REVIEW: Dex's Mexican Grill is tribute to TU student who died in accident
BY SCOTT CHERRY World Scene Writer
Wednesday, November 14, 2012
Dex Brown touched many lives in many positive ways, a fact the soon becomes apparent when one visits the new Dex’s Mexican Grill across the street from the University of Tulsa campus.
“He was an angel,” RoseMary Brown said of her 24-year-old son who died in a car accident last June.
RoseMary Brown and a daughter, Corine McGuire, recently opened the restaurant in Dex’s memory. Another sister, Christie Forrest, is manager.
McGuire, a former partner in La Loca Boca downtown, said she and her mother were scouting restaurant locations when they happened to be driving around the TU area.
“Dex graduated from TU, and he loved the school and he loved being a Pike (Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity), and I was showing Mom some of his favorite places around the school,” McGuire said. “We noticed the Campus Grill, one of his favorite places to eat, was closed and the building was for lease, so we checked it out.”
“I could tell it was meant to be when we first walked in,” said RoseMary Brown, a former co-owner of Charlie’s Chicken and Steakout Sports Grill in Wagoner. “We had possession of the building in two days.”
The building has two dining areas, and the main room is complete, filled with photos, posters and banners reflecting Dex Brown’s many interests, including racing. A large banner from the Indiana Diesel Shootout in Indianapolis was dedicated to him this year. Bright and colorful Mexican-style accents round out the room. The second dining room still is being remodeled.
The recipes all come from family members, including several from McGuire’s grandmother, Leedoma Wallace, who is Hispanic.
We had the grande tostada ($5.99) and chili verde ($7.99) to go with one street taco ($2.99) and poblano-avocado cream sauce with tortilla chips ($4.99).
The stew-like chili verde might win some chili contests I’ve judged. It was served in a bowl filled with slow-cooked pork that was simmered in a broth with what I assume to be crushed green chilies, salt, pepper, onions and perhaps a little cilantro. The dish had just enough heat to be interesting.
It came with a plate of refried beans, moist rice and two tortillas. The items may be eaten separately, or one may fill a tortilla with a mix of beans, rice and chili verde. I enjoyed the latter most, though it was a little messy.
The tostada featured a large, crispy flour tortilla topped with beans, shredded lettuce, cilantro, pepperjack cheese and shredded beef, and the street taco included a double-wrapped tortilla filled with grilled chicken, cilantro, cabbage, onions and pepperjack cheese.
We came up with a tasty little trick for the last two dishes by adding some of the fabulous poblano-avocado cream sauce to the mix.
Complimentary salsa was a little spicy and had a touch of cilantro to go with crispy housemade tortilla chips.
Our server, Gris, was friendly and helpful, though another staffer swept up around our table while we still were eating. Yes, we were dining late, but that’s still a no-no.
Background music, I was told, comes from Dex Brown’s smart phone.
“He had something like 28,000 songs, and we play them randomly,” Forrest said. “We feel he’s looking over us and is proud of what we’re doing.”
Find more of Scott Cherry's reviews in Thursday's Weekend magazine and online at tulsaworld.com/cherrypicks.
DEX’S MEXICAN GRILL
3148 E. 11th St.
11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday-Thursday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday-Saturday; accepts all major credit cards.
The Famous Fuego Burrito (below) is a popular menu item at Dex's Mexican Grill. CORY YOUNG/Tulsa World