As Oklahomans, we’re pretty well versed in the cornucopia of savory pleasures Tex-Mex has to offer … but Chihuahua (the state just beyond the Rio Grande) isn’t the end of the world. In fact, following flavors a bit farther south makes for an extremely rewarding journey. The enticing proof is at 706 S Broadway in downtown Edmond, inside the charming blue café named Zarate’s.
It could be advertising, boasting or a bit of both that the restaurant’s website displays the flags of 10 nations and territories throughout Central and South America: Mexico, Cuba, Jamaica, Puerto Rico, Honduras, Venezuela, Peru, Brazil, Bolivia and Argentina. That collection covers a lot of ground, but represents an impressive commitment to offering a variety of options, from Honduran banana leaf tamales to Brazilian feijoada to Puerto Rican-style mofongo.
If you’re looking for a recommendation, the Lomo Saltado, which hails from Peru, features sliced skirt steak stir-fried in soy sauce and red wine with onions, tomatoes, fries and a dab (they’re wicked spicy) of aji amarillo peppers, served with a helping of rice, plantains and yucca and an optional cilantro sauce. It’s Zarate’s most popular dish for obviously delicious reasons.
There is, admittedly, a section of the menu devoted specifically to Tex-Mex, where diners can settle on cheese enchiladas or a Really Big Burrito. And there’s nothing wrong with that. However, this is a comparatively rare local opportunity to broaden your palate into other regions, so embrace the adventure – and bon voyage!