#121 - 1492 New World Latin Cuisine, Oklahoma City, OK

I've talked previously about how I don't get out to OKC or Tulsa nearly enough.  I also don't get enough culture. Most of my social activities revolves around sports. Don't get me wrong...I love sports, but I need to do a better job of taking advantage of all the other things out there. My current culture is occasionally going to the movies (though I usually wait until its on Redbox); and a few years ago I went to the Snoop Dogg concert in Tulsa. Yep, that's about it. And pretty sure neither of those really count as culture.  So when my friends suggested going to see Book of Mormon last night, I jumped at the chance. I can't tell you the last time I saw a play, and I've never been to the Civic Center.

Book of Mormon is one of the funniest things I've ever seen. But its definitely NOT for you if you want a family show or get easily offended. They offend pretty much everyone, even the Mormons. Its written by the guys who created South Park, so you really shouldn't be surprised.  I've never watched the TV show and still won't, but the play was awesome.

We had decided to get dinner before the show, and since the Civic Center is in downtown OKC, decided on 1492 New World Latin Cuisine.  It's located in Midtown, right across the street from the Ambassador Hotel and near a few other restaurants.  When we first drove up we thought it was closed because it looked like there was nobody inside. But we had a reservation. We walked in, and there were only 2 other tables there. We were still waiting on Misty and Nikki, so we sat at the bar to relax and watch the Cowboys game.

Its not a very big restaurant, but its very comfortable. As you walk in and approach the hostess stand the bar is to the left, with about 10 seats at the bar and 8 tables in the same area. The main dining room is to the right of the hostess stand, and its got about 20 tables.

We got chips and salsa, and also an order of 1492 queso
Beans, Spicy Beef, Sour Cream, Guacamole, Pico de Gallo in our Delicious Queso
The chips were really good. Homemade, a lot bigger than normal tortilla chips, and very crunchy and fresh. The complimentary salsa was just okay, but didn't have much flavor. It would definitely benefit from some kick. They could mix it with the Pico de gallo and maybe some hot salsa, and it would be good.  The 1492 queso was delicious. And since it was, I concentrated on eating that instead of the salsa. My only complaint was that it was room temperature at best. Had it been warm, it would have been outstanding. The mix of flavors was so good. And they give you a lot in one serving. It took 4 of us 3 bowls of chips to finish it. Speaking of bowls of chips, that's the problem... you eat, and eat, and eat. Its completely mindless. I had to finally stop myself.

I decided to try a Caipirinha, Brazil's trademark drink.

Wow, that drink has some serious power. Then I looked again and realized it's rum, sugar, and lime. And nothing else. It was good, but I nursed it for a good 30 minutes. No wonder it's served in a short glass.

Misty and Nikki finally arrived, and it was time to head to our table. But the Cowboys game was still on, and Reilly and Aaron wanted to watch. I'll be honest, I did too. And so did Nikki. Michele would have preferred to sit at the table, but majority rule won out. And really, it worked out because we could still talk to everyone in the group.

Thes one thing I don't like about sitting at the bar is that I think sometimes both the food and service can suffer. The bartender is more focused on drinks, and is also making drinks for the entire restaurant.  People came into the restaurant steadily while we were there, and by the time we were ordering the entire place was full. Reilly and Aaron said that the bartender wasn't very friendly, and didn't seem to want to provide the best service. I didn't notice it, so I can't comment on it. But he also got really busy. I believe they got overwhelmed with the big crowd, likely pre-show guests. I'm sure that's not normal on a Sunday night. Heck, the restaurant next door wasn't even open. 

Thankfully the menu isn't huge. Its only one big page, and not tons of choices. After some back and forth I decided to go with the carne Asada.
“Cuban Style” Ribeye, Coconut Rice, Black Beans, Plantains, and Yucca
One of the main reasons I picked this dish was the variety on the plate. I have to say, I was disappointed that the food wasn't really hot. It may have been sitting for a little bit  That's the challenge of ordering with a group...getting it all done at the same time, and serving it piping hot.  The yucca was undercooked, which really made me sad because I haven't had yucca in ages, and I was really looking forward to it. I'm inspired enough to buy some and fry up my own, like I used to do. The plantain made up for it, as it was perfectly fried and hot.  I haven't had that in ages either. The black beans were delicious. But like everything else, would have been even better hot.  The coconut rice was fabulous. I had never had coconut rice before, and I don't know why not. It has so much flavor. Subtly sweet, but not overpowering at all. The steak was extremely tender. I don't know exactly what "Cuban style" means, but it was awesome. A lot of flavor. The creamy avocado was a great complement to the steak.

Reilly and Michele had gotten the ribeye fajitas.  I tried a bite of their veggies once they were done... research purposes, of course. So good! I was full, but I kept reaching across Michele to take more bites. I got a little piece of steak too. These fajitas are fantastic. Definitely up there in the top 5, maybe even top 3, of my fajitas experiences.

There is no question I'm coming back here. Yes, there were a couple of negatives. But it gets great reviews, and the food is very good. So they're obviously doing good things. Oh and also, the couple next to us got the calamari appetizer that looked awesome. Michele and I were checking it out.