Alvarado’s Mexican Restaurant has higher quality and higher prices

by | September 13, 2008 | 10 Comments

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For my parents, finding a good Mexican restaurant took them years. When I was a kid, we went to Pepe’s — not the finest food around — and El Chico. They tried Dos Gabachos. They tried Casa Perico. They were not satisfied.

But when I came home from college, they said they wanted to go to Alvarado’s. And when we got there, Carlos, the owner, knew them. So did the waitstaff. That’s because my parents eat there constantly — and I know why.

There are a few “experience” Mexican restaurants out there — the kinds of places where the food is only one component of visiting the restaurant. Alvarado’s, like most Mexican restaurants, is not the place to have an experience. The food has to be good or the customers will go down the road to the hundreds of other options available.

The truth is, most Mexican joints make me yawn. The food is bland and any indecision I face with the menu is just me trying to decide which dish will underwhelm me today. Not so at Alvarado’s, where I have genuine anxiety trying to choose what to eat because there are so many good choices.

I’m not going to say Alvarado’s is authentic. These dishes aren’t designed to give us a taste of life in Mexico — they’re just delicious. So I don’t know if you can find Guiso Mexicano ($8.69) south of the border, but I love it in Edmond. The dish is sirloin tips, simmered to tenderness in a tomatillo sauce with guacamole and the requisite rice and beans on the side. Many are the times I’ve used the complimentary tortillas to make a few spicy tacos out of this meal.

The Tacos Carne Asada ($9.99) are a treat, too, with crispy diced fajita meat in corn tortillas and frijoles rancheros on the side.

Both my mother and my wife prefer the Tortilla Soup, which you can get in a cup ($1.99 w/entree) or bowl ($5.99), depending on your appetite. This creamy soup is packed full of shredded chicken and crunchy tortilla strips. I could stand if it was a little spicier, but it’s a crowd-pleaser nonetheless.

On my last trip, I was excited to see that the Fish Tacos ($9.99) contained grilled tilapia instead of the usual fried fishsticks some other restaurants insist on using. The fish was flavorful, but not hot. Next time I’ll ask if they can dice a few jalapenos and mix them in with the flaked fish for me.

For dessert, my family is now devoted to the sopapilla with brandy butter sauce ($1.19). I can’t imagine going back to the dry, flavorless sopapillas I’ve had elsewhere after this rich dish. Split it with someone, because it might be too much for one.

There are many more dishes I’ve enjoyed at Alvarado’s — just about everything on the menu — so I’ll stop here. While the food is good, I will admit the prices tend to be a little higher than some competitors. And if the selection weren’t so great and the dishes so consistently delicious, I could see going someplace else. As it is, though, there aren’t many places in Edmond that can give your taste buds the same treatment as Alvarado’s. Give it a try and let us know what you think in the comments.

Alvarado's Mexican Restaurant on Urbanspoon

Alvarado's Mexican Restaurant on Urbanspoon

This article was posted by Greg Elwell on Saturday, September 13th, 2008. It is filed under:

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  • Holley says:
    September 14th, 2008 at 2:27 pm   

    There’s another Alvarado’s on the southside at SW 119th and Western in Greenway Plaza. I am not sure if it is the same guy, but I think it is.

    I like it ok, but I would much rather go to Tarahumara’s in Norman or Las Palomas on NW 23rd and Meridian.

  • Beverly says:
    September 15th, 2008 at 8:32 am   

    I haven’t been to Alvarado’s, but you reminded me that I first discovered guiso in Norman, at Tulio’s. I find that I measure any other guiso against theirs. It’s really good, and Tulio’s is a small, family-type establishment that I enjoy. It’s on the east side of Norman, at 12th and Alameda.

  • Marilyn says:
    September 15th, 2008 at 9:40 am   

    I used to eat there all the time in college. It’s the best Mexican in town and I miss it. I might just have to take a trip into Edmond soon!

  • Kevin says:
    September 17th, 2008 at 2:41 pm   

    For great Mexican food in Edmond, I think the best is not Alvarados, but go to Los Arcos on 2nd st. It is some of the best Tex-Mex/Mex on the North side including OKC and Edmond. They have all the guisos plus more!!

  • Diana says:
    September 22nd, 2008 at 1:35 pm   

    I didnt know great mexican food and edmond could all go in the same sentence.

  • Amy says:
    September 22nd, 2008 at 1:47 pm   

    Wow! Home of the Soccer Mom AND the best Mexican Dish, who knew?

    All kidding aside, I’m up for trying it, the sopapilla with brandy butter sauce sounds excellent especially for that price!

  • Kelly says:
    October 9th, 2008 at 10:44 am   

    I have been to both Alvarados restaurants. I prefer the food at the Edmond location, but for the sopaipillas the South side location rules.

  • john says:
    November 13th, 2008 at 2:17 pm   

    Carlos Jr. runs the Edmond location, I believe his dad runs the one on the south side. I agree the the food isn’t the most authentic, or best, but Carlos makes a point to chat with everyone, the wait staff is good at getting to know you as well.

    As far as prices go, I think to say they are high is a bit unfair with the Ted’s and Dos Gabachos there in town. I find Alvarados to actually be one of the more reasonably priced locations.

  • Katie says:
    March 22nd, 2009 at 3:44 pm   

    High Prices??? Maybe compared to Taco Bell.
    The food is awesome! I eat there at least once a week! There is a good variety of items leaning toward the authentic side and the Tex/Mex side.
    The chimichangas are the best in town. I usually get chicken with the salsa verde on top; jalapeno rice and chipotle mashed potatoes on the side.(less that $7 at lunch time)

    The Spicy Carnitas are another favorite of mine. Its pulled pork with sauteed onions, rice, beans and their spicy avocado salad. DELICIOUS!

    For something lighter try the Shimp Avocado Salad with the Crema de Guac dressing.

  • Jason says:
    September 22nd, 2010 at 12:33 pm   

    We tried this restaraunt a few times since we live very close by (119th and western location). It is a little more pricey than I had expected for a smaller mexican restaraunt. I was never blown away by anything I had there but I was never served anything that was bad. Service was great. One thing I will compliment on about Alvarado’s is they bring their own style. It is not your everyday okla-mex that we are all so familiar with. It definately has some authentic qualities tucked away inside. So if you tired of the same ol same ol it is worth a try. For me Ted’s is just too close by to stop in more than once a year or so!!

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