, 2010 at 12:19 pm   

    I had the Chili Relleno. It was gross and made me sick. the same old watered down cheese, same old salsa you get everywhere else. the green salsa was good though. the beans tasted like from a can. and the rice was gross. It most definitely is NOT authentic mexican food. I didn’t have the tacos, maybe they are good. but I’m not going back.

  • Lin says:
    August 26th, 2010 at 8:10 pm   

    Haven’t been there yet, but this makes me want to get right over there soon. I’ll let you know what my opinion is!

  • James says:
    August 28th, 2010 at 7:18 pm   

    I had the tacos plate and they were the best I’ve had in Oklahoma!

  • Kevin M says:
    August 28th, 2010 at 11:32 pm   

    Abel’s has awesome food and if you stick to his authentic dishes like the Tacos, Tortas, guisos, etc. They are awesome! I usually dont eat Tex Mex stuff there! Abel is one of the friendliest owners you will meet and he goes out of his way to greet the customers and make the feel welcome! I think Red Suzaku ate the wrong thing because Abels is one of the most consistent Mexican restaurants I have been to. His brother actually owns Chalo’s tacos

  • Tim says:
    August 29th, 2010 at 6:38 am   

    Kevin — did not know that about the Abel’s / Chalos connection. Thanks for the info!

  • Matt says:
    August 30th, 2010 at 5:28 pm   

    The Tacos Cavillos is what I always get there. I love the hell out of Abel’s.

  • Michele says:
    August 30th, 2010 at 6:50 pm   

    Went to Abel’s for the first time after so many glowing reports. The food was so-so, the server we had was quite rude and hateful and the flies were out of control inside. Probably will not go back anytime soon. Too bad as I think some of the food could be really great. I did not splurge-had chicken fajita enchalidas and they were ok.

  • Holley says:
    September 8th, 2010 at 8:09 am   

    I went to Abel’s a few months ago. I’ve been trying to eat more protein,less carbs. This can be daunting at a Mexican food place though. I chose the steak tacos (can’t remember what they are called on the menu). They were delish! My mom got a torta and we thought it was heavy on the bread, but hey it’s a sandwich!

    We read on the menu that they also have a southside location, but when I drove by it looked like it shared space with a BBQ place or maybe used to be there but isn’t any longer. Could someone verify?

  • Wimpy says:
    September 8th, 2010 at 4:01 pm   

    Tried Abel’s for lunch the other day, tried three tacos, they are true mexican style and were delicious, especially the pork, I’ll definately be back, very friendly,clean and efficient as well !

  • Angie says:
    September 9th, 2010 at 12:32 pm   

    We driven past Ables several times and the place is always packed. My husband and I finally got the chance to try and it was super. I’ve now introduced a few friends to Ables too. Great Tacos Calvillo.

  • jd says:
    September 10th, 2010 at 10:34 pm   

    I have been to Abel’s a couple of times and the food and the service were great. It does combine Tex-Mex with authentic Mexican food.

  • Jenn Marshall says:
    September 16th, 2010 at 9:19 pm   

    Our first experience here was last weekend and we really enjoyed it! I had the Tacos Calvillo and they were oh-so-good!

  • Becky M says:
    September 21st, 2010 at 1:50 pm   

    Noticed this place recently and was curious, then saw your review and made it a point to go. I thought my food was average. Not bad, but nothing to make me want to rush back. My friend I was with didn’t like hers at all and I don’t think I could get her to give it a second try. The service was very good. When we said it was our first visit they brought us a free appetizer and that was appreciated. I will try it again before I decide to write it off in favor of other mexican restaurants.

  • Jackie says:
    September 25th, 2010 at 2:19 pm   

    I got the Tacos Cavillo based on recommendations and it was *AWESOME*. The regular menu seemed pretty standard, so my husband ordered off the taqueria menu and loved his burrito.

    It’s definitely a place I’ll go again soon.

