Since I started my blogging journey a year and a half ago, I’ve been given great recommendations from friends, acquaintances on Twitter and even my family on restaurants I need to write about. And it seemed like every month, the name Abel’s Mexican Restaurant would come up.
I decided it was time to make the pilgrimage to what many consider (including some of the chefs I have met) one of the best Mexican restaurants in OKC. My friend Katie Johnstonbaugh, who writes for DishinandDishes.com , works around the corner and joined me for lunch on my most recent visit.
Abel’s is located at on NW 50th just east of MacArthur in Oklahoma City. Tucked in a corner of a strip shopping center, Abel’s offers plenty of parking, ample seating and – weather permitting – a few outside tables to sit and enjoy the sunshine.
The menu at Abel’s is a perfect mix of your traditional Tex-Mex fare (think fajitas, nachos, quesadillas), but the dishes that shine are the ones unique to Abel’s. The problem I found is trying to decide which one to order! Choices include everything from seafood entrees like Guiso de Camaron (shrimp cooked in salsa verde) to Platillos Mexicanos such as the Palo Alto plate (Mexican Beef Tips [as opposed to American ones??] – cooked with tomatoes, jalapenos, and spices topped with a sunny side up egg.) Prices for main dishes served with rice and beans run anywhere from $8.99 to $14.25 depending on the entree.
One of the more popular dishes (and the one that is a must for many regulars) is the Tacos Calvillo. Think street tacos: corn tortillas topped with marinated steak, cilantro, onions and Especial Salsa. But these aren’t your standard street tacos. The meat is so tender and flavorful – I could skip the condiments and tortillas and just eat the steak. One order includes five tacos and runs $12.99.
On my last visit, I saw a large bowl of what looked to be a cross between chunky guacamole and salsa served to a table next to me. It’s called the Salsa Special, and I drooled over it like a teething baby the entire meal. This visit, I decided I was ordering it, regardless of the size. (It could easily serve 4-6 people.) Warning: this dish does have a kick to it- so be prepared. This fusion of avocado and salsa is amazing, and it includes roasted peppers to give it the heat. It’s great as a dip with the fresh tortilla chips, or even better on a flour tortilla.
Now, by the time you eat a few chips with salsa or queso then devour your meal, you will probably be as stuffed as a pinata at a 6-year olds birthday party. But- there is one more thing you must try. It’s their fresh fruit. Might sound odd, but Abel’s offers fresh fruit with a lime/chili topping that you really must experience. They use the freshest fruits they can find including coconut, mango, papaya, melon or other tropical fruits. And for only $3.50 for a container – grab one to go and eat it for breakfast the next morning.
Abel’s is open 7 days a week and late on the weekends. If you’re stopping by for dinner, be prepared for a wait – but the food will be worth it!