In February, a new locally owned Mexican restaurant opened in the former China Express spot at 5518 W Central. The owners said what makes them different is that their California style into their food which they hope fans find unique to Wichita. It’s El Viejito Mexican Restaurant which translates to “the old man” which is perfect for someone like myself to come visit.
5518 W Central Ave
Wichita, KS 67212
Closed on Monday
Tuesday – Thursday: 10am – 9pm
Friday – Saturday: 10am – 10pm
Sunday: 8am – 5pm
The menu consists of such Mexican specialties like tacos, burritos, fajitas, chimichangas, tamales and enchiladas.
The place is very clean inside. It’s always nice to see small restaurants kept tidy as it shows they really care. When you arrive, you order at the counter, find a table and they’ll bring your order to you. For those that dine in, they also give complimentary chips and salsa. I really believe you all will love the salsas. The red salsa was my favorite. If you want something spicier, there’s a third option which will really clean your sinuses!
I ordered a couple tacos, a tamale and at the recommendation of one of the employees, a huarache.
A huarache is is a popular Mexican dish consisting of masa dough and smashed pinto beans placed in the center before it’s given the oblong shape, fried masa base, with a variety of toppings including green or red salsa, cojita cheese, cilantro and sour cream and your choice of meat. I’ve had one before but was assured this one would be much better.
The huarache is a true piece of excellence. It was almost like eating a seven layer dip on a fried tortilla shell. This is a must try for anybody going to El Viejito. I couldn’t believe I paid just $5.99 for this meal. You have your sour cream, your beans, your cheese, your meat (in this case, pastor) and salsa which made for a delicious meal. If you love seven layer dip, you’ll certainly love this.
The tacos are bigger than your basic small street tacos. But like many restaurants, they really fill up the tacos with plenty of meat. For a single tortilla taco, it did a great job of staying together and not falling apart. The tortilla was fresh and the meats were well seasoned. The whole time eating it, I couldn’t stop thinking about finishing my huarache though. That was the true winner of my visit.
A couple next to me tried their chicken enchiladas and were upset they didn’t order more. One lady loved the refried beans on her meal and couldn’t stop raving about them.
My buddy, Damon, opted for their special that I was told was a popular option: the El Viejito burrito. Its topped with three salsas and filled carnitas, tomatoes, grilled peppers and onions. On looks alone, it’s arguable that it’s the most amazing burrito you’ve ever seen. He said it was by far one of the best carnitas burritos he has ever had and that their hottest sauce is no joke. At $6, it was a great value.
Everybody at El Viejito was so incredibly friendly. The prices were fantastic; the restaurant was clean; and the quality was top-notch. If this place was closer to home, I would possibly be going here everyday. But even though it’s not, it was certainly worth the drive out west. While I loved the huarache, there are plenty of other great options on the menu like the El Viejito burrito and the enchiladas.
Definitely give these guys a try, you’ll be glad you did!
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