Last month I had to run to Topeka for a work errand, so I decided to work a stop to “Pepe and Chela’s” Mexican restaurant in downtown Topeka into my trip since I knew I’d have the extra time. I had heard it was a good place, so I figured I owed it to myself to try it someday when it was convenient.
Posts from the ‘Ethnic Restaurants’ Category
At Carmen’s you can get about any type of meat in any of the menu items (even nachos), so they are very flexible with the menu, which is refreshing to say the least. Speaking of pork, I should mention that one of my favorite things at Carmen’s is the Friday lunch special, the pork tamale platter.
This place first opened in Paola over a year ago, and has been doing so well that they recently opened a branch in Lawrence. In Paola, you can find El Potro at 602 North Pearl, (intersection of Pearl and Baptiste) or in Lawrence, you can find them at 2351 W. 31st Street (around the intersection of 31st and Iowa). You can also find them on Facebook, which allows you see the full menu and more picture of the place, inside and out!
The food at El Potro is a lot closer to “authentic” than a lot of “Tex-Mex” places I have been, but not so authentic that you need to worry about whether you’ll like it or not. I know “authentic Mexican” scares a few people off, but this is not to be feared!
On my last visit, I had, as you can see from the picture, the “Verde Pork Tamales”. I love tamales to begin with, and these did not disappoint. The masa was tender and moist, the chunks of pork were tender and lean, and they had the perfect amount of salsa verde in with them. If you’re not a tamale fan, but want some pork from El Potro, consider trying the “Carnitas Enchiladas Verdes”, the “Tacos El Pastor” (pork tacos), or a pork carnitas stuffed chimichanga!
This was my 4th visit to El Potro, and I have never been let down by them yet. The prices are affordable and the service has always been great at the Paola location (I’ve not eaten at the Lawrence branch yet). If that’s not enough, you also get a complimentary bowl of their delicious “Queso Potro Especial” cheese dip to go with your standard chips and salsa. In case you’re wondering (and I know you are) the chips and salsa are also very good at El Potro, which is something that cannot be overlooked when choosing a Mexican restaurant!
|Salty Iguana in Lawrence, KS|
Lately I’ve written a lot about barbecue, so I thought it was a good time to change things up and try some pork at one of the local Mexican restaurants. I decided to go to “Salty Iguana” in Overland Park (just west of U.S. Hwy. 69 and 135th St.) on my search for a great Mexican pork dish. I’ve eaten at Salty Iguana several times, and have always thought it was as good, or better, than any Tex-Mex food you’ll get in the Kansas City area, but I’d never paid close attention to all the pork possibilities they had!
|Yo Quiero Salty Iguana.|
Since shredded pork is a big part of traditional Mexican cooking, I wasn’t shocked when I saw many good choices of ways to eat pork at Salty Iguana. If you look at the menu, you’ll see several variations of chili verde with pork being served up. Some of the options you’ll find are Mexican Chili, Tacos Pueblo, Traditional Carnitas, Chili Verde Plate, and a chili verde stuffed chimichanga.
On this trip I chose to go with the chimichanga stuffed with green chili pork, which was an excellent choice. The Chimichanga was perfectly cooked, and the pork filling was absolutely delicious. The slow-cooked pork practically melted it was so tender, and the amounts of green chili sauce and pork hunks were in perfect balance inside the crispy chimichanga. Like most Tex-Mex eateries, the prices are reasonable, and the service is fast and friendly at Salty Iguana. As an added bonus, you can entertain yourself looking at all the bizarre iguana art on the inside walls!
If the Overland Park location is not convenient for you, keep in mind that there are 4 other Salty Iguana locations you can choose from (Lawrence, Prairie Village, Olathe, and Independence, MO.)
As a K-State graduate, I feel like I should warn you of the fact that Salty Iguana is a close partner with the Jayhawks! While it can be hard for someone that bleeds purple to set foot in such a place, I have to tell you the many ways to eat pork here make it worth it. It’s sure good enough to keep this Wildcat coming back anyway!
This week’s giveaway is is for those of you who love pork as much as we do and don’t mind admitting it. This apron is 100% cotton with Teflon finish for added protection. It has 2 waist level patch pockets with 1 pen pocket, 1″ wide neck and waist ties, and adjustable neck strap.
|Not a blah cook.|
Answer this question for a chance to win. How much iron does a 3 oz serving of pork contain?