Tag Archives: best mexican food wichita ks

Molinos

24 Aug

Frida’s was a small Mexican restaurant that Steph and I sadly discovered right before it closed back in 2010. It was one of our first dive experiences and got us hooked on “off the beaten path” dining. Their piratas and salsa bar were things of beauty. Luckily the owners of Fridas are back in the restaurant business with their new place called Molinos, located on North Waco next to Juarez Bakery. While it is not an exact copy of Frida’s, they have many of the same items, including the beloved piratas.

Inside, the décor and seating has not changed much from when Las Tias de Beto inhabited the space. It’s still clean and new looking with decent seating areas. The menu has a good mixture of familiar Tex-Mex style dishes that you can find at many Mexican restaurants, as well as more traditional and unique items. I have noticed several online commenters railing against the fact that many of their dishes aren’t traditional Mexican. While I agree with this observation, I don’t see what the big deal is. Molinos is trying to serve a menu that blends both authentic and Tex-Mex into delicious combinations. If you want straight up authentic food, there are plenty of other

A Famous Pirata and a Gordita

A Famous Pirata and a Gordita

places to visit in Wichita.  Some of the highlights of the menu are the aforementioned piratas, a pineapple and mint salad, a baked potato with queso, and elote(a Mexican version of corn with mayo, crema, and cheese). Most meals come with your choice of meat including carnitas, chicken, and cochinita pibil. Keeping up the Fridas tradition, upon request they will bring you out several of their salsas to sample.

On our visit I went with a pirata and a gordita. The pirata consists of a crispy flour tortilla stuffed with your choice of meat(carnitas in my case), melted cheese, lettuce, sour cream, and guac. A small bowl of pico de gallo is served on the side. My pirata was as delicious as the version I remembered from Fridas. It is really the perfect Tex-Mex dish that incorporates as much goodness into one tortilla as legally possible. For the gordita I ordered cochinita pibil as my meat. As evidenced by the picture, this little meat filled tortilla pocket was not quite as breathtaking as the pirata, but at least the cochinita was good. It had a sweet and tangy taste and was very moist. The gordita shell, made from masa, was certainly fresh and chewy. With some pico de gallo it made for a tasty meal. Steph went with her usual default Mexican restaurant order of chicken enchiladas. For her sides she ordered the charro beans and elote. Molinos serves their version of elote in a bowl and let me tell you it’s addicting. There will be no going back to grandma’s creamy corn recipe after you get a taste of elote. Not to be overshadowed, the enchiladas and charro beans were solid as well. The  two enchiladas came smothered with a savory chile sauce that certainly did not originate from a can. Topped with sour cream and  cheese, they were very good. The charro beans were quite amazing as well. Charro beans are a nice break from refried beans and are typically more like a hearty soup. Molinos’ version were some of the best I have had in town. They were nicely seasoned and contained what I believe was tripe instead of the usual bacon. While Steph was not impressed with these tender bits of offal, I found them quite delightful. I would be remiss if I did a review on a Mexican joint and did not mention the salsa. We just went with the regular red salsa which was very good and had just the right amount of kick to it. The salsa was also provided entertainment for our son, who enjoyed attempting to dip his chips into it.

If you are a fan of Mexican food then you should definitely check out Molinos and if you aren’t a fan just go have a pirata and tell me you don’t like it.  With their varied menu you can enjoy traditional dishes or branch out and experience some of their fusion type dishes. Anyway you look at it Molinos is a great addition to the local Mexican restaurant scene.

Molino's on Urbanspoon

La Tradicion Tortilleria

16 Aug

Previously published in the Wichita Eagle:

I have to admit I had reservations about trying a Mexican lunch buffet. Crusty refried beans and soggy tacos sitting in a steam table is not my idea of an enjoyable meal. Fortunately at La Tradicion Tortilleria, they know how to pull off a good buffet with delicious Mexican dishes.

The Humble Exterior of La Tradicion

The Humble Exterior of La Tradicion

La Tradicion is a small joint located at Broadway and 16th, that operates as a tortilla making facility and restaurant. While a menu of typical Mexican fare is available, the main attraction is the buffet that is offered daily from 11am to 2pm. For just under $8 a person you can get your fill of traditional dishes from south of the border.

