Hibachi Buffet–Weatherford, OK

Hibachi Buffet
1231 E. Main St.
Weatherford, OK
(580) 772-2408
Hibachi Buffet

Hibachi Buffet


One of my favorite stops along Interstate 40 used to be Young China Restaurant in downtown Weatherford. The food tasted more like what I would find in large cities than in small towns where Americanized Chinese is the standard. The owners were also able to prepare special requests to a limited extent, but mostly I relied on them to tell me what I could order that had more of a Chinese flavor than an Americanized one. These were the same owners who now have Hibachi Buffet, a much larger restaurant with both a menu and buffet as Young China had.

When I went to Hibachi Buffet the owners were not there but there was a large choice of items either on the buffet or available from the menu. I ended up getting what I thought was a very good dish, and I was glad to find out that the flavor seemed to be the same as it was as Young China. It threw me off a little bit seeing the name “Hibachi” and the fact that they serve sushi, but this is still a Chinese restaurant with a good selection of items.

Pork with Garlic Sauce

Pork with garlic sauce

Pork with garlic sauce

My choice of Pork with Garlic Sauce was somewhat influenced by my experience at Young China, knowing that the brown sauces are very good and that the restaurant had good vegetables. Although many of the vegetables were not Chinese style, such as the broccoli and carrots, I was happy with the quantity of vegetables that were served. They had a good flavor, and I particularly liked the fresh mushrooms that were included (the mushrooms were typical of those served in authentic Chinese dishes). The meat was good as well, and I liked the high vegetable to meat ratio.

The sauce was probably the best part of the dish, though, in the sense that this is usually where the restaurants make it too Americanized. This one had a subtle sweetness rather than an overwhelming one, and the flavors were balanced to make it taste Chinese. It was a little bit spicy, and if you want it more so you probably can ask for it (or likely just get some chiles from the buffet).

The Buffet
There was an impressive display of items on the buffet, but if you are not extremely hungry the menu has single items at a good price. I would guess that this buffet is probably better than most, based on what I tried from the menu. They also have sushi items available in the buffet.

The buffet is available both at lunch and dinner.

An Assessment
I am glad that the tradition of Young China now lives on in Hibachi Buffet. Weatherford is a town of about 10,000 people and does not have Chinatown style food, but it does have what I consider to be higher quality Chinese food than in most towns of similar size. This, combined with the price, is a very good deal.

My price category ($) is for the menu items, and if you get the buffet I think it would be $$ (still reasonable, though, compared to many other buffets).


RATING: 22

Cuisine: Chinese
Cost: $
Hours: Open Daily
Accessible: Yes
Smoking: No smoking
Alcohol: N/A

Most Recent Visit: Aug. 13, 2018
Number of Visits: 1
Best Item: Pork with Garlic Sauce

 

Asian Food Details

Tea: Jasmine (bags)
MSG: N/A
Buffet: Yes (lunch and dinner)
Special Ratings
star 5 Pork with Garlic Sauce

 

Menu (Aug. 2018):

Hoffbrau Steaks–Amarillo, TX

Hoffbrau Steak and Grill House
7203 IH-40 West
Amarillo, TX
(806) 358-6595
Hoffbrau Steaks

Hoffbrau Steaks


Located on Interstate 40, it is logical that a “Welcome to Amarillo” sign in front of Hoffbrau would greet a number of out-of-town visitors to this popular steak restaurant. Perhaps the somewhat legendary Big Texan Steak Ranch at the opposite end of the city has made Amarillo well known for its steaks, but as you drive through the surrounding cattle country it becomes very obvious that this is one of the region’s mainstays.

I went to Hoffbrau with some reservation, thinking that it was part of a chain that started in Austin and spread throughout the state. Actually the employees confirmed that it is not related to the Austin Hoffbrau at all, but does have three locations in the Fort Worth area. Amarillo and Fort Worth could have equal claim to being the steak capital of Texas, and even if Hoffbrau is technically a chain, the food at the Amarillo location seemed to be locally sourced and exhibited the characteristics of a local restaurant.

I will mention that although I was there during the lunch hour (lunch is served until 4:00 pm), the lunch menu mainly consists of hamburgers and other sandwiches. Steak dinners such as the one I ordered are on the dinner menu, and these come with rolls and your choice of soup or salad (the baked potato and dessert were extra).

Starters

Salad and rolls

Complimentary rolls and salad

The Salad which came with the steak dinner was very fresh, and I thought the ranch dressing was excellent. They did a good job with the rolls as well.

Soup can be ordered instead of the salad if you prefer.

The Steak

Filet

Center-cut bacon-wrapped filet

The Filet delivered everything I was expecting–flavor and good quality. Hoffbrau makes no claim that the steak is special in terms of being grass fed or anything like that. As someone who is pretty particular about steaks, though, I was very satisfied with it and would not be surprised if it were locally raised on their own ranch or came from their known trusted sources. It reminded me of the steaks I had while growing up–something that is not common enough in restaurants these days.

Side Dishes
The Baked Potato was also very good, and the toppings which included “everything” met my criteria for an enjoyable potato. The menu includes a choice of several sides, but I was happy with the potato and would stick with this on any future visits.

