REVIEW: Jalapeno Loco at Tulsa gun range
BY SCOTT CHERRY World Scene Writer
Wednesday, September 19, 2012
9/19/12 at 3:09 PM
I love the smell of gunpowder at lunch.
That’s a bit of an exaggeration, but I could hear gunshots when I met a son-in-law, a canine officer with the Tulsa Police Department, for lunch at the new Jalapeno Loco.
Jalapeno Loco is located inside the U.S. Shooting Academy, a private weapons sales and training facility that sits behind the TPD Training Center in north Tulsa.
The dining room seats 24, and of the 18 customers present the day I was there, I’m pretty sure I was the only one not carrying a firearm. Even the gentleman behind the counter who took our orders had a revolver on his hip.
As my son-in-law wryly noted, “This is one restaurant that’s never going to get robbed.”
This was no fast-draw operation getting the food out, but when our magnum burrito ($8.85) and ground beef chili relleno ($5.85) arrived, they packed a flavor punch that was more than worth the wait.
The relleno was among the most impressive I’ve had. The mild, fat poblano pepper was fresh and still a little crunchy and had been slit across the top to make room for the ground beef filling to spill over the top. It was covered with just enough white cheese sauce to give each ingredient equal billing.
The burrito was a monster, featuring a 12-inch flour tortilla loaded with a generous portion of grilled steak, onions, tomatoes, sour cream and shredded cheese with jalapenos on the side.
Both dishes came with sides of moist rice and soupy beans.
For good measure, I also had a crispy taco ($1.45) with ground beef, shredded cheese and lettuce.
Squeeze bottles of a hot green salsa and a “Not Too Hot” red salsa with a smoky flavor were available on the tables to spice up the dishes.
The menu isn’t large, but it has an adequate selection of nachos, flautas, quesadillas, enchiladas and salads. American-style offerings include chicken wings, burgers, corn dogs and chicken nuggets, although I can’t imagine ordering anything but the Mexican dishes.
It turned out the man behind the counter was Chad Compton, a Navy veteran who is fluent in Spanish. His wife, Dominga, a native of Veracruz, is Jalapeno Loco owner and lead cook. They met when she was working at another Mexican restaurant.
Chad Compton works for L&L Machine Guns, whose owner, Larry Cheatham, also is co-owner of U.S. Shooting Academy.
“One day Larry and I were moving some equipment around, and I asked him about this kitchen space that wasn’t being used,” Compton said. “I told him my wife might be interested in doing something here.”
It turned out she was delighted.
“I said, ‘Yes, yes, let’s do it,’?” Dominga said.
U.S. Shooting Academy/Jalapeno Loco and the TPD Training Center share the same entrance off 66th Street North, east of U.S. 75. Stay to the left and follow signs on a gravel road to the U.S.S.A. Main Lodge.
Find more of this review and find out how many stars Scott Cherry gave Jalapeno Loco in Thursday's Weekend magazine. Find all of his restaurant reviews a tulsaworld.com/cherrypicks.
Husband and wife Chad and Dominga Compton owners at Jalapeno Loco at the US Shooting Academy. STEPHEN PINGRY/Tulsa World
Entrance at Jalapeno Loco at the US Shooting Academy. STEPHEN PINGRY/Tulsa World
Interior of Jalapeno Loco at the US Shooting Academy. STEPHEN PINGRY/Tulsa World
Nachos at Jalapeno Loco at the US Shooting Academy. STEPHEN PINGRY/Tulsa World