El Camino Real (Spanish for The Royal Road), is an authentic Mexican experience! I’m not talking about those Americanized Mexican restaurants that claim to be authentic but cover everything in cheese sauce. I mean the real deal….the kind of place where you either order in Spanish, or else you point to what you want on the menu. These places are different, but in a good way. You might consider them to be a cultural experience. When it comes to menu items, usually, you will get smaller portions served with corn tortillas rather than big flour tortillas, and you can get however many of a particular food item that you want.
El Camino Real is located on Seventh Street in Kansas City, Kansas. You will find it just up the street from the 7th Street Casino and right next to the Historic Huron Indian Cemetery. During my recent visit, I ordered Tacos Al Pastor (pork). This is what we Americans typically call “Street Tacos.” They are small soft corn tortillas filled with flavorful pork. Cilantro, lime and onions come on the side. What makes these different than other similar tacos (see the blog on Dodge City Taco Trucks), is that El Camino serves theirs with slices of pineapple. The lime, cilantro and pineapple combine to create a pleasant citrus kick that you won’t find in an Americanized version.
If you are looking for real Mexican Food with a taste of old Mexico rather than an American imitation, check out El Camino Real!
Until next time,
As fellow blogger Mike says, “Mexican Restaurants are a great place to find good pork!” A recent visit to my girlfriend’s favorite restaurant, K Macho’s, proves to be no exception. Although K Macho’s gets very mixed online reviews, the completely full parking lot tells another story. Personally, our visit was excellent. We went to the Overland Park location 11741 Metcalf Avenue, which featured a great covered patio. One that I certainly look forward to checking out later this summer! Their second location is located at 1229 E. Santa Fe St. in Olathe.
During our visit, we started with the complementary chips and two types of salsa, including a traditional red and a white with a strong guacamole flavor. For lunch, I ordered the Kansas Burrito, a 12 inch tortilla with three types of meat, including big flavorful pork chunks. As you might expect, this dish was served with beans and rice.
Although the restaurant was very busy during our noontime visit, service was attentive, prices were fair, and our meals were served very quickly. You need to try K Macho’s and give it your own review.
Ted’s Café Escondido, a small Mexican chain that started in Oklahoma City, moved to Overland Park with much fanfare awhile back. I finally got around to trying Ted’s to see how their pork is. I was excited to go, as Mexican dishes made with pork are #2 only to BBQ when it comes to great ways to eat pork in my opinion! If you’re wondering where to find Ted’s, it’s southeast of the corner of 135th and Metcalf in Overland Park, so it is VERY easy to find if you’re in the area. They also have locations in northern Kansas City, MO (west of Liberty) and in Lee’s Summit if you find yourself elsewhere in the KC metro.
I would recommend finding the place if you like Mexican food. The chips are fantastic and you get complementary cheese dip with your chips and salsa. They also give you complementary, piping hot house-made tortillas too, and they were great too. I was there at lunch and ordered the lunch #1 and chose a combo of a taco and an enchilada. Both were filled with what they call “tender pork” on the menu.
The taco and enchilada were both delicious. The meat was lean and tender (I guess its name is fitting) and seasoned just enough to compliment the all the other flavors you have going on. The nice thing about their pork is you can get it put in just about any type of dish. If you want pork in a different form, they have Chorizo bean dip and Chorizo cheese dip to go with those wonderful chips, and I plan on trying some next time I’m there!
Those who live in Parsons, Kansas, are fortunate enough to have two Mexican restaurants in their home town to choose from. As you might guess opinions and reviews about which restaurant is best vary quite widely.
One option is Ernesto’s, which is located at 200 N. Central Avenue.
Like most Mexican restaurants, Ernesto’s is a suitable place to go if you have a craving for pork.
On a recent visit, I ordered a pork carnita quesadilla. The chunks of pork in this dish are flavorful and delicious. The guacamole, which came with the dish, was also fresh and delicious. Additionally, our orders came out quickly, and our service was exceptional.
Which Parsons Mexican restaurant is best? I guess you will just have to try them both and make that decision for yourself.
I learned long ago that one can’t live on BBQ alone, so when you’re looking to eat some pork you have to branch out at times. As far as I’m concerned, one great way to do so is by going with Thai food. That’s what led me to “Hot Basil” in Overland Park recently.
Hot Basil is located in a strip mall in the Rosana Square shopping center near 119th and Metcalf (7528 West 119th Street Overland Park, Kansas 66213) and is very easy to find. While its outside appearance might be a bit non-descript, the flavors they’re churning out inside are anything but boring!
I tried the “Basil Fried Rice” which allows for the addition of one meat. Pork was the obvious choice here, so I ordered that combination to try. I can see why the reviews of this place are so positive! That food was delicious. Tons of flavor, a lot of heat, and tender slices of pork. What’s not to love??
I would mention that you’d better be able to handle some spice if you ever plan on getting it, and DO NOT add any extra hot sauce until you try it in its original state! Go try it out sometime if you’re in the area. If you like this type of food you won’t be disappointed.
Until next time,
If you’re in the mood for quick Mexican food, but want a slightly different twist on it, consider trying some Salvadorian cuisine. If you’re looking for a place to try such food, then think about trying Anita’s Cuisine in Shawnee. Anita’s is located just north of Johnson Drive on Merriam Drive on the west side of I-35 (across the highway from IKEA), so it is very easy to get to.
