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Posts from the ‘Ethnic Restaurants’ Category

Fort Scott – La Hacienda

La Hacienda of Fort Scott could be considered a dining institution in Fort Scott, Kansas. This locally-owned mom and pop (Jose and Mirna) Mexican restaurant is located in a colorful, old, historic downtown building.

La hacienda is just a stone’s throw away from the Fort Scott National Historic Site. The Historic Site, owned by the National Park Service, features a complete pre-civil war military fort. Additionally, the downtown Fort Scott area features a multitude of locally owned antique stores and specialty shops.

The combination of history, shopping, and great Mexican food makes Fort Scott a perfect location for day trip from Kansas City or Wichita.

As Fort Scott residents, my wife and I are regular customers at La Hacienda. Their menu features several great pork dishes. Some of my favorites include “street style” tacos, make your own burritos, and carnitas with verde sauce.

During my most recent visit, I enjoyed a burro de la roqueta (a pork burrito with a queso and pico de gallo garnish). These can be ordered as a dinner, or as a smaller sized lunch special #15.

A lunch or dinner at La Hacienda of Fort Scott is the perfect way to complement a day of touring and shopping!

Until next time,

Chris

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Olathe – Oscar’s Authentic Mexican Grill

It’s time to add yet another name to the growing list of authentic Mexican places in Olathe. The freshest face on the scene is “Oscar’s Authentic Mexican Grill”. Located near the Mur-Len and Santa Fe St (135th St.) intersection, it’s quite easy to get to from I-35 if you’re traveling through the area. Oscar’s is well worth your time too, if you’re looking for something almost as quick as “fast food” but still want to eat real food.

The setup at Oscars is similar to places like Chipotle or Qdoba, in that you see all the food choices there behind glass as your order them and can pick and choose what you want and how you want it. Like the other “burrito places” you can get burritos or a burrito bowl with various toppings, and of course you can get tacos and quesadillas!

The meats are the real stars of the show, however. You know if you’re at an authentic Mexican place you’ll have some good choices of pork on the menu, and Oscars doesn’t disappoint in that department. Your two pork options there are Carnitas and Chili Verde pork. You can get the burrito, tacos, taco salad, burrito bowl, and quesadillas with either of these meats in them, and of course they have chicken and beef too.

I went with a carnitas taco and a burrito bowl with the chili verde pork, on my stop there, in order to get a good cross section sampling of the pork. The carnitas were tender and flavorful, just as you think they ought to be, while also being very lean. The chili verde pork has some of the best salsa verde I’ve ever had, and the meat chunks were perfectly cooked and fall-apart tender.

Oscars excels at customer service too. Oscar and his brother Delfino are a joy to talk to when you come in and they’ll help you figure out what you want, tell you all about the ingredients, and give you samples to help make your decision. The choices of sides and toppings are abundant too. The chips and queso are delicious, and both kind of beans they have (Charro and refried) are excellent as well. If you’re looking for “slow food” served at a fast pace, then check this out place sometime if you have the chance.

Until next time,
Mike

 

Kansas City – Ninfa’s

It seems like when I’m looking for good ways to eat pork I can never go wrong with authentic Mexican food, so back I went to Kansas City, Kan., which is pretty much the best place around to find good Mexican food. This time we went to Ninfa’s, which is a place I’ve heard about since moving to the KC metro in 2009 and have always wanted to try. Ninfa’s doesn’t look like much from the street, but inside is some downhome Mexican comfort food and probably the best flour tortillas I’ve ever eaten.

When you’re looking to eat pork at an authentic Mexican place it’s hard to top just going with Tamales, so I ordered the “Tamale Spread Plate” and it didn’t disappoint. Pork tamales smothered with cheese and more chunks of tender pork are pretty hard to beat! The neat thing about Ninfa’s is you can pretty much have pork in any of the dishes if you want. You can also buy their handmade tortillas right there in the restaurant and take home. The tortillas alone are about enough reason to go there, but to really experience the tortillas I think I’ll go back and have a few fried flour tacos with some more of that pork in them.

If you’re travelling on I-70 through Kansas City, KS, you are just a few blocks from Ninfa’s. Located at 964 Kansas Ave, Kansas City, KS 66105, it is on Kansas Ave. right between 7th St. and 18th St. (both streets have interchanges on I-70), so it really is very easy to find. Once you’re in the area just take yourself on a little mini taco tour of KCK and hit up El Pollo Rey, California Taco Shop, and San Antonio Carniceria y Tortilleria!

Until next time,

Mike

Kansas City – Carniceria y Tortilleria San Antonio

In the old Armourdale district of Kansas City, Kan., sits one of the best Mexican grocery stores and taco shops I’ve ever set foot in. If you’re looking for cheap, good tacos on days of the week not named Tuesday, then look no further than Carniceria y Tortilleria San Antonio! These tacos are legit “street taco” style tacos and right in front of the counter are all the self-serve taco fixings a person could imagine.

The tacos were excellent the day fellow blogger Chris Petty and I ate there. Obviously we both went for the pork, so I had the carnitas and he had al pastor tacos. Everything about them was perfect. The meat was tender and had so much flavor I hardly needed to add anything else to them, and the fresh tortillas were incredible as well.

The store also has about every meat, side dish, fruit, and drink you could possibly need to prepare a traditional Mexican meal. They also have huge bin of hot Chicharróns (pork rinds) that are scooped out to order, if you’re into those! Overall I can’t recommend this place enough to anyone looking for authentic tacos and other Mexican foods. Located just south of I-70 and few blocks east of 10th street on Kansas Avenue, it is very easy to get to from I-70 or from I-35 (via 7th Street).

Until next time,
Mike

 

Kansas City – El Camino Real

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,

Chris

Overland Park – K Macho’s

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.

Overland Park – Ted’s Cafe Escondido

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!

Parsons -Ernesto’s

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.

Overland Park – Hot Basil

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,

Mike

Shawnee – Anita’s

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!