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2 Pretentious Gringos: Wichita, Kansas

For the past 13 years of marriage, Karl and I have but one area of life that we are aware of and yet fully embrace pretentiousness: Mexican food. We're Texans, which geographically means we are better judges than most of our fellow Americans, and we have high standards. We never voluntarily eat at a national chain Mexican Food restaurant. Not even _____? You may ask. No. [In compliance with my own personal boundary of not bad-mouthing anyone on the internet, I will refrain from names. But you can fill in the blank with your favorite chain Mexican restaurant, and our answer will remain the same. ;)]  And so because of our mutual affinity and pretenses, one of our favorite marital hobbies is to visit small, locally owned restaurantes de Mexico and rate them on a scale of 1-5 in 6 different categories. We always order the same thing, as to truly compare experiences. Hubs tries the beef taco dinner, with rice & beans, while I sample the enchiladas, also with rice & beans. We have concurred that regardless of what a restaurant is "known for", if they can't make a good taco and enchilada, they should not be an esteemed Mexican food restaurant.
We've kept notes in our larger-than-lap-size road atlas as we toured the country on missions, and we dreamed of one day writing the all-time most exhaustively complete guide to Mexican Food! Well, technology has advanced beyond our notes...beyond books, printed restaurant guides, and even the road atlas, so we decided to pick up here and now, chronicling our samplings on this here internet. :)

Wichita, Kansas: Connie's Mexico Cafe

Chips & Salsa = 3 stars
Tacos = 3 stars
Enchiladas = 4 stars
Rice & Beans = 5 stars
Freshness = 5 stars
Ambiance & Cleanliness = 4 stars

Mean Score = 4 stars
North of the Red River 1/2 point bonus 
Total Score = 4.5 stars!

Price = $8-$12 pp = Good Value Stamp of Approval

Commentary: Connie's is a family-owned business that has spanned generations, making it the longest-lasting Mexican food establishment in Wichita. Their sweet story and family pictures don the menu and walls, making you feel like a part of something special. The host provides you with both mild and hot salsa in generous portions. While the mild sauce's flavor resembles marinara, the hot was excellent--full of fresh cilantro and large chunks of jalepeƱo. Hubs said because of the plentiful supply and superb hot version, we would still give this a good score. The average restaurant-style bagged chip held the score at 3.
Connie's had an excellent freshness to its food--no canned chili on the top of enchiladas, but instead a flavorful homemade chorizo sauce. Whole pinto beans for Karl, refried beans for me--both flavorful and not tasting of a can, and some of the best Spanish rice we've ever had--an amazing fluffy texture and authentic flavor of tomatoes and peppers, not a hint of a boxed sauce. Karl's tacos were unique in that they were served in a fried flour tortilla--this too tasted like it had just come out of the deep fryer. The ground beef, also fresh, contained what looked like frozen hashbrowns, which Karl didn't care for because it lessened the flavor and freshness, thereby bumping down his taco score slightly.

And as the bonus indicates, we were impressed to find such quality Mexican Food north of the Red River. Good job, Connie's! If we pass through Wichita, we will visit again! On second trips, we branch out and try other things, their famous gigante burritos which we saw on platters of happy patrons will be our next choice!

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