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Building Big Flavors

We’re on the threshold of a new culinary era thanks to restaurants like Rincon that nails the line between authentic Tex-Mex preparations and crowd-pleasing plates.

Donna Leahey
Marc Rains
May 28, 2019

Finding your neighborhood restaurant is the best — that place with all your favorites, comfortable and familiar. If you’re still looking for your neighborhood restaurant, you need to check out Rincon Mexican Grill and Cantina. If Rincon were already your place, you’d be delighted to know it’s reopened, remodeled and renovated with all your old favorites just like you remember them and some additions to the menu ready to become your new favorites.

“The neighborhood has been so supportive. They tell us they were always driving by, looking to see if we were open yet,” says Alex Gomez, Rincon’s manager. “We had a huge fiesta when we reopened. A full house. The whole community was coming together and showing love.”

The neighborhood support means a lot to Rincon, Gomez, and owner Enrique Escota because the reopening was delayed due to a family tragedy. Escota’s wife, Gabriella, died while the renovations were going on. “It was hard for the family to reopen after that loss,” says Gomez. “But all the family, the neighborhood showed up. I was touched by that.”

Stuffed Camarones (Photo: Marc Rains)
Stuffed Camarones (Photo: Marc Rains)

Rincon was the first restaurant Gomez worked in when he moved to Tulsa. He has a degree in marketing and mass media from Oklahoma City University but has always worked as a waiter or bartender as a second job. When he met the Escotas before Rincon opened in 2015, it was a natural fit.

The new and improved Rincon is a beautiful space with high ceilings, red accents, and spacious dining space. “It’s all new and contemporary,” says Gomez. “The bar floor is red as well, and we opened up the walls so people can see better.”

Since Rincon reopened, the menu features “the same fresh, beautiful recipes as when we opened in 2015 with some new additions. We have the same chef, David Dela Rosa, running the kitchen. He’s been cooking for 10-12 years,” says Gomez.

The cuisine at Rincon is Tex-Mex, but with a lot of influence of traditional Mexican cuisine.

Big Mamma Coronarita (Photo: Marc Rains)
Big Mamma Coronarita (Photo: Marc Rains)

“Ninety percent is made in-house,” says Gomez. “Our tortillas are made in Enrique [Escota’s] factory downtown. Our desserts are made here. Our sopapillas are handmade. The salsas are made fresh daily.”

Rincon’s shrimp cocktail is one of the new menu options. “The shrimp cocktail is fresh and delicious,” says Gomez. This tasty shrimp dish is served with tomatoes, onions, peppers, fresh avocado, and housemade cocktail sauce.

Another excellent appetizer option is the jalapeno tamale cornbread: two hearty corn cakes served atop tomatillo sauce and covered with chipotle ranch, avocado, sour cream, tomatoes, and cilantro. It’s the perfect sweet, creamy, savory bite to start your meal. “We serve a lot of that. It’s excellent stuff,” says Gomez.

The surf and turf is not to be missed. “We use rib-eye instead of flank steak. It’s wood-grilled to perfection,” says Gomez. The rib-eye, marbled and flavorful, is skillfully seasoned with a hint of smoke from the grill. It’s served with generous jumbo shrimp and an enchilada or taco. It’s the perfect plate to satisfy your cravings.

The alambre de camarones is another perfect plate for shrimp lovers. Or bacon lovers. Or cheese lovers. Rincon takes five jumbo shrimp, tops them with cheese and jalapeno, then wraps them in bacon and finishes them on the wood-fire grill. The result is smoky and creamy and delicious. It is served with jalapeno tamale cornbread and your choice of beans.

Another treat from the wood-fire grill is the mahi-mahi with mango salsa. This sweet, flaky fish is lightly seasoned. The flavors jump right off the fork. Served with jalapeno tamale cornbread and beans, it’s another excellent choice in a menu full of great options.

What’s the perfect accompaniment to Tex-Mex? Margaritas, of course. The Big Mama is 42 ounces of sweet and tangy served in an oversized glass for just $10.99. You can also get a Big Mama Coronarita served with a small bottle of Corona inverted into the frozen drink, or upgrade it with a small bottle of Patron. The drink is flashy and impressive, as well as delicious.

If you want your Tex-Mex fix without leaving the house, Rincon provides delivery through DoorDash and Grubhub. Or, if you’re going to get together with a large group, Rincon has two rooms for special occasions. “No cost,” says Gomez. “Just ask.”

Come by Rincon for happy hour (Monday-Friday from 3-5 p.m.) for half-price appetizers and $3 draft beer. If you can’t make happy hour, there is a daily specials board for you to check out.

Rincon Mexican Grill and Cantina
6219 E. 61st St. | Tulsa
Monday-Thursday: 11 a.m.-9 p.m.
Friday-Saturday: 11 a.m.-11 p.m.
Sunday: 11 a.m.-9 p.m.