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Zarate's Latin Mexican Grill

706 S. Broadway
Edmond, OK
(405) 330-6400

Zarate's on Broadway in Edmond

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The cuisine at Zarate's covers just about every country from Latin America, including South America, Mexico, and the Caribbean. Some countries are represented by one or two dishes, but the greatest variety is found for Mexican and Peruvian food. Flags of various countries are placed on the menu next to each dish to indicate its country of origin, and I thought it was quite interesting to have so many types of food available in one place.

The Peruvian dishes are from the owner's homeland, so this seemed like a good bet for trying something "authentic" (or at least that the chefs had a lot of experience preparing). I suspect that dishes from many other countries were probably equally authentic, since food and recipes tend to migrate to nearby countries in Latin America just as they do from state to state in the U.S., and from Mexico to this country.

The Mexican items on the menu, by contrast, seemed to be the type of Tex-Mex dishes served in many Oklahoma and Texas restaurants, but which do not typically represent traditional style Mexican food. The Mexican food I tried was good (and was Tex-Mex style), but dishes from the other countries seemed more special because they are items that are not served in many restaurants.

The main choice for Peruvian dishes seemed to be between ceviche (made with fish or seafood) and the meat, seafood, or vegetable platters. Ceviche is generally considered the "national dish" of Peru, but takes about 20-25 minutes to prepare, according to the menu.

Pollo saltado
Pollo saltado

Probably the dish I have enjoyed the most has been the Pollo Saltado, a flavorful roasted chicken that was not spicy, but was topped with vegetables and garnishes. I thought this was a very good introduction to South American food, provided one is hungry for meat (two vegetarian versions are also available: one with spinach and one with spinach and linguini). The saltado dish is also available with seafood or beef. The chicken was good, though, and I thought was one of the better versions of chicken I have had in the OKC area.

The Peruvian dishes come with side dishes that are typical of the country. Mine included fried plantains and yuca. Sliced tomatoes and onions provide added flavor.

Pollo saltado
Pollo saltado with white rice and cilantro sauce

The second photo of pollo saltado was a more recent version I received that had a green cilantro sauce instead of the former aji amarillo sauce, and white rice instead of brown. The cilantro sauce was somewhat disappointing compared to the aji amarillo sauce, but I still enjoyed the dish overall, and I think this is probably the best dish at the restaurant.

Jamaican curry chicken
Jamaican curry chicken

One advantage of Zarate's is that they not only have Mexican food, but also dishes from several Latin American countries. One that was recommended by my waiter was Jamaican Curry Chicken, and I can assume this is one of Zarate's specialties. This was sauteed chicken with potatoes, and a Caribbean style curry sauce. I cannot judge how authentic it was, but it was good. However, I did not think it was quite as spectacular as I have heard that some Jamaican dishes can be.


Zarate's also offers Feijoada, the "national dish" from Brazil made of black beans with ham, ground pork, and pulled pork. I thought this had a good flavor but certainly not a vibrant flavor, and did not seem to match the type of Brazilian food I have had at Cafe do Brasil in downtown Oklahoma City. Still, it left me wanting to try more of the different national dishes from Central and South American offered at Zarate's.

On the Mexican food I tried the chips and salsa were really nothing special, although the special spicy salsa served on request was good. The Rice was quite surprising, though, with a tomato flavor that reminded me of the good versions served in El Paso.

The Chile Relleno was also quite good, although since I judge all of these chiles by the ones in New Mexico I only gave this one four stars out of five.

Zarate's has a lunch menu that comes at substantially reduced prices, but the tradeoff is that not all dishes are available (including the pollo saltado). I cannot speak for the other dinners, but I thought the pollo saltado was very good, and probably provided a better bargain than at most restaurants that charge the same prices.

There are at least three other Peruvian restaurants in the Oklahoma City metro, and I think Zarate's food is comparable in quality to the others I have tried. The big bonus at Zarate's, though, is that you can also try food from Brazil, Honduras, Cuba, Chile, and several other countries (and this may be unique for the city).



Cuisine: Peruvian & Mexican
Cost: $$
Hours: Open Daily
Accessible: Yes
Smoking: No Smoking
Alcohol: Beer, Margaritas

Most Recent Visit
Oct. 24, 2012

Number of Visits: 3

Best Items
Pollo Saltado, Plantains, Mexican Style Rice

Special Ratings
Pollo Saltado:
Jamaican Jerk Chicken:
Chile Relleno:
Rice: Mexican
Salsa: spicy

Restaurant Web Site