If anything, I wasn't put off by Oklahoma's gun culture, big trucks, or the cowboy regalia, which are at odds with everything New York. My father was an aficionado of all of those trappings, NRA stickers were a window presence on our family's pick-up growing up, and a pair of custom-made shark skin boots lived in my parents' closet, and yes, a gun or two were tucked into dresser drawers.
At Tarahumara's, and most Oklahoman Mexican restaurants, chips, flour tortillas, salsa, and queso appear as a matter of course, and are replenished as soon as they start to dwindle. Even though I knew an onslaught of food was on its way, I couldn't stop eating the fluffy tortillas and pale, melted cheddar (not Velveeta, as I would've presumed).
Combo platters rule. My Mexican dinner (only $12, hardly anything crept into the double digits) consisted of two tamales (I hate to admit that I have no idea what the filling was–there was so much going on–though I want to say beef), a cheese enchilada, rice, beans, and a hard-shelled chicken taco with guacamole and sour cream. When James' coworkers (my visit was a business trip tag-along) complain about no Mexican food in NYC they mean no giant platters like this. It's true. The melted cheese, masa, corn tortillas, and chili start blurring together, but it's a delicious mess.
And a mixed grill, which is fajitas of all fillings (beef, chicken, and shrimp) like a Mexican happy family, with even a few potato slices thrown in for good measure.
I don't know if the long wait was typical or if it was more a case of a Mother's Day Sunday rush, but you can hang out on the patio with a giant margarita or a lime juice-and-salt-rimmed Negro Modelo.
Tarahumara's * 702 N. Porter Ave., Norman, Oklahoma