Dessert

Banana pudding

Banana pudding

The Banana Pudding is excellent but comes in a very large portion, and I think is meant to be shared. In case some are thinking of eating all of it by themselves, I must give a stern warning much like the old man in the Monty Python and the Holy Grail movie who was advising the knights about a particularly mean-tempered rabbit who they thought could be easily handled by just one of them (in other words, they are likely to fail).

The restaurant also has peach cobbler and chocolate cake, which I assume come in equally large portions.

Additional Comments
Although all steak restaurants are expensive, Hoffbrau is one that I would call moderately priced. The best part, though, was that the meat was also very good and the seasoning was excellent.

The side dishes made the meal even better–the salad and potato were both very good, and I especially enjoyed the potato.

When choosing a steak restaurant in Amarillo it is important to read the reviews on Yelp and other web sites, because not all of the restaurants here are as good as one would expect for a place in cattle country. I thought Hoffbrau was a very good choice.


RATING: 25

Cuisine: Steak
Cost: $$$
Hours: Open Daily
Accessible: Yes
Smoking: No smoking
Alcohol: Full Bar

Most Recent Visit: Aug. 13, 2018
Number of Visits: 1
Best Items: Filet, Baked Potato, Salad, Banana Pudding

Special Ratings
star 5 Filet
star 5 Salad
star 5 Baked Potato
star 5 Banana Pudding

Taqueria Jalisco–Roswell, NM

Taqueria Jalisco
1622 S. Main St.
Roswell, NM
(575) 623-8226
Taqueria Jalisco

Taqueria Jalisco


There are two things about the name Taqueria Jalisco that I think are misleading, although neither makes any difference in the enjoyment of the food. In border areas such as El Paso the name “taqueria” has a certain connotation that tacos will be the main emphasis of the restaurant. Tacos are a main focus here, but there is certainly a broad menu that includes just about any of the familiar Mexican items that you would like.

Also the focus of the restaurant does not seem to be on Jalisco style food, although I was informed that this was the original residence of the owners. There are items on the menu that appear to be authentic (especially in the “Especialidades de la Casa” section), but this does not seem to be the case with everything. Still, when the food is as good as I found it to be, I have little concern about whether it originated in Jalisco.

I did find the food comparable in quality and flavor to the Mexican food served in El Paso, and this is something that I think will please most people when they try it. This is not New Mexican cuisine, but I think they combine Mexican recipes with New Mexico chile and other local flavors on some of the dishes. The one thing I can say for sure is that it is not Americanized in the manner that I see in many restaurants around the country.

Chips and Salsa

Chips and salsa

Chips and salsa

The Salsa has a very good flavor, is smooth (without noticeable chunks of onions or other vegetables), and has what is to me the right spice level (not fiery but not “gringo” salsa either).

I liked the chips as well, and I think they are made in house.

Enchiladas Suizas

Enchiladas suizas

Enchiladas suizas

The Enchiladas Suizas were a somewhat unusual choice to be on the “Especialidades de la Casa” menu because this is apparently supposed to be a menu of authentic items, and these enchiladas are not like the ones I have had in Mexico. For instance they have changed the traditional green sauce to red, the red chile sauce seems to be from a local New Mexico source rather than from Mexico, and the sour cream is American style rather than the traditional Mexican crema.

At first I was disappointed that I did not get traditional enchiladas suizas until I decided to skip putting the sour cream on top of the enchiladas, resulting in regular red enchiladas which were not only some of the best I have had anywhere, but were very reminiscent of the ones served in El Paso. This is a good thing because to me the local chiles in New Mexico and the El Paso area, along with the local way of making them into a sauce, are really some of the best anywhere.

The inclusion of an excellent Guacamole makes this probably a better choice than ordering the regular enchiladas, and what I have determined is that it is better to just leave the sour cream on the side (note, though, that the sour cream will be served on top of the enchiladas unless you request that it be on the side). Others may like the sour cream more than I did, so it is worthwhile to at least ask them to bring it on the side.

Chile Relleno

Chile relleno

Chile relleno

I think the Chile Relleno that I sampled also seemed to deviate from the traditional Mexican style as evidenced by the large amount of cheese on top. I also found it to be full of seeds (normally a negative), but whatever they did worked pretty well and made it come out with a good flavor.

Other Notes
There are a large number of meat dishes at the restaurant that appear to be Mexican style. The enchiladas I ordered seemed to be north of the border style in a good way (with a good flavor, especially with the red chile). I have not tried enough of the food to say what is best, but I can definitely recommend that people try the food here.

The Melon (cantaloupe) drink was thin but had a good flavor, especially with the mix of spices that are included. I would recommend this as well.

My first visit here was on a Sunday evening, normally a slow time for restaurants but this one was almost completely full. I think this is a good recommendation in a state where people have a large choice of Mexican restaurants.


RATING: 23

Cuisine: Mexican
Cost: $$
Hours: Open Daily
Accessible: Yes
Smoking: No smoking
Alcohol: Beer and wine

Most Recent Visit: Aug. 12, 2018
Number of Visits: 1
Best Items: Red Enchiladas, Guacamole, Salsa

 

Mexican Food Details

Chile Index: chile 4
Cooking Oil: N/A
Special Ratings
star 5 Red Enchilada
star 5 Chile Relleno
star 5 Guacamole
star 5 Beans
star 4 Rice
star 5 Melon Drink
star 5 Chips
star 5 Salsa

 

Menu (Aug. 2018):