Dining With Denise Neil

Wichita restaurant wows diners with 2-foot-long edible ‘machete’

Beware of the machete. It’s a hunger killer.
Beware of the machete. It’s a hunger killer. The Wichita Eagle

The dish sounds so violent, so dangerous. But it’s a threat only to your hunger.

It’s called a machete, and it’s a meal so large and so long, it doesn’t fit on any standard plate.

I recently discovered the machete at a Wichita restaurant called Taco Fajita, which specializes in a very specific type of Mexican cuisine – the kind served in Mexico City. Machetes, which are massive quesadilla-type inventions that measure about two feet long, are a popular dish there.

I’d been seeing them for weeks on Facebook. Patrons would order a machete and the restaurant’s owners, a nice couple from Mexico City, would take their picture with it and post it on their page. I was intrigued.

On Saturday, I finally visited to the restaurant, which is in an unassuming building at 1004 S. Meridian, just south of Kellogg.

It costs $9.95, and it’s enough food for two or even three people. The owners fill an extra-long corn tortilla with choice of meat (I picked carne asada), melty white cheese, grilled bell peppers and onions, then fold it over and grill it. The resulting dish looks a lot like, well, a machete.

A machete’s most direct relative is a quesadilla, but it contains about six times the stuffing. It was incredibly cheesy and tasted amazing drenched in some of the restaurant’s three types of homemade salsa. (I loved the rich orange-hued salsa, which has layers and layers of flavor.)

Taco Fajita also serves $1 street tacos, which were also outstanding with the salsa. A pair of workers came in on a lunch break on Saturday and ordered 12 of them.

The menu also lists huaraches, which are sort of like oval-shaped tostadas; plus gorditas, bean quesadillas, burritos and quesalambres, which have machete filling but are reasonably sized. Chips and salsa are $2.95, but definitely spring for them. You’ll want to try the restaurant’s salsas, and the chips are fried fresh and served super hot.

Taco Fajita is open from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesdays throgh Saturdays and 10:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sundays. It’s closed on Mondays.

For more information, call 316-803-7751.

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