Chica’s Mexican Cafe: they serve fresh fruit (and other surprises)


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by | May 7, 2008 | 18 Comments

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Chica’s Mexican Cafe is located in Nichols Hills Plaza at 6482 Avondale Drive in Oklahoma City (map). They are open Monday through Friday 11am to 9pm and Saturday 8am to 9pm. Call them at 405.607.8193.

PLEASE NOTE: Chica’s Mexican Cafe is no longer in business.

I don’t think I’ve ever been to a Mexican restaurant that offers fresh fruit as an alternative to rice and beans. I have to say, I like it. When I saw it on the menu, I knew that Chica’s was unique.

This small restaurant in Nichols Hills Plaza is pretty far off the beaten path. It’s about as far from the main road (Western Ave) as you can get in this little outdoor strip mall. The location was formerly occupied by a sandwich shop called Scotty’s (which, by the way, I loved). Once it changed to Chica’s, I took notice, but never went, until recently.

Cinco de Mayo came along and I naturally wanted to try some Mexican food. One of our readers had recently written to me about Chica’s and I thought, “hey, let’s give it a try.” This reader’s opinion was that Chica’s has done for Mexican food what Iron Starr did for BBQ. I can see that. I might also compare it to Saturn Grill (which, incidentally, is located at the other end of the same shopping center). It’s got that sort of trendy, shabby chic approach that attracts the local urbanites. Chica’s is definitely not trying to be the most “authentic” of Mexican places. Rather, it attempts to bring a creative and eclectic spin on Mexican food in a hip environment.

I chose the “ocean tacos.” My waitress told me they were by far the most popular dish. I chose grilled over fried (it’s great to have a choice as most fish tacos I’ve found around here are fried only). The tacos come with tilapia, a homemade slaw and an avocado green sauce, all wrapped in two soft corn tortillas. They came out piled high. Plenty of food, but light and fresh all the same. The tilapia didn’t have any “fishy” smell to it, which I appreciated. The slaw was fresh and had a great texture. The avocado sauce was smooth and creamy. All in all, they were good, I just wish that they had a bit more zip to them. I would have liked for some spice or flavor to really reach and out grab me. Instead, the flavors were a bit understated. Maybe they were trying not to overpower the fish. I don’t know, but they did leave me hanging a little bit. Still, I ate every last bite on my plate.

You get to choose two side dishes with most of the house specialties and, as I mentioned above, they have some unique options. They have regular or refried black beans, borracho beans, Mexican potatoes, cole slaw and fresh fruit. I chose regular black beans and fresh fruit. The beans were ok, nothing really special, but the fruit was fabulous. A large ramican overflowing with fresh pineapple, canteloupe and grapes. I think fruit and Mexican food really go well together. I wish more places would offer this option.

The rest of the menu at Chica’s looks fairly intriguing as well. Keep in mind, I didn’t try any of these other things, but I’ll give you an idea of what’s available. It’s mostly standard Mexican dishes, but they each seem to have a little something unique. They have breakfast offerings that are served all day including migas, huevos ranchero, and even a fruit plate with honey yogurt. Their house specialties include other interesting options like Chica’s Chicken (fajita chicken sauteed with onions, tomatoes, mushrooms, roasted poblanos and jack cheese), and shrimp and poblano enchiladas. They have a few different salads and their own tortilla soup. For dessert, you can choose from tres leches or key lime pie.

Chica’s does serve chips with salsa and cheese sauce to every table. I liked the salsa. It wasn’t my absolute favorite, but I thought it had a good amount of heat without being overpowering. The cheese sauce is better than average, smooth and creamy with a deep flavor instead of watered-down and tasteless (Andrew would approve, I think).

Most meals are in the $8 – $12 range, making it perhaps slightly more expensive than your standard Okla-mex fare. But I don’t know, last time I went to Ted’s I noticed their lunch specials were at $8.95! Casa Perico also charges $7-10 for a lunch item now. I think Chica’s is priced pretty much in line with the major Okla-mex places and, given the quality and uniqueness of their offerings, I think it is worth a try.

Oh, one more thing. Even on a very busy day like Cinco de Mayo, the service was extremely fast. I was quite impressed with the attentiveness of the staff. So, Chica’s has a lot to offer, I think. Let me know what you think about it in the comments.

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This article was posted by Tim Wall on Wednesday, May 7th, 2008. It is filed under:

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  • Dr. Pants says:
    May 7th, 2008 at 12:33 pm   

    Those fish tacos sound great. It’s pretty frustrating to try to eat healthy at a Mexican restaurant, but Chica’s might be doing it right. I wonder if you can ask the waitress to make your order spicier?

  • Andrew says:
    May 9th, 2008 at 6:55 pm   

    The spinach enchiladas are awesome. Fresh baby spinach abounds, and the whole dish is topped with a sunny side up egg. Fantastic, especially when paired with the potatoes. I wish I was able to eat here more often, it’s just a little out of my way.

  • okcfind says:
    May 21st, 2008 at 12:49 pm   

    They also have a nice sidewalk seating area so it is a good option for alfresco dining.

  • Tim says:
    May 21st, 2008 at 1:48 pm   

    okcfind, you are right! I didn’t get to sit out there because it was all filled up on Cinco De Mayo, but I was envious of the outdoor diners. Good call.

