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.
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