If you like Mexican food and you live in Oklahoma City (or near enough to visit), I’m about to make your life better. If you live more than…oh, let’s say three or four hours away, I’m just going to make you intensely jealous.
As you know by now, I’ve spent the last two months in a frantic writing frenzy. When I’m writing under deadline (just like writing with a day job), the key becomes to get as much work done as possible in my alone time. This time around, that largely happened in the wee hours when everyone else was blissfully asleep.
But I have long made a habit of taking advantage of mealtimes for that purpose, too. That was particularly important when I had a day job and writing at work posed a questionable risk to my ownership of my work. For that very reason, I wrote most of Gods Tomorrow on long lunch breaks at Buffalo Wild Wings.
This time around, I’m in a different part of town (although, come to think of it, I spent a decent chunk of time at Buffalo Wild Wings, too). Still, my new favorite is a Mexican place in Midtown called 1492. I’ve been in two or three times a week for months now. I’ll order a soft drink and some entree (usually a half-order of chicken fajita nachos, which comes with some of their excellent guacamole), then enjoy free refills on their chips and salsa while I sit and write for hours.
My chief judgment of a Mexican restaurant falls on their salsa. I always eat a lot of salsa, and anyone who can make a good salsa can handle Mexican cuisine. I’m a tough judge to please, though, because I’m picky about textures. I don’t much like a super chunky blend. I like a smooth, even flavor, rich in spice but not overwhelmed by one strong flavor (like the jalapeno bite at Ted’s, the Texas chili at Abuelo’s, or the vinegar at Chilis).
See? Super picky. But 1492 makes my ideal salsa. I love it every time. And, as I said, anyone who does good salsa can do the rest. Their guacamole is excellent. I’ve also had tamales, enchiladas, tacos, and quesadillas. All delicious. When we take our kids, we always get a big bowl of the yellow queso, and it always gets scraped clean.
They call themselves a place for “New World Latin Cuisine,” which is the fanciest euphemism for “Tex Mex” I’ve ever heard. Located as they are in Midtown (1207 N. Walker, OKC, OK 73103), they can get crowded weekdays over lunch and weekends in the evening, but I’ve gone more than once for Saturday lunch and stayed til almost dinner time without ever having to feel guilty for taking up a table.
Of course, that’s a big deal to me. Restaurants are not designed to accommodate free-loading novelists, but I have never felt rushed or unwelcome, even when the words were really flowing and my visits stretched dangerously close to criminal loitering.
The prices are reasonable for mid-tier Mexican–you can expect something in the same range as On the Border, Poblanos, or Abuelo’s.
If you live in the Oklahoma City area, I have to recommend a visit to 1492. And when you’re there, tell them international bestselling fantasy author Aaron Pogue sent you. They’ll have no idea what you’re talking about, but maybe if enough people do that, I’ll start getting free guacamole or something. That would be delicious.
FTC Notice: I have not been paid or otherwise endorsed in any way for this recommendation. However, maybe if we all work together, we can turn that around. What do you say?