Readers recently helped me realize that Botana Platters are not universal menu items in Mexican food restaurants. In fact, if you haven’t eaten this fav cuisine in the Rio Grande Valley of Texas, you probably don’t know what a “real” Botana Platter is. These platters reign on the throne of my absolute favorite Mexican food of all time. Though it puzzles me why they’re only a regional item, I’ll just go where the Botana Platters are!
This last weekend we took an unexpected trip to the Valley for a couple of days and made a point of going to another reader-recommended destination for great Botana’s. It’s called “Koko’s Uptown Cafe” and we were not disappointed. It was 10:50 in the morning and we were determined to wait out the breakfast menu to be sure we sampled their locally renowned Botana Platter.
In case you didn’t see the previous posting introducing our search for the ultimate Botana, the platter is by definition, a large plate of appetizers. I usually count at least 10 different ingredients on each plate. Though many are consistently there (like a corn chip base, cheese, tomatoes and fajitas) the other ingredients vary like the weather.
With Koko’s version you can check out the layers of crispy corn tortillas, American cheese, chopped tomatoes and
onions. Top these with grilled bell peppers and onions and incredibly tender beef fajitas. The toppings on this banana split of Mexican food? A crispy cheese quesadilla and a chicken flauta resting in a mound of quacamole.
This meal is $12.95 at Koko’s, so I thought I’d have to disallow it from our $10 price cap — until the plate was placed before me. Hellooooo! This Botana Platter for One could easily feed two. If someone’s worried about still being hungry, a shared Flan w/ Pecan Topping (Mexican dessert custard w/ caramel sauce) would likely satisfy the hungriest of diners.
BTW Breakfast Lovers — there are lots of choices of traditional Mexican breakfasts for $5 or less, too!
The service from Arturo was TOP NOTCH. The restaurant was clean and comfortably crowded. Manager, Gerardo Menchaca, made sure we knew of their other restaurant in Piedras Negras, MX (which incidentally serves Botana Platters, too). I think we’ve discovered our first international listing! Stay tuned as we continue our Quest for the Best Botana Platters around!