While most of the ingredients are the similar to those in Mexican food, there are some major differences among the actual dishes they prepare. One big difference between Mexican and Salvadorian cuisine is the “Papusa”. A Papusa is a large handmade tortilla (can be either corn or flour) that is stuffed with cheese and refried beans and sometimes meat before it is thrown on the flat top (think of a quesadilla that has its edges sealed).
Of course I tried one at Anita’s, and you know I got pork in it. The style of pork they use is called “chicharrón,” which is finely ground pork and not to be confused with pork rinds that are sold in the U.S. that are called “chicharrónes.” I also had carnitas flautas and they were absolutely delicious. They were crispy on the outside and contained perfectly cooked carnitas on the inside. The salsa was outstanding too, and it paired well with the homemade tortilla chips. To learn more about Anita’s, see their specials, or see more pictures of food, go to their Facebook page.
In summary, all I can say is go try this place if you’re in the area. If you like it, you’ll probably want to try “El Pulgarcito” as well, which is another highly rated Salvadorian restaurant that is just south on Merriam Drive. I have not tried that one yet, but will be doing so soon!
Dodge City is an iconic American city with historic western heritage. It is the ending point of the great western cattle drives and the location for the classic western radio and television show Gunsmoke. It’s a city that still retains, and is proud of its western flavor. The area is surrounded by cattle feeding companies, dairy farms, ranches, and beef processing businesses.
Dodge City also has a vibrant, thriving Hispanic culture. With that in mind, I was happy to take a recent business trip to this Southwest Kansas community, because I knew I would be in for some great Mexican food! My friend Andrea Burns and I visited several food trucks, located throughout the city. These food trucks are a fun an inexpensive way to grab a quick meal! For consistency, we tried the pork tacos at each location. Unique differences were noticeable at each food truck. Some tacos were spicier, some juicer, and some noticeably more mild than others. All were very good!
If you’re looking for a fun way to try out some inexpensive and authentic Mexican food, get the heck into Dodge, and check out the food trucks!
Until next time,
Gutierrez Mexican Restaurant is located at 640 Westport Blvd. in Salina, Kansas, and can be easily accessed from the Interstate 135 and Crawford St. exit. There is a similarly named restaurant in Hays, Kansas, but this one is my clear favorite of the two.
As the story goes, Lela Gutierrez opened a Mexican restaurant in Russell, Kansas, in 1970. This restaurant is owned by Lela’s son Jerry, one of her 8 children.
What I like the best about Gutierrez is that they have a delicious all-you-can-eat buffet, which is not unheard of in Mexican restaurants, but it’s certainly not common either.
And of course, I wouldn’t even mention this restaurant if it wasn’t for the delicious pork. Tender, juicy pork is an option on the all-you-can-eat buffet and it can be used to make your own tacos or tostadas.
There are other menu items that include pork also, including Pork Chili Verde and a pork tenderloin sandwich on the “American” portion of the menu.
Mexican Restaurants are almost always sure bets if you are hungry for pork, and Gutierrez Mexican Restaurant in Salina is no exception!
Until next time,
As Southwest Boulevard leaves Kansas and enters the western edge of Kansas City, MO, it will lead you to an amazing collection of Mexican restaurants all mashed in about a 2 mile stretch of road. Some might even say if you’re standing in the right place, you couldn’t swing a dead cat and not hit a Mexican place. While that might be a bit of a reach, there are certainly plenty to choose from.
The one I want to focus on for now though is El Patrón Cocina & Bar. Located on SW Blvd., just under a mile north of the intersection of 7th St/Rainbow Blvd/Hwy 169 and SW Blvd, El Patrón, like most authentic Mexican places, has a nice variety of delicious ways to eat pork.
While I had the pork tamale on my visit, you also have many other pork choices. Besides tamales, you have the easy options to go with pork in your burrito or chimichanga. There are several pork options when it comes to tacos as well, such as “El Pastor” style tacos, and salsa verde tacos. If you’re in the mood for breakfast at noon, maybe try the eggs and Chorizo sausage. My best advice however is to just check out the menu, and see for yourself!
Of course, no visit to a Mexican restaurant would be complete without trying a Margarita. I had heard rumors that El Patrón made the best Margarita in Kansas City, and the rumors proved to be fact based. I can’t say it’s the best, but I can’t think you’ll find one any better anywhere else.
Until next time.
Coco Bolos has always been one of my Manhattan favorites. Located in a small building on the northwest corner of Aggieville, it has a unique southern flair. According to their website, the atmosphere includes “tastes from the Gulf Coast, South Texas and Southern New Mexico.” However, it’s certainly not a traditional Mexican restaurant.
Some of their pork menu offerings include chili verde and chili con carne, both featuring pork shoulder, and thai pan bbq pork. I chose to eat Bud’s Cuban grilled pork sandwich. This was a deliciously spicy sandwich featuring seasoned pork shoulder slices on a grilled bun. It also came with a side salad and a wonderful homemade dressing.
I enjoyed my meal on a nice warm heated covered patio, watching the game on the big screen TV’s.
The owners of Coco Bolos also own the popular Manhattan barbecue restaurant Cox Brothers. I would encourage you to try out both of these establishments the next time you are in Manhattan.
Until next time,