Keeping with our theme of Broadway Street restaurant institutions I give you one Connie’s Mexico Cafe. Connie’s, according to their website, is the oldest family-owned Mexican restaurant. Not too bad for a city full of small family Hispanic establishments. There’s nothing like Mexican food to get me in the shopping mood, so that is where my Mom and I went before doing some Christmas shopping.
Connie’s is located at the NW corner of 21st and Broadway where it has survived despite the ongoing construction over the years and the time someone decided Connie’s needed a drive-thru wall. Although some people may question the neighborhood that Connie’s is located in , relax because your car is being watched by the Lady of Guadalupe by way of a nice mural on the side of the building. The inside of the restaurant consists of a simple, small dining room with about 20 tables. Upon sitting down we were served some fresh tortilla chips and two types of salsa. Both salsas were fresh and satisfying. The chips were a touch over-fried, but still better than most. The menu consists of your typical Mexican dishes, with a few exceptions. Connie’s is known for their giant burritos as well as their Monterreys. My Mom and I decided to try the Monterrey Special. It consisted of a fried tortilla with refried beans, cheese, lettuce, pork, avocado slices, and a large dallop of sour cream. When our food came out to us, I was a bit disappointed to see that they had committed what I believe is a cardinal sin. They had grilled my poor slices of pork to a terrible crisp. Oh the humanity! As some of you may know, I hold pork in high regard. Give me a pork tenderloin, baby backs, or a brined rib chop any day over a steak! Now this may be the way they have been doing things here since the 60s, but it was a big turn off for me. I was hoping for some nice slow cooked pork chunks that just fall apart in your mouth, these cuts however were tough and fatty. No Bueno. Looking past the poor pork, the Monterrey was a good dish. They do offer beef or chicken that would probably be a much better choice.
It appears that Connie’s has weathered the test of time sufficiently enough. They still offer solid food in a good atmosphere. With the food that I sampled I can’t say that it is my favorite Mexican food in town, but it is still worth checking out.