  • Jason says:
    October 3rd, 2010 at 2:10 pm   

    Had a chance to eat lunch here a few days ago at the newer location at 240 & may. Service was pretty poor but we didn’t expect white tablecloth service here. Cheese Jelly is a perfect way to describe the queso, salsa on the other hand was okay. Tortillas were nothing special, not big fluffy doughy ones like Ted’s which is what i expected to see here. In no way am I attempting to grade Abels on a curve by Ted’s standards. They are just two completely different types of restraunts. I had a chicken enchilada and two street tacos (beef) with beans and rice. My wife had the street tacos (chicken) with beans and rice. I also ordered a gordita from the taqueria menu just to check it out, it was a fail but would have been good with chicken instead of beef. My chicken enchilada was good and the beef tacos were okay. After trying my wifes chicken tacos i was extremely disappointed that I didn’t go with the chicken on my tacos and gordita. The chicken had excellent flavor! Couldn’t have had better flavor period. What is kind of neat about this place is it combines tex-mex with some traditional dishes. Something that stood out to me here was the beans and rice…they were really good!! I very rarely eat the refried beans that come with the standard tex-mex fare, in fact some of the time i actually omit and replace them with extra rice. I actually devoured each bite of both using tortillas as silverware!! Really good. I thought it was kind of cool that they had pictures of each dish on their menu at the front of the restraunt, not something you would see at a more formal tex-mex joint if there is such thing but kuddos to them for not being afraid to go for it. Overall this was a good experience. Due to the affordability and uniqueness of the place I will be visiting again, this time with chicken, chicken everything!! And I will wait until then to give you my final thought on Abels and whether I would reccomend it to a friend.

  • Michael says:
    October 8th, 2010 at 11:55 am   

    Definitely hitting it up this weekend. Love street tacos. Good to know there’s a restaurant not too far from my house serving them at a great price.

  • Christi says:
    October 20th, 2010 at 11:07 am   

    We hit Abel’s a few days ago. The service was below par – our waiter didn’t seem to have a good grasp of how to service 4 tables at a time and large groups seated long after us were served waaaay before us. They need to work on that. It was 20 minutes before our waiter took our order.

    Having said that, the pork tacos we had as an appetizer were outstanding. The cheese is the typical jelly others have commented on, but what do you expect for free?

    Entrees: My husband had the fish and shrimp soup and it was OUTSTANDING. Perfect blend of fresh vegetables and seafood. Not a “fishy” taste at all, just a supurb offering. I had the Tacos Calvillos. I agree with others that they are a little pricey for “street tacos”, but they were an excellent offering.

    We are looking forward to going back and hope that the service improves.

  • Jennifer says:
    October 24th, 2010 at 10:54 pm   

    This is my absolute street taco favorite! The taco cavillos are consistently yummy, and the service is friendly. They also have great burrito’s on their ala carte menue that would put any fast food place to shame five times over, and the prices are always right at Abel’s.

  • Bruce says:
    October 27th, 2010 at 6:52 pm   

    Awesome is all I can say about this place. I also had the Tacos Calvillo. I had been searching for that same flavor for 17 years. As I bit into it reminded me of standing in front of the small hole in the wall taco stand on the streets of Tijuana. It was simply an amazing flavor.

    The quoso though looks strange, had a decent taste. The salsa was chunky and hot.

    All I can say, is I will miss this place since I am not from OK.

    Thanks for the suggestion.

  • Holley says:
    November 3rd, 2010 at 12:35 pm   

    Just so you know, there’s an Abel’s just north of I-240 on May Avenue. It says Outlaws BBQ on the sign.

    Be sure and ask for the special salsa. They make it fresh with avocados and tomatoes.

    They also have a salsa and relish bar.

  • Jason says:
    November 8th, 2010 at 7:34 am   

    Had abels again this past week. This time I went 100% chicken tacos and gordita. The gordita was just okay but everything else was awesome. Service was far better this visit than the last. The beans and rice was not a fluke deal the first visit they are very good. Chips,salsa and queso were good enough and as someone mentioned above the special salsa is very unique as well. The waitress gave us two squirt bottles of sauces to put on the tacos. The green one is really good. She said it was made with avocado, lime, cilantro etc…try it on your tacos. This was our second trip to the one on the south side. I really want to try the original on the north side. For the price and the authentic food this place trumps the more well known tex-mex places around town. If you haven’t tried it it is definately worth a trip.

