Repeats with a Twist - El Mexicano, Perkins OK

About 2 weeks ago I was meeting a friend for lunch. He lives in Cushing, so we decided to meet in Perkins since it's kind of in the middle for both of us.  Well, probably a little closer to me. Perkins is a tiny town of less than 3,000 people.  But I go every few weeks because they've got Ralph's Packing Company, a great butcher.  Stillwater doesn't even have its own butcher shop.

With such a small population, there's not a whole lot of dining options. And most of them are fast food.  The only 2 I know of that are sit-down are Café 33, which I've been to and done a review, and El Mexicano.  Brant had been to El Mexicano several times and really likes it, so we went there.
I've also been to El Mexicano a couple of times, but honestly I never remember about it because it is in Perkins. You probably wouldn't think you could find authentic Mexican food in a small town in Oklahoma, but this place serves it up.  The décor is very cool, with a lot of iron work



The restaurant seats about 75, and is separated into 3 sections.  As you enter there's a tiny canteen to the right with about 20 seats and a small bar.  The other 2 sections are main dining space, with a combination of booths and tables.

Of course chips & salsa came to the table almost immediately

The chips were really good, and warm. The salsa was homemade and delicious, and had a kick that sneaks up on you.  It hit me about 2 chips in, and caught me off guard. But it certainly didn't stop me from eating them.  Brant was running late so I purposely made sure to eat as slowly as possible so I didn't mindlessly eat them all.
As is typical in most Mexican restaurants, the menu was really big. After a lot of back and forth, we finally made some decisions.  Brant got the tortilla soup
I was really surprised at how large this was, considering it was on the appetizer menu. I tried a bite and it was outstanding.  The broth was rich and extremely flavorful, and the chicken was very tender.  It came to the table screaming hot.  You could see the steam coming up from the bowl.
I decided to go with the create your own combination so I could try a couple of items.  I did chimichanga with fajita beef, shredded chicken burrito, and carne Asada taco
The burrito was so good.  The same tender chicken that they use in the tortilla soup. The cheese sauce wasn't super heavy, and had great flavor.  The chimichanga was fantastic.  And the sauce they put on top might have even been better.  It wasn't heavy, but had a great rich flavor.  I was going to ask for a knife because you normally need one to cut through the chimichanga, but not this time. The sauce helped to soften the shell. The taco was good, but it needed something.  Maybe a little sauce.  It was a definite 3rd place on my plate. The rice and beans were delicious as well. 

My server warned me the plate was hot.  And when I touched the plate to set it for the picture, I realized how hot it was, and of course burned my finger.  But I'm not gonna be like that guy who sued Applebees when he got burned while praying with his head too close to the sizzling fajitas. And that right there is what's wrong with this know it's sizzling; you hear it sizzling; yet you put your head close and get burned.  And want to blame someone else.  Thankfully the judge tossed out the suit.

We ended up spending most of the afternoon there, just talking and catching up. When I first arrived, the music was authentic Mexican.  Then by about 2pm the music changed to Rock music, which was really kind of weird. I'm wondering if they go back to authentic music before the dinner rush.

Will I go back? No question. I just have to actually remember that it's here!