Like many metropolitan areas, Oklahoma City is a collection of neighborhoods and business districts. Each one has its own distinct flavor and atmosphere. Automobile Alley is an area that once held many of the city’s car dealerships and still has recognizable features from that era. Today it is going through a transition that is breathing in new life in the form of locally owned shops and restaurants. The addition of light rail will most certainly help boost the traffic flow into this zone, so many new businesses are racing to be ready for this influx. During an afternoon of exploring in Automobile Alley, we popped into Iguana Mexican Grill for Happy Hour.
We want to thank the Visit Oklahoma City and Iguana Mexican Grill for their hospitality. Rest assured that all opinions are our own.
Colorful Digs At Iguana Mexican Grill
The restaurant is just off of the main drag, so easily within walking distance from the nearby shops. As we approached, we were greeted by the brightly colored outside decor, which included an over-sized “Day of the Dead” style skull. Once inside, we saw the bright colors continued through the decorations. It gives the place a casual, fun atmosphere perfect for a late afternoon get together. The Happy Hour crowd was just beginning to arrive, so we had our choice of seating sections. Since neither of us prefer high-tops, we were seated at a table that has benches on once side and chairs on the other.
Easing Into Happy Hour
Our server brought us some chips and salsa to munch on while we reviewed the menus. We picked a couple of the house margaritas to get started. When he returned, we discussed what are some of the favorites at Iguana. He pointed out that while the Happy Hour menu is small overall, it includes the houses most popular food item. While the chips and salsa were tasty, we decided that we wanted to expand our sampling a bit.
He suggested the Queso Fundido, which is their spin on queso dip. This version is made with Chihuahua cheese that has been heated in a skillet. To this base they add chorizo, caramelized onions, and jalapeno salsa. It is served with flour tortillas, but we also enjoyed it with the crispy house made tortilla chips. This appetizer was out of the norm for what we usually find when ordering queso. The combination of flavors were so good, that this dish was emptied in record time. By the way, it pairs really well with their margaritas.
More Tasty Treats
While we devoured the queso, the kitchen was busy preparing our main dishes. The Happy Hour menu at Iguana Mexican Grill features mini tacos as the food of choice. It ends up that this is the most popular dish and can be ordered with soft or hard shells. You also get choice of chicken or ground beef for the protein. Crystal decided to have the soft shells and fill them with the seasoned chicken. They come filled to the gill, and they have a nice plate presence. I went traditional with the ground beef filling the hard shells. Yes, I went with three tacos versus Crystal’s two, but I was famished after a morning of exploring. After all, I was lugging the camera around.
The Happy Hour choices were plenty to fill us, and at a good price point. By the time we finished, the end of workday crowds were starting to filter in. Time for us to return to Automobile Alley for some more shopping, err… exploring. Our meal at Iguana Mexican Grill offered us a delicious refueling stop in a fun atmosphere. This is exactly the kind of locally owned eateries that we love to experience. We just hope they are ready for the big increase in traffic that the new transportation system is sure to provide. I guess we will have to drop back by afterwards to see how the area has changed.