Mexican restaurants abound in Wichita, and each is unique in quality, authenticity, menu and style.
Some are fast-food-type places, with fried tacos, huge burritos and copious amounts of cheese. Some are more Tex-Mex, with fajitas and stuffed enchiladas and queso.
I like authentic, regional Mexican cuisine. My favorite restaurant for that is Rostizeria Los Reyes. The name itself describes their specialty: rotisserie chicken. The chicken is tender, coated with a light dusting of spices, garlic and salt, and roasted until falling apart. You can order a whole chicken and share it, or the dinner entrée, which is a half chicken with beans and rice and a salad. You get your choice of homemade corn or flour tortillas. I always get the corn tortillas, steamed and delicate and aromatic. The flour tortillas are sturdier, but still steamy and floppy and good.
I also love the chicken mole. Mole is a sauce that has regional variations, and may contain a mixture of nuts, chocolate, spices, ancho and poblano chiles, and bread or tortillas. The ingredients are fried or roasted, then simmered until fragrant, and pureed until smooth. The mole at Los Reyes is Oaxacan style: dark red-brown, slightly sweet and fairly mild.
They have lots of other food on the menu, but they specialize in a buffet. If you want to taste a number of different dishes, this is a good way to do it. The buffet usually contains several braised dishes, like beef guisado and that fabulous chicken mole, and it changes every day.
The shop doesn’t look like much on the outside, but the décor inside is cheerful, kid-friendly and casual. Make sure you ask for plenty of napkins, as this is hands-on, dig-in, saucy food.
Rostizeria Los Reyes
512 W 21st St N
This commentary originally ran October 18, 2013