This page contains a Flash digital edition of a book.
Table Talk


Ricky’s


Little Mexico By Taryn Sanderson D


elicious Tex-Mex cuisine can be found throughout the state but the authentic twist that El Campesino provides through its mouthwa- tering Mexican dishes and family charm is a must-eat experience. For 13 years, Cotton Electric Cooperative (CEC) members


Enrique (Ricky) and Gloria Velasco have been busy in the restaurant business with two El Campesino locations: one at 908 S. Broadway St. in Marlow, Okla., and their main location at 503 Elder Ave. in Duncan, Okla. The Velascos are both from small towns, hours outside of Mexico City,


Mexico, and grew up in hard-working farm families. In 1988, Ricky Velasco’s brother encouraged him to come to live with him in Norman, Okla.; he worked in several Mexican restaurant kitchens and was introduced to the love of his life, Gloria.


“I put my eyes on her and didn’t care about anything else. I knew I wanted her to be mine,” he said. On December 9, 1994, Ricky and Gloria exchanged vows in Mexico with their families. When they came back to Oklahoma, Ricky asked himself a ques- tion that forever changed his career in the restaurant business. “I thought ‘if I’m going to do this then why not have my own business’ and that’s when we started thinking about opening up our own restaurant,” Ricky said.


WATCH


If viewing our digital edition, click here to see behind-the-scenes in El Campesino’s kitchen. Access our digital edition at www. ok-living.coop or fi nd our FREE app at the Apple Newsstand, Google Play or Amazon.


30 WWW.OK-LIVING.COOP That’s when the couple put all their hopes in Marlow, Okla., and opened the


fi rst El Campesino in 2001. They chose the name “El Campesino” because in English, it translates to ‘country person’ or ‘farmer.’ Ricky said the name excited him and reminded him of his roots in Mexico. Business went from busy to slow to busy again in Marlow and within three years, the Velascos had saved up enough money to open another location in Duncan. The restaurant keeps its doors open serving both communities quality, genu- ine Hispanic food. To name just a few favorites, El Campesino customers enjoy Ricky’s quesadillas, fajitas, enchiladas, chimichangas, as well as homemade chile rellenos, tamales and beans and rice. It’s important to Ricky to always serve thoughtful, quality and appetizing food. “We try to make sure everything is fresh; I always tell my cooks not to cook too much and just cook enough,” he said. “Doing something as simple as rice the right way takes time but it’s worth the time for good food.” Ricky said his favorite compliment about food comes from the positive feedback on the fajitas and when the teenage customer favorite, the quesadilla, is also praised. CEC members Lindel and Rhona Smith notice the effort that is put into the dishes at El Campesino and are regulars at the Duncan location. “There are lots of places that we see come and go but El Campesino has stayed and it’s always been good and delicious every time we come,” Lindel said.


“We don’t really have a favorite dish here because we love everything on the menu and we just love Ricky,” Rhona said. Ricky’s welcoming food and atmosphere at the restaurant is a product of his personality; he makes a point to sit down with his customers and enjoy their company while they enjoy his Mexican dishes. “Sometimes, people call me over and say, ‘Come here Ricky, sit down with us!’” he said. “These people are the ones keeping the doors open; I’m always working and it’s nice to feel appreciated.” The Velascos are proud of their restaurant and its business in the community. Every year, the Duncan location celebrates its opening anniversary; its 10th anniversary is on January 22 and will be honored at the Velascos’ house with a band, drinks and of course, Ricky’s tasty cooking. “We close the restaurant for the evening to celebrate with our closest friends and anyone who wants to join us for the celebration,” he said. “It has always been a wonderful and fun time for our business and our family.” Family is Ricky’s pride and joy; the reasons for everything he does are his


Page 1  |  Page 2  |  Page 3  |  Page 4  |  Page 5  |  Page 6  |  Page 7  |  Page 8  |  Page 9  |  Page 10  |  Page 11  |  Page 12  |  Page 13  |  Page 14  |  Page 15  |  Page 16  |  Page 17  |  Page 18  |  Page 19  |  Page 20  |  Page 21  |  Page 22  |  Page 23  |  Page 24  |  Page 25  |  Page 26  |  Page 27  |  Page 28  |  Page 29  |  Page 30  |  Page 31  |  Page 32  |  Page 33  |  Page 34  |  Page 35  |  Page 36  |  Page 37  |  Page 38  |  Page 39  |  Page 40  |  Page 41  |  Page 42  |  Page 43  |  Page 44  |  Page 45  |  Page 46  |  Page 47  |  Page 48  |  Page 49  |  Page 50  |  Page 51  |  Page 52  |  Page 53  |  Page 54  |  Page 55  |  Page 56  |  Page 57  |  Page 58  |  Page 59  |  Page 60  |  Page 61  |  Page 62  |  Page 63  |  Page 64  |  Page 65  |  Page 66  |  Page 67  |  Page 68  |  Page 69  |  Page 70  |  Page 71  |  Page 72  |  Page 73  |  Page 74  |  Page 75  |  Page 76  |  Page 77  |  Page 78  |  Page 79  |  Page 80  |  Page 81  |  Page 82  |  Page 83  |  Page 84  |  Page 85  |  Page 86  |  Page 87  |  Page 88  |  Page 89  |  Page 90  |  Page 91  |  Page 92  |  Page 93  |  Page 94  |  Page 95  |  Page 96  |  Page 97  |  Page 98  |  Page 99  |  Page 100  |  Page 101  |  Page 102  |  Page 103  |  Page 104  |  Page 105  |  Page 106  |  Page 107  |  Page 108  |  Page 109  |  Page 110  |  Page 111  |  Page 112  |  Page 113  |  Page 114  |  Page 115  |  Page 116  |  Page 117  |  Page 118  |  Page 119  |  Page 120  |  Page 121  |  Page 122  |  Page 123  |  Page 124  |  Page 125  |  Page 126  |  Page 127  |  Page 128  |  Page 129  |  Page 130  |  Page 131  |  Page 132  |  Page 133  |  Page 134  |  Page 135  |  Page 136  |  Page 137  |  Page 138  |  Page 139  |  Page 140  |  Page 141  |  Page 142  |  Page 143  |  Page 144  |  Page 145  |  Page 146  |  Page 147  |  Page 148  |  Page 149  |  Page 150  |  Page 151  |  Page 152  |  Page 153  |  Page 154  |  Page 155  |  Page 156  |  Page 157  |  Page 158  |  Page 159  |  Page 160  |  Page 161  |  Page 162  |  Page 163  |  Page 164  |  Page 165  |  Page 166  |  Page 167  |  Page 168  |  Page 169  |  Page 170