Alvarado’s Mexican Restaurant has higher quality and higher prices
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.