As a California transplant, I had yet to find authentic Mexican food in the Durant area the six years I have been out here. That has all changed after eating at Villegas Meat Market, Restaurant and Bakery.
For the past six years, I have driven by this hole-in-the-wall restaurant without realizing the real deal food inside. Villegas has authentic Mexican food, just like the food I could get all over the place in California. If you would rather cook your own, Villegas has many ingredients that are hard to find in this area such as carne asada and fresh made chorizo.
While I will probably be utilizing the market the next time I want to cook food I grew up eating, the smells from the restaurant had my mouth watering. The complimentary chips and salsa were delicious. The salsa had the right balance of heat, and I could taste the freshness of all the ingredients.
I got the steak and chicken fajitas, and they came out to me sizzling hot. The fajitas came with a plate that had refried beans with cheese melted over the top, rice, sour cream and guacamole.
If you order fajitas at some places, you don’t get enough tortillas. That’s not the case here. There were enough tortillas for the amount of fajita filling that I was given.
The fajitas were under $14, which I felt was reasonable for the amount of food. I ended up taking home enough leftovers for my dinner that night.
Less expensive options are the combos which were under $10. There are many different items on the combo menu.
I ended up sharing an order of chicken tamales, which were on the combo menu. The tamales had the perfect ratio of masa and chicken. They were very flavorful and tender. These were not tamales out of a package. For anyone who wants tamales made from scratch without the work, I highly recommend trying them.
While the pastries in the bakery case looked tempting, by the time I was done with my meal I couldn’t eat another bite. But a few days later, I went back to try out the pastries for breakfast.
There were so many choices, it was hard to pick just one, so I got three. Mexican pastries are different from American pastries. The ones I chose weren’t overly sweet but were like a sweet bread and very good. I ended up sharing the pastries I got with a lot of friends. Not only was there enough to share, but everyone that tried them really enjoyed them. For all three pastries, I only paid $2.15 including tax. As a college student on a budget, I felt that was a great deal, considering it fed me and my friends.
Villegas is a true Mexican bakery. Under the pastry case are plastic trays and tongs. You put the pastries of your choice on the tray and take it to the register where it is bagged up for you. While unusual for a bakery most people are familiar with, this is typical for a Mexican bakery. I plan on going back around the holidays to see what type of holiday pastries they offer.
If you are looking for authentic Mexican food, I highly recommend Villegas. From the restaurant to the bakery, everything I tried was delicious and reasonably priced.
While the décor isn’t much to look at, the food is outstanding. I would rather have outstanding service and good food than a lot of decorations on the wall. At Villegas, that’s exactly what you get. The restaurant is literally in the middle of the market. On one side was the meat case, and the produce section was behind my table.
Villegas reminded me of a restaurant in the town I lived in before moving to Oklahoma. The style of food was different, but it was a one-stop place where you could get groceries, have a meal or even do both. Any questions I had were answered very quickly, and the waitress made sure I had an outstanding experience.
For people who have been looking for ingredients for Mexican dishes and haven’t been able to find them, chances are Villegas might have what you are looking for. Villegas is located at 510 S. 9th Ave. in Durant.
November 15, 2012