By: Lorrie Ward | Category: Restaurants | Issue: July 2012
Francisco and Giselle Barbosa with their children.
Business was booming at Tijuana's Grill & Cantina at 79th and Memorial in Tulsa. Owner Francisco Barbosa's brother, who had been in business with him for many years, decided to pursue other avenues and so, in order to be able to keep running his family-based business, Francisco and his wife Giselle had to choose between their two Tijuana’s locations. They shut the doors of the Tulsa location and decided to concentrate their full efforts on the restaurant at 146th and Memorial in Bixby. "We want people to know we are still here," Francisco says. "We've already had many of our customers from the Tulsa location come to the restaurant and say they are so glad they found us!"
Arturo Vergara, who has been a cook at the Bixby location since it opened its doors in September of 2010, is now joined by his brother, Luis, who was cook at the 79th and Memorial location. The brothers have worked for the Barbosa family for over a decade, back to when Francisco worked for El Chico Restaurant. They were such great cooks that Francisco hired them seven years ago when he, Giselle, and his brother opened the first Tijuana's in Tulsa.
The brothers have become well-known for their mastery of Mexican cuisine, which includes all the traditional favorites such as enchiladas, tacos, and fajitas as well as house specialties. The highly popular Guadalajara Grill includes a fajita steak topped with spinach sauce, chicken breast topped with white queso, and shrimp on a bed of veggies and rice. Another especially popular special on the menu is Spicy Tacos Guajillos, consisting of five soft corn tortillas filled with chicken breast and sautéed in guajillo sauce, then topped with jack cheese and garnished with cilantro and pico de gallo.
Tijuana’s is famous for its authentic tamales, which come in two varieties—pork with chili sauce and chicken with green sauce—and are made completely from scratch. In fact, Francisco points out that in addition to having such a great cooking staff, one of the reasons Tijuana’s food is so flavorful and authentic is because every effort is made to create homemade food with natural ingredients. “Our chile verde is the best in town,” he says. “It is all natural, made from scratch with no vinegar—not from a can.”
If you are in the mood for seafood, Tijuana’s has a variety of selections on the “Del Mar” menu, everything from fish tacos (which Francisco reports are highly popular) to Fish and Shrimp Cancun, which consists of grilled fish and shrimp topped with spinach cream sauce and melted jack cheese, served with rice and vegetables. In fact, Francisco points out that Tijuana’s menu has something for everyone and for every level of hunger, whether you want a light grilled chicken salad, a bowl of tortilla soup, a steak fajita sandwich or a heavier entrée. Tijuana’s offers an all you can eat lunch special, with your mix and match choice of enchiladas, tostadas, tacos and burritos, and an iced tea. For dessert, choose from any variety of completely authentic, handmade choices of fried ice cream, choco chimichangas, Mexican flan, sopapillas, apple sopapillas, and apple pie.
Francisco and Giselle are happy to invite those who love authentic, flavorful Mexican food to visit the Bixby location, whether they are new customers or Tijuana’s fans from days gone by. “September will make our second year in our new location,” says Francisco. “We want to take this opportunity to express appreciation for all of our customers’ support.”
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