  • Tim says:
    June 11th, 2008 at 7:32 pm   

    Ok, I went back today for lunch and I have to say, I wasn’t as impressed. I asked them if they could make the fish tacos spicier and they said yes, but they came out just about the same, which is pretty bland. This time, they had a bit of that fishy taste, which wasn’t the case the first time. I also tried the borracho beans to see if they were better than the black beans, but they weren’t. They were bland as well. My wife tried the chicken tacos and said they were also just kind of average.

    Anyway, I really, really want to like this place but I don’t think it’s going to be a regular stop for me. I think it’s worth a try because it’s unique and different, and then you can see what you think.

    I do still love the fresh fruit, though.

  • Rena says:
    September 12th, 2008 at 3:32 pm   

    My husband and I tried Chica’s last month. We were trying to find a place not crowded and close to our house. I MISS Laredo’s darnit!!! We enjoyed our experience enough we plan on returning soon. The quacamole was great.. a bit pricey…but great!

  • James says:
    October 31st, 2008 at 7:54 am   

    I could almost eat there just for their queso and chips alone. Also, try a margarita, they’re a great deal compared to most restuarants. They bring you the shaker, which amounts to about 2 margaritas anywhere else. Also, I recommend the Mexican potatoes over the beans. The beans were a little bland.

  • Suzy says:
    May 1st, 2009 at 2:44 pm   

    Like Chica’s- fried tacos are good- fish tacos were a bit fishy, but like it overall…

  • CG says:
    November 30th, 2009 at 6:36 pm   

    While the food isnt bad, the prices are, look elsewhere.

  • sarah says:
    June 19th, 2010 at 3:00 pm   

    Tried it for lunch today. Food was good – tacos al carbon some of the best I’ve had. Hubby said the chicken in his tacos was a little overdone. Service was good up until we got our food, then they pretty much forgot about us. There were only three other tables with people. The lemon berry cake was dry.

  • Megan says:
    June 28th, 2010 at 4:08 pm   

    Chica’s has the best guacamole that I’ve ever had. I could not stop eating it!

  • Hannah says:
    September 9th, 2010 at 10:27 am   

    I really like Chica’s ocean tacos and the variety of sides that they offer. Also–their queso is delicious and a little bit different from other places. I also LOVE their margs.

  • M&Co. says:
    October 22nd, 2010 at 10:59 pm   

    We at there tonight. Service was a little slow but it was very busy. The food was good. I liked the chips and salsa. I liked that it was kid friendly.

  • Sam says:
    December 21st, 2010 at 11:05 pm   

    Reading the other reviews, I must have gone on the worst night ever for this place. The service was so bad that I did not leave a tip for about the third time in my life. The food was also no better than ok. Queso was good. Place is expensive for what you get, we won’t go back.

  • Sandy says:
    January 9th, 2011 at 11:41 pm   

    Went there for lunch today – was not impressed. Salsa was watery and tasteless, black beans were right out of a can I swear. My shrimp and poblano enchiladas were dry and the shrimp were cooked to death – our lunch for 2 people was $45.00 and we drank water!!! with the amount of mexican restaurants in town – how can they stay in business?

  • Christina Hughes says:
    January 22nd, 2011 at 5:30 pm   

    I tried Chica’s last night before the Kathy Griffin show with my handy eataroundokc deal. Now, I’m a cook, a serious one so a lot of times what other people think is really good is not so good to me so keep that in mind.

    The salsa and queso were thankfully nothing to write home about so I didn’t eat much at all. I didn’t need to eat a basket of chips. Salsa really isn’t that hard to master, and theirs didn’t have much flavor. The cheese sauce tasted like maybe it was make with chicken broth, not so cheesy. I was glad for that though. I was much more enjoying my company than the food.

    I ordered the ocean tacos which I was up in the air about after reading the reviews here. I got them grilled, with fresh fruit and refried black beans. I asked for them spicy as I was afraid they would be bland. O M G they weren’t spicy they were absolutely searing hot. I drank at least 6 glasses of water. I like hot food but no so hot my mouth wants to fall off. I order Thai curry usually at the hottest number and I’m good with that. I was sort of afraid to send my food back so I suffered through it. They were good, but WAY WAY too hot. The fresh fruit was really good and really fresh. Pineapple, orange wedges and strawberries that seemed they were cut that evening. Our bill for two was about $30. I can only think that they must have read these reviews and were going as far away from bland as possible.

  • Debbie says:
    March 27th, 2011 at 5:59 pm   

    I am not a Mexican food fan at all (& husband isn’t much of one either) but a friend told me that Chica’s had good cookies & I am a lover of good cookies. I am now hooked on Chica’s margarita cookies – white chocolate with a lime flawor – very good & very distinctive! I got my husband one of their chocolate chunk cookies yesterday & he really liked it – said it was very moist and much better than cookies from other places. He just wishes they also made peanut butter cookies – his favorite.

  • Rana says:
    November 21st, 2012 at 8:40 am   

    Check out Gordito’s in the Greenwood area on Greenwood and 85th. Fantastic food for excellent pecris! Come around lunchtime on weekdays, though, and expect to stand in line. It’s worth waiting for, but those are busy times. They get great reviews all over the place, from Citysearch, papers, and such, and they are definitely as good as their reviews! If you just moved to the area, it’s in North Seattle, just off of Aurora (99). Hang a left on 85th when heading north on Aurora and just after the light where 85th intersects Greenwood, it’ll be on your left-hand side with a little parking lot right after. There are other places, but this is definitely my fave for quick delicious Mexican fare!

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