Like most modern conflicts, the rivalry between soft and hard tacos will not end until one side gets eaten by a bear. Broker a culinary truce with today's Groupon: for $10, you get $20 worth of Mexican fare at El Chico in Lawton.
Servers at El Chico escort sizzling fajitas, brisket burritos, and sweet desserts from a kitchen scented by piquant spices and sizzling cheeses. The founders of El Chico began with their mother's famous recipes for homemade tamales and enchiladas with chili con carne. Since then, they've expanded their menu to include items such as Mama's Favorite Top Shelf guacamole, which is prepped fresh, right in front of diners' eyes ($7.99). Chicken-and-mushroom fajitas ($13.49) fly around the table, competing for real estate with a hot-tamale platter composed of two spicy pork tamales, chili con carne, cheddar cheese, and onions ($8.49). Dig into the brisket enchiladas—two enchiladas stuffed with tender, slow-roasted brisket and shredded cheese and topped with chipotle wine sauce or chili con carne ($10.29)—or satisfy petulant sweet teeth with Mama's Favorite mexican apple pie with rich mexican-brandy butter sauce, cinnamon ice cream, and a napkin for soaking up joyous tears ($5.39).
In 1926, a Mexican immigrant named Adelaida Cuellar—now affectionately referred to as "Mama"—set up a tiny stand at a county fair outside Dallas, selling homemade tamales and chili con queso. The spicy specialties soon drew throngs of hungry patrons, and by 1940, she and her 12 children had transformed the stand into a café. Today, her legacy lives on at El Chico's many locations, where the staff rolls fresh tortillas into steaming enchiladas and salts the rims of towering margaritas. Waiters hoist platters of Tex-Mex favorites such as spicy beef burritos, crispy tacos, and guacamole prepared right at the table from fresh, self-puréeing avocados—a technology Mama never could have imagined during the early days of black-and-white tomatoes.