On our visit the buffet offerings included posole, shredded chipotle chicken, lengua(beef tongue) in a chili verde sauce, pork with a red chili and a green chili sauce, a scrambled egg and green bean concoction(ejotes con huevos), cheese enchiladas, and the ubiquitous rice and beans. A salsa bar and fresh tortillas rounded out the spread. Since most of the dishes were based on chili sauces or broths they were well suited to being held on a steam table and thus my fears of soggy tacos were for not.

A Plate Full of Tasty Buffet Food

A Plate Full of Tasty Buffet Food

Of the dishes we tried there was not a weak link among them. The lengua in chili verde and pork in red chili sauce were my top two picks. I have had lengua at several places around town, and this was the best so far. All of the pork chunks were tender and lean, while the chili sauce was rich and warming. You can’t go wrong taking spoonfuls of these dishes and wrapping them in warm flour tortillas. We had never had green beans with eggs before, but were quickly won over by the simple yet tasty dish. My wife who is an enchilada guru approved of La Tradicion’s cheesy rendition.

The one only complaint we had with the buffet was that some items were slow to be replenished including the salsa, chips, and tortillas. With an hour left in the buffet I would have expected additional food to still be coming out. There was only one hard working and friendly waitress running the dining room, so that may have contributed to the problem. I would recommend going closer to noon time to ensure a fully stocked buffet.

La Tradicion Tortilleria on Urbanspoon

Lalo’s Express

9 Oct

Words you will never hear on a Taco Bell commercial: “Try our new pork stomach tacos!” While most people would probably not jump at the chance to try a pork stomach, there is a place in Wichita that serves them along with other delicious Mexican fare. Lalo’s Express is located at the NW corner of Seneca and Harry in a small space that offers a wide variety of quick service Mexican food. It’s kind of like Taco Bell except that their food does not suck.

Behold: The Awe Inspiring Chimichanga

Inside Lalo’s there are a few tables for dine-in customers, but it seems most of their business is carryout. On the menu are all those typical Mexican dishes you have come to love, including burritos, tacos, enchiladas, and chimichangas. There are many other menu

Simple Yet Delicious: Barbacoa and Buche Tacos

options as well ensuring that anyone will be able to find something to enjoy.

On our visit I wanted to try several different items so I went with a shredded beef chimichanga, a barbacoa taco, and the intimidating pork stomach taco, called “buche”. Steph went with one of the combination plates that included a beef burrito, beef enchilada, and beans and rice. After ordering at the counter, we sat  down and prepared ourselves for a feast. Even with several other orders in front of ours, we only had to wait 5 or 10 minutes for our food to come.  The chimichanga was a sight to behold with its crispy golden tortilla covered in sour cream, guac, and cheese. Luckily it tasted as good as it looked. The shredded beef was tender and well seasoned and the peppers added additional flavor to the dish. It was one of the best chimichangas I have had in Wichita. The barbacoa and buche tacos were served the traditional way, open faced with cilantro, onion, and lime. The barbacoa was wonderfully tender and full of flavor. Looking at the buche taco I had my reservations, as the bits of grey meat did not look that appealing. Nonetheless I added a bit of salsa to the taco

The Burrito and Enchilada Meal

and dove in.  The buche was surprisingly tender and I enjoyed the earthy taste. Both of these tacos were rich and greasy so with a side of rice and beans you could have a cheap and tasty meal. Steph, being the enchilada connoisseur, rated hers as good, but nothing special. It must not have been that bad, because it was gone before I even had a chance to sample. We both took turns trying to finish the large beef burrito. The beef was well seasoned, but I would have liked more cheese, lettuce, or other fillings inside the burrito. The refried beans were fresh and flavourful, while the rice was just average. All of the food is served on styrofoam plates with plastic utensils, so eating something like a burrito can be a challenge especially when you have a squirming baby in one hand.
Lalo’s offers very good fast service Mexican food. Their tacos are especially worth trying, and at $1.95 each they are a good value. With dine-in, carryout, and drive thru options Lalo’s is also very convenient, especially late at night because they are open till 1 am during the week and 3 am on weekends.

Lalo's Mexican Food on Urbanspoon

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