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Dec 27, 2001 10:01 PM

Mexican Food In KC

  • m

I would love to find an authentic Mexican place in KC. I am not talking about places like El Torito or Chi Chi's, but a small authentic place I might be able to get Medalliones al Limon or comparable Mexican cuisene. Not the Tex-Mex peone food we normally get.

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  1. Have you tried Manny's on Southwest Blvd? I have only been there once and don't remember if that dish was on the menu. Seemed to be authentic, as far as I would know. La Cocina del Puerco on Metcalf at Loehman's plaza is supposed to be authentic Mexico City style. I can vouch the food there is good.

    1. Ponaks is what my hubby says is good. He was raised in KC. We now live in San Francisco but visit KC a couple of times a year. That is where we get our BBQ fix. He said it has been 5 years since he went there but his dad who ran a taco john's resaurant knew the owner of ponaks. He also said that Manny's was good.

      2 Replies
      1. re: Marla Z

        I wondered if Ponak's was still around--I lived in KC 20 years ago, and I still dream of it!! Yeah, it may be that Tex-Mex peone food, but NO ONE in the civilized world could beat their chips: hand-torn in bunches, so they stuck together, and folded in on themselves in places, and we used to fight each other for the chunkiest pieces as they came HOT out of the frier...Dio Mio!!!! And of course, the chili-rellenos...

        1. re: Marla Z

          No offense, but Ponak's is about the worst Mexican food I've ever had. A step down from Taco Hell.

        2. My advice: by-pass the popular places like Ponak's, Margarita's and Manny's. The food all tastes the same. The best and most authentic we've found is a hole in the wall in beautiful downtown Claycomo called El Sombrero. Nothing fancy and the service can be a little brusque....but the food is what you go for, right?

          Our favorites are the flautas, burritos and the tamales. The tamales are not on the menu but they usually have them. They offer a choice of american or mexican chile on several items; go for the mexican! Tender chunks of pork in a spicy red sauce. Hot but delicious. And the beans.....ahhh the beans. Not the crusted over mush you get at the other places. Actual chunks of beans with a flavor all their own.

          5 Replies
          1. re: Schmitty

            I'm with you--Manny's is too pedestrian. I should have walked out when I asked for chicharron and the waitress had never heard of it. I grew up in KC but haven't lived there in 25 years. Where is Claycomo? I'll try it out next time I'm visiting.

            1. re: jenniferfishwilson

              The Guadalajara Cafe at 1144 W. 103rd St is a white tablecloth authentic Mexican restaurant where the owner may take your order. He will endorse the real Mexican food he serves, not the Tex-Mex food some of his customers request. He is from Mexico. The menu is extensive.

              He has opened a second Guadalajara restaurant. I believe it is in Kansas City North.

              1. re: Bernie

                The shrimp dishes here are absolutely wonderful, but the chips/salsa...particularly the salsa...leave me wanting. Not a fan of salsas that taste as though flavored with chili powder

              2. re: jenniferfishwilson

                Okay, I'll agree about manny's, but now I'm curious...What's a chicharron?

                1. re: css

                  Chicharron is instant cholesterol--it's fried pork skin. A little bit chopped up with a great salsa on a palm sized tortilla is heaven on earth (as long as your doctor doesn't find out). The Jewish version would be gribenes.

            2. Cannot believe La Cocina and Manny's would be mentioned together (see 12/28 reply), but he's dead on about La Cocina del puerco. We keep trying other places, and going back to la cocina, which is the best all-around. Other good ones, at least places with good options, are the Taqueria Mexico (new location at Rainbow & SW Blvd...a little mild but great flavor), Mi Cocina on the Plaza (pollo con hongos--Wow! and it's good for at least one lunch of leftovers), Guadalajara (as I said in another reply, the shrimp dishes are fabulous), and my other "favorite", and the most "authentic" of the bunch, La Paisana at 401 kansas Ave. in KCK. Small, cheap, family run place with tamales by the each or by the dozen, great chile verde, and the best mexican breakfast menu around, 7 days a week. Long reply, but a favorite topic. I'm eager to check out some of the other rec's found here.

              1. Has anyone tried Jalisco's in Kansas City, KS? It is next to Mickey's surplus. It looks very interesting.