Tag Archives: mexican restaurants 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

El Agave – Wichita KS( A Good Place for Tequila and Salsa)

10 Nov

For once we wanted to be on the cutting edge of the Wichita dining scene and decided to try out the recently opened El Agave. El Agave is located on Rock Road just south of K-96 in what is one of the most transient restaurant buildings on the east side. I can think of at least 3 other restaurants that have been located here in the last ten years. After our experience at Agave I fear they might meet a similar end.

Typically I try to use a restaurant’s salsa quality to make a determination as to how the rest of the meal will go. Is it freshly made or something poured out of an On the Border jar? Is there sweet, delicious cilantro present? El Agave’s salsa proved itself to be rather tasty and paired with a solid $6 house margarita I had high hopes for the rest of the meal.

The menu at El Agave is nothing short of expansive and covers just about every Tex-Mex item you can think of  as well as some more traditional dishes like chicken mole.  I was torn between several choices, but ended up going with the chimichanga dinner. Steph ordered a beef taco and enchilada dinner. My parents joined us at El Agave and they ordered chicken fajitas and Camarones (Shrimp) Vallarta. Despite being fairly busy our food came out in short order. I enjoyed my chimichanga,  the beef was well seasoned, the tortilla crispy, and the cheese sauce tasty. Out of the four meals it seemed that mine was the best. Steph said that her enchilada was bland while the taco was nothing to get excited about. The chicken fajitas were alright, but again nothing that impressive. The most disappointing dish was the Camarones Vallarta. It looked like they had just thrown some pre-made popcorn shrimp onto a plate and served it with rice and a few garnishes.

Despite our experience at El Agave I am not ready to give them a thumbs down yet. With such a large menu to choose from there have to be some really good dishes hiding in there. Unfortunately on the flip side the size of the menu prohibits the diner from finding one of those good dishes. Hopefully as they progress with their business they will streamline the menu so that there is a consistent quality with each dish served.  On another note, if you are a big tequila person this you definitely your place. They have 20 to 30 different types of tequila and a really good house margarita. It would be a great place for drinks and salsa after long work week. Hopefully their food will come around and El Agave will thrive in a location where others have not.

El Agave Mexican Restaurant on Urbanspoon

Rostizeria Los Reyes

27 Aug

I, Phil, am doing a solo review here since Steph has gone back to work. My mom and I went to check out Rostizeria Los Reyes located on 21st just west of Waco. So yes we are talking about the “authentic” part of town. Rostizeria is a smaller establishment that advertises its buffet on the exterior signage. But we were not here for the buffet, which in my opinion did not look all that great. We were here to check out the homemade tortillas and the Mole con Pollo or Mole with Chicken.

The interior is extravagantly decorated in a Hispanic theme with bright and vibrant wooden sculptures adorning the dining booths. To top off the ambiance they were playing an old American movie from the 30s in Spanish. After a passing glance on the screen both my mother and I mistook it for Gone with the Wind, but upon further investigation that was not the case.  “Francamente querida, me importa un bledo”.

Anyway, on to why the five people who will read this are actually reading it. THE FOOD. We went at the end of the lunch rush and were promptly seated and given some great homemade salsa and chips(also homemade). The salsa was probably one of  the thinnest salsas I have ever had, even thinner than Felipes. It never ceases to amaze me how many different ways people prepare salsa. This variation did have plenty of the most important ingredient in salsa. I am talking about cilantro of course. The menu is large, but luckily filled with nice color photos to assist you in your attempt to order something delicious. Their menu is probably the most authentic that I have seen in Wichita. There were quite a few dishes that had me scratching my head. The Mole con Pollo came highly recommended, so we both ordered that and were not disappointed. The chicken had been slow roasted with love because the meat fell right off the bone and into the delicious mole sauce. Mole sauce is a difficult one to describe. It is typically made with bittersweet chocolate, so you have some sweet taste working in there, but it is not overpowering. With our dishes, they also brought out a dozen warm tortillas to be used in creating a magical chicken mole wrap. The meals were reasonably priced for the amount of food we received. I belive that the mole was $8 dollars.

So in summation if you are looking for some Jose Peppersesque  Tex Mex queso  blanco nacho nonsense don’t come to this place. If you want to eat some real Mexican food go and check it out. I will definitely come back to explore more of their menu, but before doing so I will brush up on my spanish so as to have some clue as to what I am ordering. 

Stay Hungry my Friends

Rostizeria Los Reyes Mexican Restaurant on Urbanspoon

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