It’s Friday night. You have eaten in the cafeteria all week and desperately need to go out to eat. What’s your first choice? Generally, I choose either Tasty Hibachi or some kind of Mexican restaurant. If I choose Mexican though, then I have to decide which Mexican restaurant to go to.
Disclaimer: I am not in any form or fashion a professional Mexican restaurant critic, but here are my humble opinions about where to get you some yummy food in Arkadelphia.
We have lots of options in Arkadelphia, so how do you choose where to go?
Most people I know are fairly loyal. They have their favorite Mexican place and that is their go-to every single time.
Me, on the other hand, I like a bit of diversity.
When I want the oh so popular dish, “chicken and rice,” there is only one place to go. El Parian (El P) hands down has the best chicken and rice. They have the perfect ratio of chicken, to rice, to cheese dip, (or “queso” for you Texas people, but that is an argument for another day). Also, since it is such a popular dish at this location, they practically have it ready in the back. It is very convenient to run in, order, get your food, and then leave. Two of my friends and I went in there earlier this semester, ate, paid and walked out twenty minutes later. (We were in a bit of a time crunch).
El P is also very conveniently located. If you live in the circle, or even one of the freshmen dorms, you can take a nice stroll down just a few blocks to the restaurant. Good luck walking back with a full stomach though!
El P also has a full menu of other typical Mexican dishes. I, personally, have been underwhelmed and not impressed with any of the other meals that I have tried there.
However, I have seen a friend order the tortilla soup, and it looked delicious. She said she usually gets it, and it is a large enough bowl that she can eat all she wants for dinner, and then can take the other half to go, and eat it later. Two meals for the price of one is always a win on a college budget.
Since I have never been impressed with the rest of El P’s menu, if I want something other than chicken and rice, I got to another restaurant. My favorite is Jalapenos, previously known as El Torero (El T).
El T is located off of Pine Street by The Donut Palace and The Burger Barn. They have good service and a low-key atmosphere.
My favorite dish to get at any Mexican restaurant is beef enchiladas. Their beef enchiladas are halfway decent! I have also had a very good quesadilla there too.
One of my friends likes to get as much food for as cheap as possible, so he loves Jalapenos. They have the biggest burrito I have ever seen in my life, and the price is not unreasonably high at all.
Unfortunately, I have not ventured out to the other few Mexican restaurants around town, because I am content with my two favorites, and I have never heard anything extremely positive about any of the other restaurants.
So, next time you find yourself craving some Mexican food, I suggest going to El P for some yummy chicken and rice, or to Jalapenos for other favorite dishes.
Whichever restaurant you choose, you know you will still get the best part of any Mexican restaurant: the endless chips and salsa. Also you can never go wrong with some cheese dip for the table.
Here is my last little tip or suggestion for eating Mexican in Arkadelphia: remember that you are in Arkadelphia, Ark., and do not let your expectations get too high. Happy eating, friends!
By Katie Jo Henley, staff writer