Because Everyone Loves a Good Mexican Hole-in-the-Wall: Tacos Don Francisco

In case you haven’t noticed, Tulsa has a LOT of Mexican restaurants. Per square mile, Tulsa has more Mexican restaurants than Guadalajara. Just kidding — I totally made that up. But it may be true.

As you probably know, there’s a vast difference between authentic Mexican food and Tex-Mex. I’m a huge fan of Tex-Mex, but there are times in life when you feel the need to eat a burrito from a menu whose contents are entirely in Spanish, and to order it from someone who tells you “gracias” after you complete your order.

When you need that sort of authentic Mexican food experience, head over to Tacos Don Francisco. They have two Tulsa locations — 4008 E 11th St. (11th between Yale and Harvard) and 7912 E 21st St. (near 21st and Memorial).

I first noticed TDF (as I affectionately like to call it) for the very first time a couple years ago on Christmas Eve around 11:30 p.m. My husband and I were driving around searching for any open venue that could satiate our late-night munchies. As the rest of the world was sleeping, awaiting the arrival of Santy Clause, the ONLY businesses open in all of Midtown were QuikTrip and TDF. So, did we confidently stride into TDF and eat some delicious tacos on Christmas Eve? No. Instead, like the pansy gringo/gringa that we are, we settled for some very un-authentic QuikTrip taquitos from the roller grill. #fail

It was only until recently that I discovered what a huge slipup that Christmas Eve decision was. On a recent weekday at lunchtime, mi amiga Beth and I strode confidently into TDF, knowing that we would likely be the only gringas in the establishment. We were greeted by a very friendly staff and the curious looks of some of the other diners (though I’m sure we would get that anywhere…we are pretty funny looking). Immediately, we looked to the sign above the cash register that displays the menu. We were pleasantly surprised to see that each menu item is displayed on “Hi, My Name Is…” stickers. Classy. But cute, and it made us laugh.

I carefully selected the Chicken Burrito Mojada, a huge burrito covered in red sauce, cheese, tomato and fresh avocado, complete with plastic silverware (as you can see in my photo at the top of this post). I was also delighted to see that TDF offers my favorite line of Mexican soft drinks: Jarritos. I plopped down in a booth with my Burrito Mojada and Fruit Punch Jarritos, and I was on Cloud Nueve.

Beth, fully aware that we were at a places with “Tacos” in the name, was wise enough to order a taco, a beef one filled with onions, cilantro, and some sort of yummy sauce. She also tried a chicken quesadilla (which we gringas pronounce as “k-sa-dill-a.” She described it as being “very cheesy, full of flavor, and juicy.” Oh, and both the taco and quesadilla were served with a ginormous pepper.

Our whole experience was very positive. The staff was great, the food was delicious, and the portions were huge for the amount we paid. We also left feeling like we had just been in Mexico, which is always fun. If I play my cards right, maybe I’ll be paying Tacos Don Francisco a visit this Christmas Eve at 11:30 p.m. (or even later if I want: they’re open until midnight during the week and until 4 a.m. on Friday and Saturday nights.)

Tacos Don Francisco on Urbanspoon

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