View Full Version : El Charrito restaurant



capitalhillkid
10-31-2011, 12:21 PM
When people in my family wanted to have a special restaurant outing, this is where we would go. It was right downtown, I think across from the courthouse. It had convenient parking, delicious food, and a lovely interior. They had a juke box with a selection box at each booth, and I recall I always played a Perry Como song, "A Pack of Wild Horses."
The last time I went was in the 1970's. I guess it isn't there anymore.

Pete
10-31-2011, 12:57 PM
El Charrito was on Paseo, just north of downtown.

It later became El Chico and there were multiple locations.

http://www.route66university.com/photos/postcard_29/charrito_okc.jpg

That building (2909 Paseo) is now home to the very nice Paseo Grill:

http://i8.photobucket.com/albums/a49/DougLoudenback/paseo/paseo53.jpg

capitalhillkid
10-31-2011, 01:22 PM
Thank you for looking up these pictures, but I thought, 'No, it couldn't have been that one. That looks nothing like it.' It turns out the one I meant was at 113 North Walker. I just looked it up by googling El Charrito Oklahoma City and being directed to to Retro Metro OKC. There are 4 locations listed on that site. The one you're thinking of was El Charrito #1, the one I meant was #2. The interior was rather fancier than the one on Paseo.
Now thinking about all this, I am wanting a good Mexican dinner, wish I could go to El Charrito!

ctchandler
11-02-2011, 11:02 AM
How about my favorite El Charrito, on about S. W. 33rd and Robinson. We ate there often. It was closer to home. I did eat at the one down town but I think that's it.
C. T.

BlackmoreRulz
11-02-2011, 05:01 PM
Wasn't there one just south of 23rd & Broadway? It was my mom's favorite place in the early 60's, I remember going to the one on Robinson and the one on Paseo but also remember going to one over by Borden's.

Achilleslastand
11-02-2011, 07:46 PM
Wasn't there one just south of 23rd & Broadway? It was my mom's favorite place in the early 60's, I remember going to the one on Robinson and the one on Paseo but also remember going to one over by Borden's.

Yes you are correct.....

Soonerus
11-02-2011, 10:51 PM
My first date with my wife in 1972 was at El Charrito...we were married in 78 and now married for 33 years...

MDot
11-02-2011, 10:55 PM
My first date with my wife in 1972 was at El Charrito...we were married in 78 and now married for 33 years...

Congratulations, nothing better than a long marriage with a person you love and cherrish. Sounds like El Charrito held a special place in your heart.

ctchandler
11-03-2011, 09:47 AM
Did the restaurants at 22nd and N. Broadway and in the Paseo ever have the name "El Charrito"? I ate often at both of them but I thought they started as El Chico as part of the new owners expansion. I'm certainly not sure, my 68 year old brain at work.
C. T.

janeyring
05-11-2012, 12:47 PM
El Charritos in OKC had the best Mexican food I have ever eaten. There were several locations in the City. Please tell me they still exist somewhere. I remember the luncheon specials: 'Explorer' and the 'Defeat'. My favorite was the cheese enchilada. No restaurant comes even close to El Charritos.

janeyring
05-11-2012, 12:51 PM
I don't know if El Chico has anything to do with El Charrito. El Chico does not come even close to El Charrito for great taste. I had been told El Charrito was now El Chico, but I don't think that is right.
J. R.

CarltonsKeeper
05-12-2012, 08:33 AM
Did the restaurants at 22nd and N. Broadway and in the Paseo ever have the name "El Charrito"? I ate often at both of them but I thought they started as El Chico as part of the new owners expansion. I'm certainly not sure, my 68 year old brain at work.
C. T.

C.T. - They all started as El Charitto's and were bought out by El Chico at the same time. Like you, I ate mostly at the S. Robinson location but also ate at all the rest. Downtown was probably the nicest and then Paseo. Was never impressed too much with N. Broadway - but they were all good!!

ctchandler
05-12-2012, 02:23 PM
C.T. - They all started as El Charitto's and were bought out by El Chico at the same time. Like you, I ate mostly at the S. Robinson location but also ate at all the rest. Downtown was probably the nicest and then Paseo. Was never impressed too much with N. Broadway - but they were all good!!
CarltonsKeeper,
I knew that El Chico bought them but didn't know if the two I mentioned were originally El Charitto or started after the buy out.
C. T.

Jim Kyle
05-12-2012, 04:53 PM
Yes, they were both El Charrito originally. The one on NW 22 and Broadway was managed for a time by Manuel Cruz, Edgar's father and a great trumpet man in his own right (who went to school at Classen in the mid-50s with my wife). The one on Paseo was, for quite a while, the headquarters of the chain.

The very first El Charrito I remember was at NW 10 and Dewey, in the location on the NE corner of that intersection which later was the birthplace of the Boulevard Cafeteria. That was back in the late 30s or early 40s as I recall, but it could have been as late as '45 or '46.

Pete
05-12-2012, 05:57 PM
This is an ad from 1969.

BTW, I am getting ready to unleash hundreds and hundreds of ads from all types of restaurants, retailers and businesses from that year as well as hi-res aerials of every square inch of Oklahoma City also in '69. Stay tuned for details... I hope to have this massive project up and running within a couple of weeks.


http://www.okctalk.com/images/pete/elcharrito.jpg

boscorama
05-12-2012, 07:34 PM
3200 N Broadway, WTH? Someone made a booboo.

Weird to note the absence of phone numbers or any other information.

rcjunkie
05-12-2012, 08:12 PM
3200 N Broadway, WTH? Someone made a booboo.

Weird to note the absence of phone numbers or any other information.

