Positives: Good service, good food, good value
Negatives: Not highly visible
Once a year, we travel through Dewar to reach a family function in eastern Oklahoma. Several years ago we discovered Pancho Villa's Mexican Restaurante while traveling through town.
The cafe' sits along the south side of U.S. 266, so close to the junction of U.S. 75 we thought it was in the larger community of Henryetta.
Outside, the decor hints at "southwestern style" with liberal use of white stucco. Inside, customers pass through a large foyer decorated like a plaza. The dining area is typical of small-town restaurants...dark wood, a mixture of booths and tables, very basic decorations consisting mainly of a few pictures.
We've always received better-than-average service here, despite the fact we only visit once annually. Many small-town restaurants cater to local patrons, often at the expense of visitors. Perhaps the proximity to nearby Lake Eufaula, and all the traffic it attracts, has kept them receptive to out-of-town customers.
Our most recent stop is a great example. We arrived 20 minutes before close, but were seated courteously and quickly. The dining room was about a third full when we arrived but the host acted pleased we came. A couple of large groups were enjoying after-meal conversation. They left prompty at 9:00 p.m. We'd not quite finished eating, but at no time were we made to feel like an imposition.
Food here is good, but tends to the spicy side. On our last visit, we began with a bowl of queso that contained a fair number of peppers. For entree's, two of our party ordered the daily special...beef fajitas. I chose a signature dish: Frank's Special. It consisted of slow-simmered brisket that was combined with pico de gallo, cilantro, sliced jalapenos, and a few other ingredients.
Both the fajitas and "special" were served fresh and piping hot. Both were accompanied by steaming flour tortillas. The fajitas weren't too spicy, but the refritos on the side were.
Between the "caliente" and "picante", Frank's Special was hot on many levels. It was a "thirsty" dish. Fortunately, our server was good to keep my water glass filled!
Despite the heat, I'd order Frank's Special again. The meat was particularly good mixed with the Spanish rice that came with it. The brisket also tastes great on flour tortillas.
Prices are very reasonable, a bit less than typical Mexican restaurants, making meals a good value.
Apparently, Pancho Villa's enjoys local popularity. We've been stopping here at least five years, yet the place looks as good as our first stop. We plan to visit again next year...sooner if in the area. If you're traveling through on nearby I-40, Pancho Villa's is a worthwhile detour for hungry travelers.
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