Monday, March 28, 2011

Tequila's is Real Mexican.

Tequila's Mexican Restaurant
1740 E Main St # 1
Cortez, Colorado, 81321-3064

(970) 565-6868


Looking for authentic Mexican food? Then you need to try out a Tequila’s Mexican Restaurant if you happen to be in Colorado. There are several locations, and we’re lucky to have one, located in Cortez, Colorado, only an hour away from home. It is located in a small shopping strip across the street from the WalMart, so not hard to find. The restaurant looks small from the outside, but there is ample room inside. Going up a small incline to the reception podium, a smiling hostess will seat you at one of their many tables or booths. The wait staff is friendly and attentive, and your drink order is taken immediately. Salsa, tortilla chips and a warm cabbage slaw begin your eating adventure.

It’s the menu that might give you a bit of trouble; trouble deciding what to have that is. The appetizers (try the sampler platter if you can’t decide) are delicious and plentiful. The chicken taquitos are not the typical ones you would see in your frozen food department. They are wider with slices of tender chicken breast inside, and a mild red sauce served on top.

Main dishes are divided into categories in the menu – beef, pork, chicken, seafood, specialty dishes, combos; and everything is good!!! Once again, if you can’t decide, go with a combo where you can pick 2 or more items; refried beans and rice served with the meal. Many of the meals come with a side of diced tomatoes and shredded lettuce; tasting very fresh. Warm, soft tortillas are served in a separate covered warming dish; very nice indeed.

There are a few desserts, that is if you can fit anymore into your stomach; and we particularly love the flan and sopapillas. Also, they have an extensive drink menu, so if you’re in the mood for a cocktail, try one of their margueritas, or other mixed drinks.

Now we have been there many times, and to this date, we have only had one bad experience with the food, namely the salsa. Roy dipped in a chip, loaded up a generous amount of salsa, and got more crunch in his mouth than just the chip. There had been, in the salsa bowl, a ¼ inch metal screw. We called over the waiter, who apologized, removed the bowl and then promptly brought us a fresh bowl of salsa. Alright we thought, perhaps he’ll take a little something off the total bill for our inconvenience. Nope, we thought wrong; so that was a disappointment.

Except for that incident, the food has always been delicious, very little wait time, hot and plentiful. If you walk out of Tequila’s hungry, then that’s your fault, not theirs.

Tequila's Mexican Restaurant on Urbanspoon

Tequila's Mexican Restaurant on Restaurantica

Convenience Cooking? Avoid the box.

We have all done it; time is short, too much to do, so we grab a boxed meal for convenience. It could be one of those on the shelf meals that you just add meat, chicken or tuna and water to; or it could be a factory made meal from the freezer. It’s not really the cooking that takes up so much time really, it’s the prep work; the cutting, chopping, measuring. There are many items that can be found pre-cut in the freezer section of the local market: onions, peppers, carrots, potatoes, etc. Depending on what recipe you’re creating, measuring out these pre-cut items can ease your time load. Also, these items can be broken down into pre-measured ingredients, bagged together with your pre-measured meat, chicken or seafood and there you go, a homemade frozen meal just ready to go.

Many fresh vegetables can be prepped ahead also. I often buy bell and hot peppers when they are on sale. They can be chopped, sliced, diced, and/or roasted; then frozen to be readily available when needed. Carrots, peas, corn can be blanched, cooled quickly in ice water, drained and then frozen in measured amounts. Think of it as canning without using bottles, and having to buy all the tools for the process.

Veggies can also be stored in a good olive oil, refrigerated and added to salads, sandwiches or to enhance a cooked meal. No matter how you decide to store your food, you are the one who knows definitely what is in it; no labels to decipher.

Roasting Vegetables


Without removing the papery skin, or separating the cloves, cut the top off the head of the garlic bulb; make sure to expose all of the cloves. Place the bulbs, root side down, into an oven proof glass dish. Pour 1/8 cup of olive oil over each bulb; this will keep the garlic moist and prevent a hard “skin” from forming. Bake in a preheated 300F oven for one hour. While still hot, grasp the bottom of the bulb (use an oven mitt or clean towel to prevent burning skin) and squeeze out the soft pulp. The pulp can be used for spreading on toasted bread, or adding to a recipe.


Remove the papery skin and roots from the shallots, place into an oven proof glass dish. Coat the shallots with ¼ cup of olive oil; bake according to the garlic directions. The natural sugar in shallots will help to caramelize the olive oil on them. They can be tossed into salads, sauces or added to a recipe.

Red Bell Peppers

Make sure the peppers being used are firm to the touch; if soft, they are old. If the stove is gas, turn the burners on low and place the peppers directly on top. Use tongs to turn the peppers as the skin blackens. The peppers can also be blackened on a barbeque grill, or under the broiler. Once blackened on all sides, place the peppers in a paper bag and seal the bag; this will cause a steaming process. Once the peppers are warm to the touch, the skin will easily peel off, and the seeds can be removed. Chop, dice, slice up the peppers for salads, dressings, sauces, or added to a recipe.


Place roasted garlic or vegetables in a jar (glass for refrigerating; plastic for freezing) and cover with olive oil. If refrigerated, use within one week; if frozen, it can be stored for up to three months. To use, bring up to room temperature, as oil will be coagulated and needs to be reliquified.

Mary Cokenour