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Thread: Armando's

  1. #1

    Default Armando's

    In Oklahoma city, Mexican restaurants come and go with predictable regularities. I should not have been too surprised when I instinctively headed to the former Chilino's Mexican restaurant at 5900 N. May Ave for dinner this evening. I didn't realize it had evolved into Armando's Mexican Restaurant however, until I actually picked up the menu. The decor was basically the same except for a few new tables, and the founders portraits had been painted over on the North wall.

    But, I figured, I would give them a try. Sometimes, new management or ownership can make all the difference. Menu style was the same with nothing to stand out as unique or different.

    Suffice it to say, the cheese casa was bland, the salsa as one dimensional as a playing card. On the whole, the dinner was underwhelming at best. I will not be returning. . .

    At least the beer was cold.

  2. Default Re: Armando's -Former Chilino's 5900 N. May

    I’m not 100% certain but this may be one of Chelino’s brothers. Would explain the similarities.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Armando's -Former Chilino's 5900 N. May

    Quote Originally Posted by OK BBQ Eater Anonymous View Post
    I’m not 100% certain but this may be one of Chelino’s brothers. Would explain the similarities.
    It is one of his brothers or another relative. Armando operates a couple of Chelino's - the one on May/Hefner and maybe another one.

  4. Default Re: Armando's -Former Chilino's 5900 N. May

    Quote Originally Posted by TheTravellers View Post
    It is one of his brothers or another relative. Armando operates a couple of Chelino's - the one on May/Hefner and maybe another one.
    The one in Norman.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Armando's -Former Chilino's 5900 N. May

    I checked the Oklahoma county Assessors office, to see if the property had been sold, and nothing new on 5900 N. May. Apparently, Armando's exists in Guthrie, which is reflected in their menu. (It shows the 5900 N. May location as the second address.) Although I have eaten at the Guthrie location, the food on N. May seems to be a recycling of Chilino's but not quite as good.

    It seems a good Tex-mex chain in OKC seems to last about 10 years more or less. El Charito in the 60's to the early 70's followed by Cocina De Mino which underwent rapid contraction in the early 2000's, El Chico's followed soon after. Chilino's came into vogue next and it seems their reign may now be in decline.

    I'm still shaking my head trying to understand why Cocina De Mino self destructed so effectively. (The casual reader may remind me of the South Western location in former Safeway store, but after having eaten there a few times, it does not even come close to Cocina De Mino back in its day.) Not to mention their failed effort to operate in Midwest City.

    I would be happy if someone would reopen an El Fenix franchise in the city. While they were in Crossroads, the food and service was always good. Granted, not cutting edge, but still worthy of an evenings trip.

    Which brings us to Chilino's. I had eaten at the Far North May location about a year ago. The food quality was simular but not as good as brick town or even Del City. Now they have downgraded what I would have thought of as a central location at 5900 N. May. Can the others be far behind??

  6. #6

    Default Re: Armando's -Former Chilino's 5900 N. May

    Since Armando runs the one on far north May (Hefner and May is the one you're talking about, I'm assuming), and now the one on 59th/May, and you're not enamored of those, you might try the new Chelino's on Western behind Hideaway and West since that's where Marcellino (sp?) moved to from 59th/May, it might still be up to your standards. Personally, I don't do Chelino's, I'm more along the lines of Abel's, El Fogoncito, and Birrieria Diaz, so I can't speak to the quality or lack thereof in the Chelino's "chain".

  7. #7

    Default Re: Armando's -Former Chilino's 5900 N. May

    Was in here a couple weeks ago and ran into our old regular waitress who worked at this spot for years when it was a Chelinos gave us the scoop. Armando (I’m not sure which one is which) has managed multiple Chelinos for 30 years, his partner was the kitchen manager at the downtown Chelinos since it opened 20 years ago. Chelinos did not own the building, so when their lease came up they decided to MOVE, not close, to western & a hidey hole. So the Armando’s partners immediately jumped on the lease and took over the space.

    The cheese, chips, salsa are all the same. That style salsa always depends on (the lack of) quality the box of cheap tomatoes it was made from. The menu is largely the same except it’s expanded, lots of seafood, steak, and chop options added. I got my old chelinos staple of steak guiso with the fried eggs on top. Wife had some massive platter of a combination of Tex mex foods (which fed us both again for dinner). Recipes were familiar and just felt like chelinos with more love and care, all the meats were a little more tender, all the sauces had a bit more flavor. So I’d have to label it Chelino’s+

    So in summary it’s a slightly stepped up Chelinos with more authentic protein dishes added and solid okie tex mex. It’s definitely in the rotation as a huge plate of greasy tex mex and a diet coke is the closest thing I’ve found to a Saturday morning/afternoon hangover cure at my age.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Armando's -Former Chilino's 5900 N. May

    I did notice today, that the Del city location, (Sooner and Reno) location continues to operate under the Chilino's flag.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Armando's -Former Chelino's 5900 N. May

    There was an Armando's north of Reno on Council that closed its doors 1-2 months ago. I hope this isn't related to that one, as the one that closed was very vanilla.

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