Oh that is right friends we are having a Mexican food face off on the blog. Phil and I are both ginormous fans of Mexican food and actually ate it 5 nights this past week. The first contender is Felipe’s which is a long-standing staple in Wichita. It also happens to be one of my (Stephanie) favorite Mexican restaurants. The other is Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church in Hutchinson, KS. Guadalupe is not a staple in Wichita, however it is one at the Kansas State Fair. It is also one of a small handful of food booths that Phil and I stop at each year. Let’s start with Felipe’s first since we ate there on Friday.
We tend to visit the Felipe’s located at 21st and Woodlawn but have been known to go to Harry and Webb as well when we are eating with Phil’s family. Felipe’s salsa and chips leave lots to be desired. The hot salsa doesn’t have much spice or taste to it and the mild isn’t much better. So we don’t go there for the chips and salsa. I go there for the Combination #1. Included is a cheese enchilada, a flour (you can choose corn, don’t know why you would, but you can) taco, and a bean tostada with a side of beans and rice. The cheese enchiladas at Felipe’s are my favorite enchiladas and I have yet to find another place that can beat them. Their menu says the enchiladas are corn tortillas dipped in Felipe’s special chile anco enchilada salsa filled with cheese, then topped with house cheese, and then prepared in a traditional Mexican fashion. I have no idea what the traditional Mexican fashion is, but that is what makes the difference. They can be pretty heavy with all of that cheese but oh so wonderful. The taco is another favorite because they do not heavily season their beef and they use ground beef, not shredded. Also, you have a choice of a flour or corn shell. Just order the flour.
The Guadalupe parish has a strong Hispanic community and members of the parish prepare and serve all of the food. Unfortunately they only bust out the dishes once a year for the fundraiser at the fair, but that is probably what makes it taste so good. So obviously you cannot go to the fair without sampling because if you missed out one year, you would have to wait another year, which would make even the strongest person go insane. We both ordered a cheese enchilada and taco. These enchiladas and tacos are absolutely wonderful when you consider the fact that they are made ahead of time and left in a warmer until they are served. So fair warning you may get one that isn’t as hot as you may like (my enchilada this past time for example). However, you can taste the homemade deliciousness in each one of these creations. I have to say that if the church had its own restaurant it would probably move ahead of Felipe’s on my list of favorites. But since I can only get their food once a year at the fair, then it has to stay in third. Fun fact: For both of us our absolute favorite Mexican restaurant is Tarahumara’s in Norman, OK. Look for a blog about it come October.
Since we were at the fair there was of course several other “delicacies” that we tried including a Krispy Kreme hamburger. (Insert favorite heart attack joke here) It is an actual hamburger with lettuce and tomato that has two Krispy Kreme glazed doughnuts for the bun. We decided to split one four ways with my parents. One quarter of this thing was enough for me and no I will never need to eat one again. I couldn’t figure out what the big deal about them was because it really wasn’t that good. It was too rich and heavy and I only at a fourth of the thing! In hindsight they did offer a chicken instead of beef, which would have been much better. Hopefully they will be offering it next year. One of my absolute favorites of the day was stopping at the Dairy Bar which is under the Grandstand. It is the place to go for ice cream at the fair because it is the best and you can also support local dairy farmers. I got a single dip waffle cone with chocolate chip cookie dough. They have tons of flavors you can order so you should be able to get your favorite. We also always stop at the Salt Water Taffy place outside of the Sunflower building. Make sure you stop at this one, because the other isn’t as good. They have strawberry, chocolate, vanilla, banana, butter rum, black walnut flavors and maybe one or two more.
And last but certainly not least: Ye olde Pronto Pups!!! A pronto pup is the technical culinary term for a hotdog dipped in cornmeal batter and fried to a golden brown deliciousness. And they’re even hand dipped, which is a strange selling point. How else would you get the batter onto the dog? I can’t see these food trailers buying some large robot to dip hotdogs. Anyway this year I found out that a Pronto Pup is a perfectly acceptable food to have at 10 in the morning.