No booboo, 3200 N. Broadway, Edmond Oklahoma

ctchandler
05-13-2012, 05:57 AM
No booboo, 3200 N. Broadway, Edmond Oklahoma
rcjunkie,
I think it is a mistake. El Charrito/El Chico's was located on 2200 N. Broadway, OKC. 3200 North Broadway in Edmond is over two miles North of Edmond road and currently is pasture with a cow pond. I don't believe there was a restaurant there.
C. T.

CarltonsKeeper
05-13-2012, 07:36 AM
rcjunkie,
I think it is a mistake. El Charrito/El Chico's was located on 2200 N. Broadway, OKC. 3200 North Broadway in Edmond is over two miles North of Edmond road and currently is pasture with a cow pond. I don't believe there was a restaurant there.
C. T.

C.T. You be 100% correct, it was at 2200 N. Broadway next to Byron's liquor store - ate there for many years!! Just South of Byron's next door.....

Lauri101
05-13-2012, 04:31 PM
My sister worked at Paseo location in 70's. I'll never forget the day immigration came in and they lost all cooks and dishwashers out back door. She came home exhausted. Ahhh...the memories of "The Explorer" linger on - I miss that place!

OKCnBA
05-14-2012, 02:46 PM
Well, this thread confirms that I am slipping. I thought it was an El Charrito on NE 23rd, east of I-35, where my family ate when I was a kid in the 60s. Anyone know the name of the Mexican restaurant I am thinking of?

ctchandler
05-14-2012, 03:28 PM
Well, this thread confirms that I am slipping. I thought it was an El Charrito on NE 23rd, east of I-35, where my family ate when I was a kid in the 60s. Anyone know the name of the Mexican restaurant I am thinking of?
OKCnBA,
When was that? I know the area well but don't remember a Mexican Restaurant.
C. T.

BlackmoreRulz
05-14-2012, 05:20 PM
El Rancho Sanchez was out on 23rd a long time ago

Pete
05-14-2012, 05:29 PM
This ad is from 1974 and shows a location at 2624 NE 23rd.

That building is long gone due to the widening of I-35 but it would have been just off the freeway back then.

It also shows it as their #1 location, so it was probably the first one, although I'm not sure when they opened for business.

http://www.okctalk.com/images/pete/elranchosanchez1974.jpg

Pete
05-14-2012, 05:32 PM
Just found another one from 1955 -- that's the earliest date I've been able to find, so I'd guess they opened right about this time.

Back then, it was just called "El Rancho":

http://www.okctalk.com/images/pete/elrancho1955.jpg

janeyring
05-14-2012, 06:14 PM
Didn't know that. Thanks for sharing. Wish I could duplicate El Charritos' recipes.
Janey Reynolds Ring

OKCnBA
05-14-2012, 06:15 PM
CT, this would have been in the mid-sixties. Hmm...based on your info Pete it must have been El Rancho, but that name doesn't sound quite right. The address puts it in the correct location tho. South side of NE 23rd. It was accross the street from something called (I think) the Red Rock Inn, which was in a stone building befitting the name. My dad owned an auto salvage further east on 23rd back then, I'll have to ask him what he remebers about it.

Pete
05-14-2012, 06:59 PM
This is an aerial from early 1969. I was wrong about the widening of I-35 taking out the adjoining properties on 23rd... I don't think that happened at all.

Based on the address of 2624 NE 23rd found in that ad, I would guess the building I'm pointing to here is the El Rancho Restaurant.

Looks like there was a motel that wrapped around it:


http://www.okctalk.com/images/wikiphotos/elranchoaerial.jpg


This is a current aerial of the area:

http://www.okctalk.com/images/wikiphotos/elranchoaerial2.jpg

boscorama
05-14-2012, 07:36 PM
Aha! GArfield 7 was my prefix, too. The good old daze of phone numbers :)

Pete
05-14-2012, 07:46 PM
Here's a really cool postcard of that old Wishing Well Motel:

http://www.okctalk.com/images/wikiphotos/wishingwell3.jpg

From about 10 years ago:

http://www.okctalk.com/images/wikiphotos/wishingwellmotel2.jpg

All that's left today:

http://www.okctalk.com/images/wikiphotos/wishingwell4.jpg

ctchandler
05-15-2012, 03:30 AM
I was a big El Rancho Sanchez fan, went every Monday night when my kids were old enough to eat Mexican food because they ate either free or half price that night and I think it was the only night their buffet was open. I went mainly to the one on S. Western and I've never heard of the one on 23rd. I also ate at the one near May and N. W. 39th. Thanks for the info.
C. T.

Portulaca
05-15-2012, 08:33 AM
There was an El Rancho Sanchez on Air Depot in Midwest City (later became Pancho's, I think?) in the mid '70's.

Regarding El Charrito, in 1966 my family lived in Norman, where there were not a lot of viable dining options, so any time we were in the vicinity of Shepherd Mall, we dined at the restaurant in the mall. When we were downtown, at John A. Brown, we frequently ate at the downtown location. El Charrito's cheese enchiladas, in particular, RULED (oooh -the Defeat!). And remember how, in addition to the requisite chips and sauce, they would also serve warm corn tortillas, pats of butter, and a little ramekin of marinated onions, carrots, and jalapenos?

Larry OKC
05-16-2012, 11:57 AM
This is an aerial from early 1969. ...

[CENTER]http://www.okctalk.com/images/wikiphotos/elranchoaerial.jpg

WOW, that traffic circle/roundabout or whatever the technical term for it looks huge

Pete
05-16-2012, 12:07 PM
Larry if you notice on the current aerial also posted above, it's still largely in tact.

Larry OKC
05-16-2012, 01:54 PM
While the basic shape is somewhat there (esp the vertical sections), is the functionality of it the same? It looks like parts have been transformed into a Texas Turnabout contraption (the "straight" horizontal portions) and instead of all being on the same plane, consists of overpasses/underpasses etc.