  • Tim says:
    December 23rd, 2010 at 8:30 am   

    Went late last night with some friends and tried the taqueria tacos for the first time. Every other time, I’ve ordered off the regular menu, but honestly, the taqueria menu is even better. Had asada, carnitas, lengua and barbacoa. The lengua was possibly the best I’ve had. Barbacoa wasn’t my favorite but asada and carnitas were both great.

    The real difference-maker here is the corn tortillas. Abel told me once they are his own recipe. They are thicker than normal. Still very small in diameter but piled high with meat and very filling.

    Also, when you dine in you get the whole set up (chips, salsa, cheese … etc) with your tacos. As a result, the tacos are most expensive ($1.75 each) but you get all of the other stuff too. If you buy the tacos to go they are less, about $1.29 I think.

  • Janice says:
    January 12th, 2011 at 10:33 am   

    My husband and I tried Abel’s last Saturday. I was excited about trying it since I love to try every Mexican place I see! Unfortunately, we were very disappointed. And I didn’t have unrealistic expectations for it, I just wanted a good, casual dining experience. First off, they must be expanding, as they walked us through a small area that looked to be the “original” dining area to an open, mostly empty, and quite ugly room with a few booths in the middle of the rooms. Felt like we were in the middle of an empty (and not very clean) convenience store and was very unappealing, to say the least. Determined to overlook that, we waited for our waiter to arrive. Someone brought chips, salsa and “cheese dip” … all of which, to me, were not good. I usually snack on the chips and queso non-stop until the food comes but in this case, after a few unsatisfying bites, I gave it up. Then a waiter came and took our drink order, then about 5 minutes later, came and took our food order. It was at least 30 minutes before our food arrived. This was on a Saturday afternoon at about 1:30. It wasn’t empty but it wasn’t overflowing either, so why it took so long to get our food, I have no idea. I ordered very simply – I got the shredded beef nachos (which I get about 80% of the time at Mexican places, so am very accustomed to them) but I could not even eat these. At first glance, they looked “different” but I was determined to give them a try. They were covered in cheese, which I love, so that was a plus. But the shredded beef had a very “red” tint to it. That didn’t disturb me, I have seen that before and it was not a problem. However, at first bite, I was overwhelmed by a very unusual taste – I can’t even really describe it, but it wasn’t good! So I had my husband taste it and he didn’t like it either. The best I know how to describe it is to say that it “almost” tasted like corned beef (and had the red coloring to match) but it wasn’t corned beef. I thought maybe it was spoiled, but … I don’t think so. So, I took a few more bites thinking I would get used to it. Nope, couldn’t do it. I ate less than 5% of the plate of food, it was all I could do. My husband had enchiladas and said they were “okay.” We probably won’t go back but if we do, we’ll have to try the “taco calvillos” mentioned above.

  • camilo says:
    February 19th, 2011 at 7:50 pm   

    los tacos son muy buenos los platillos mejor el servicio exelente selos recomiendo a todos atentamente un comelon

  • carlos says:
    February 24th, 2011 at 5:26 pm   

    la comida es muy buena lo que yo les recomiendo es que un dia a la semana vayan con su familia y disfruten ,

  • Abel’s Mexican Restaurant — Clearly Oklahoma City — Oklahoma City through my eyes says:
    May 31st, 2011 at 8:52 pm   

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  • Cristina says:
    July 6th, 2011 at 4:19 pm   

    I recently tried Abel’s for the first time (and I’m going back tonight) and it was AWESOME! I am not one to like your typical “cheese jelly” from Poblano’s etc, but this dip was seasoned and so yummy! I got the Quesadilla Mexicana and there are not words for how tasty it was! It was not your typical chicken, but marinated to a bright red and filled with tons of veggies. The beers are cold and huge. I can’t complain and can’t wait for tonight!

  • Trina Dade says:
    September 16th, 2013 at 1:54 am   

    Abel’s in Warr Acres is absolutely excellent in every way! Abel the owner, makes one feel welcome and appreciated. The service is always efficient and friendly. We have tried many, many items on the menu and have loved everyone. It is our go-to place when we have company, and all have become regulars, too. Now, we are always running into our friends and family there. We have even seen our favorite servers from other favorite restaurants eating there. The kitchen is very clean and so are the bathrooms. The prices are great as well.

    However, the same cannot be said for the May and I-240 location. The quality of the food is inconsistent at best. Abel needs to spend a little more time over there.

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