Ruben’s now offering a Mexican buffet

The dining room at Ruben's Mexican Grill

Several times a year, some hungry reader writes wanting to know who in town offers a Mexican buffet. I just discovered a new one.

A little more than a week ago, Ruben’s Mexican Grill at 520 W. Douglas started a three-day-a-week Mexican buffet. It’s offered from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays and from noon to 7 p.m. on Saturdays. The price of the buffet is $7.99 a person.

The staff serves the food from metal trays set up on a table in the corner of the restaurant. The choices are different each day but often include items such as tamales and enchiladas.

Ruben’s is one of my regular lunch stops. It’s close to work, and its flour tacos, chips and salsa landed on my “approved” list years ago.

As for other Mexican buffes: Cortez Mexican Restaurant at 344 W. 29th St., also does a buffet on Wednesdays and Saturdays. There’s also a Mexican lunch buffet at La Tradicion Tortilleria, which is at 1701 N. Broadway. It’s served from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays.

Can we talk Mexican food?

Ole!

I recieved another e-mail from the ever-thoughtful foodie Mike Levand, most famous (to me) for the love letter to cake he sent this summer.

This time, Mike wants to talk Mexican food.

First, he wonders if there is a Mexican buffet being served in Wichita. The only one I’m aware of is at Cortez Mexican Restaurant at 344 W. 29th St. N. It offers an all-you-can eat Mexican buffet from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and from 5 to 8:30 p.m. on Wednesdays and from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Saturdays.

Second, Mike asks for a top-five list of local, non-chain Mexican restaurants. I get the feeling he mainly wants Tanya Tandoc’s recommendations, but this is not Tanya’s blog (ha ha). So mine will have to do. Though Tanya, please do chime in if you are reading this.

I know that Tanya would agree with me that Frida’s, the restaurant that closed last year, was at the top of the list. The owners have promised to reopen, but my hope dwindles daily. Besides Frida’s, my favorites include Taqueria El Paisa, an authentic restaurant at 2227 N. Arkansas, and Ruben’s, 520 W. Douglas, which is more of a Tex-Mex standard but sells delicious flour tacos and a killer carintas dinner.

I’ve always sort of liked El Patio, 424 E. Central, too, though I tend to overeat there so must approach it with caution.

That’s only three. Who has other suggestions? Remember, Mike wants local.