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The Eat is On

With an atmosphere that is lively, colorful, and comfortably casual, Habaneros Mexican Grill lives up to its name with an exhaustive list of dishes, drinks, and house specialties.

Donna Leahey
Sarah Eliza Roberts
January 28, 2020

The habanero pepper is a favorite among those who love heat in their food. Green, orange, or red, the habanero has spread across the world from its origin in the Amazon. It became so widespread that people once thought it originated in China, hence the scientific name Capsicum chinense — the pepper of China. The bright habanero is one of the spicier peppers. Colorful, attractive, and hot.

Which also describes the Broken Arrow restaurant Habaneros Mexican Grill. It’s modern, sleekly attractive, trendy, and popular. Colorful banners decorate the eaves and patio, while greenery and brick welcome you. Inside, Habaneros is a visual party of color and light with unique 3D art, creative lighting, and textures of brick, stone, and dark wood with bright terra cotta and warm honeyed yellow walls. A display of tequila showing off the rich golds of the traditional drink rests near the host stand. TVs line the walls of the bar area, interspersed with colorful sombreros. The patio looks so fun, you know sitting there will be a party, spurred by the bright Mexican music playing from the speakers.

Chicken Fajita Quesadilla (Photo: Sarah Eliza Roberts)
Chicken Fajita Quesadilla (Photo: Sarah Eliza Roberts)

“We wanted to play with the colors and all this kind of stuff. The handcrafted booths were designed by us and shipped from Mexico along with the art,” says Habaneros manager Alan Valdez. The 3D artwork is more than just beautiful; it’s environmentally friendly too.

Part of Habaneros’ design is the open kitchen. “We’re all about fresh food,” says Valdez. “We have the kitchen open so customers can see how clean and fresh it is. We don’t keep food for the next day. Everything — beans, chicken, salsa — are made fresh each day. Same with drinks. Everything is fresh and authentic.”

To meet the commitment to fresh, Habaneros gets its meats from Tulsa Beef, and produce is delivered daily by GoFresh for the salsa and queso. The flavors of the salsa are distinct, with a hint of cilantro, and a bit of onion.

“Every week we make between 60 and 68 gallons of salsa,” says Valdez. It’s easy to see why: it’s irresistible.

Mucho Bueno Margarita (Photo: Sarah Eliza Roberts)
Mucho Bueno Margarita (Photo: Sarah Eliza Roberts)

The queso is equally hard to resist. It’s white queso, creamy and cheesy, and it goes great with the crispy chips or with your meal. While you’re thinking about dips, the guacamole is some of the best in town. The flavor is dominated by perfectly ripened avocado and seasoned to a savory finish that’s amazing on its own and a complement to any dish.

One of the most popular menu items is the decadent pollo con queso. Tender, beautifully cooked strips of chicken are covered in creamy queso and served with rice and beans. It won’t take more than a bite to understand why it’s a favorite.

The fajitas are another popular option. The dish is served sizzling hot with grilled onions, bell peppers, and tomatoes as well as lettuce, sour cream, that tasty guac, and more. You can choose traditional beef, chicken, pork, fish, or shrimp fajitas. The Texas fajitas are a delicious mix of chicken, beef, and shrimp. If you prefer your fajitas meatless, Habaneros offers fajitas vegetarians. Or go for the deluxe offering with steak, chicken, shrimp, chorizo, and carnitas.

Valdez’s favorite is the Triple A Special, which features a bed of flavorful rice topped with chicken, beef, or shrimp and drizzled with queso. You can mix it up with beef, chicken, and shrimp combo if you prefer. The beef is tender and savory and set off beautifully by the queso. The chicken is perfectly seared and seasoned. The shrimp is tender and sweet. It’s a big, comforting, delicious meal you have got to try.

The menu offers extensive choices of beef, chicken, pork, and shrimp dishes, and despite the restaurant being named after one of the hottest peppers in the world, only a few of the dishes are spicy. If that’s what you’re looking for, dishes like the camarones a la diablo or the quesadilla de chile rojo will be glad to set your tongue aflame.

Habaneros offers a generous lunch menu that includes many of the same great flavors in a lunch portion and at a lunch price. The el tacazo, for instance, is two tacos, two taquitos, and a guacamole salad for a budget-friendly $6.50.

Desserts include traditional Mexican options like a custard flan, sweet and steamy hot sopapillas, and a luscious three leches cake. Or try churros just like you could buy on the street in Mexico City.  

Habaneros Mexican Grill
4640 S. Elm Place | Broken Arrow
Monday-Saturday: 11 a.m.-9:30 p.m.
Sunday: 11 a.m.-9 p.m.