FOOD: Habaneros

 

Written by Dena A. Edwards in the February 2012 Issue

HabanerosHabaneros Mexican Restaurant, which advertises “off the beaten path but worth it,” has a new path. The Edmond restaurant known for its massively-sized burrito and chili rellenos has relocated to 251 E. Waterloo — right around the corner from where it has served customers for six years. “We felt it was time for us to improve the restaurant with a new look, new management and add some new flavor,” said Mandy Hobson, who co-owns the eatery with husband, Chris.


The new location offers a drive-through window for to-go orders, an outdoor patio and bar area. One thing that hasn’t changed is the Hobsons’ commitment to providing quality Mexican dining, with great service and a good price.


“We have developed recipes through the years and are constantly trying new ones to keep our menu options fresh and new,” said Hobson, an Edmond native. A few original recipes created by their Mexican chefs are the Alambre — grilled marinated fajita beef, mushrooms, sautéed onions and bell peppers smothered with Monterey jack cheese and Hobson’s favorite specialty item, Pork Chili Verde — marinated pork slow-cooked in green sauce and salsa roja.


These specialties are constantly evolving as the Hobsons encourage their chefs to experiment with new recipes and improve old ones. One traditional Mexican favorite has become a customer favorite at Habaneros — the chili relleno. “We use large roasted poblano peppers and stuff them full,” Hobson said. “So many chili rellenos you get at other places are skinny and barely full. Ours are big, full, plump and round, and therefore full of great flavor.”


Chris Hobson grew up in Deer Creek, and has been around restaurants most of his life. “(Opening his own restaurant) is something Chris has always wanted to do,” Hobson said. When the original location became available at the corner of Broadway and Waterloo Road, it seemed like a great fit — close to where they lived, and in an area that had no other eating establishments.


The experience of owning their own restaurant has been like nothing else. “It’s been a lot harder than we expected,” Hobson said. “But great, too. We get to meet so many people. We have regulars that come in all the time, and it’s awesome to see those faces every week and to form new relationships.”


The new location, open 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday, has different décor than their original restaurant. Stained concrete floors, granite countertops, arched doorways with brick paver eyebrows, neutral colors with pops of traditional Mexican heritage colors all set the tone for diners.


“We want everyone to feel welcome when they come in,” Hobson said. “To feel accepted, comfortable, not feel out of place.” For more information, call 359-3319 or visit www.habanerosok.com.

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