El Oasis – Tony’s Party Store

12 08 2008
  • 6100 S. Cedar St.
  • Lansing, MI 48911
  • (517) 882-2311
  • No Known Website
  • No Menu Online
Three chicken tacos from El Oasis inside Tonys Party Store in Lansing.

Three chicken tacos from El Oasis inside Tony's Party Store in Lansing.

We don’t usually do Mexican.  I can handle tacos and I make them at home all the time, but other than that, I’m not really into a lot of the traditional Mexican food.  My girlfriend’s not a huge fan either, but she does like more than I do.  We’ve both read at Runs With Spatula, about the little taco stand inside Tony’s Party Store on Cedar.  We made our weekly shopping trip to Wal-Mart (review HERE) and Horrock’s (review HERE) and wanted to stop somewhere for lunch.  We had milk this time, so stopping for a sit down meal wasn’t an option.  El Oasis is close to home and not that far off the Interstate, so that’s what we decided on.

El Oasis used to have a trailer in the parking lot of Tony’s, but this year, they moved inside.  Their space is really small right when you walk in the door.  The menu is plastered on the plexi glass separating you from the cashier and below it as well.  I knew I just wanted a taco, but that proved to be not an easy choice.  El Oasis has a wide variety of meat ranging from the usual ground beef and chicken to tongue and tripe.  The menu said all tacos were made with cilantro and onions.  It didn’t say anything about tomatoes and cheese, but that was there also.  The tortilla is a corn tortilla.  I ordered three tacos which were a $1.50 each.  I’m gonna hold off for a second on what I thought….you’ll see why in a second.

My girlfriend ordered the tostado and a side of chips and salsa.  Like the tacos, you get your choice of meat on the tostada.  She chose chicken. This time, the flour tortilla is served crunchy with the meat of choice, beans, lettuce, tomato, sour cream, and the same cheese (which I think is cojita) as the tacos.  There’s also a little dollop of avocado on top.

I’ll start with the chips which were the part of the meal we both liked.  They were homemade chips served with a hot sauce.  The sauce was really thin and I thought delicious.  J thought it was a little too spicy and we should have gotten the mild sauce.

The beef tostada from El Oasis inside Tonys Party Store in Lansing.

The beef tostada from El Oasis inside Tony's Party Store in Lansing.

After the chips, the meal went downhill.  Not because it necessarily tasted bad, but because they totally screwed our order up.  When I opened the tostada, it didn’t look right to me.  Besides the fact that toppings had completely slide off by the time we got home, the chicken tostada was ground beef.  I opened up my tacos yet and knew before I even looked they were chicken.  They had got the order backwards.  I even heard the cashier yell back the orders separately.  When J ordered, he yelled back a tostada with chicken, then I ordered and he yelled that one back.  J doesn’t like ground beef and was ready to toss it.  She took a bite and didn’t think she could handle it.  I didn’t really want to switch because I don’t like all the extra stuff on top, but I didn’t want to see the food go to waste and us not have lunch so I did.  I scrapped as much of the extra stuff off the top as I could , but it’s impossible to get all the sour cream off.  We both soldiered through the meal, but it wasn’t very pleasant.  J took my tacos but only ate one and half.  She wasn’t impressed at all with those.  She tried taking some of the sour cream I scrapped off her tostada and added that to the tacos, but it didn’t help.  She ended up giving one of the tacos back and I thought it was a little too soggy.  I just don’t think chicken tacos have much flavor anyway.  Had we gotten the ground beef tacos we ordered, they probably would have been better.  What I had of the tostada was good.  The crunchy taco and beef tasted good together, but by the time I scrapped everything off, there wasn’t much of a meal left.

We were really disappointed in El Oasis, but like I said, we don’t eat Mexican food that often.  Getting the order as wrong as they did doesn’t help.  We both ended up eating stuff we didn’t really want just so we didn’t totally waste our money and have to find something else for lunch. 

To end on a positive note, I was able to get another couple bottles of Pepsi in a bottle.  Tony’s Party Store sells them 2/$3, so I picked up a couple.  Corky pointed out in a comment on my last post about the bottles that the Coke bottles are packaged in Mexico and actually use cane sugar instead of high fructose corn syrup as a sweetener. I didn’t look yesterday, so today I checked the label and Pepsi does as well.  J picked up a bottle of Tamarindo soda to go with her lunch.  So at least there was some redeeming quality to the visit.  Unfortunately, the food part, which was so highly recommended by a number of sources, really disappointed.

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3 responses

6 02 2009
livingthedream3

<<>>
This disclaimer says it all. If you consider Taco Bell a viable alternative to Mexican food, then you probably won’t get it, El Oasis may not be for you. But if you’re looking for the best Mexican food this side of Southern California, this is it. The novelty of ordering from a trailer that it’s kind of a ‘local secret’ is fantastic. If you’re out for a dining adventure on the cheap and you like to step outside of your comfort zone of what Mexican food is ‘supposed to’ taste like (i.e. a Michigan-ized ‘wet burrito’), this place is for you.

And in fairness, I’ve eaten there for years, tried all the meats, tried all the dishes, and I keep coming back to the simple Burrito, chicken or steak, with the ‘spicy’ green colored hot sauce. And tamales when they have them.

20 07 2010
Liz

I agree with the earlier reviewer. you liked the chips, but the sauce was too spicy? please don’t review Mexican places if you don’t actually eat Mexican food.

9 09 2014
Ashiya Brown

yes this is the best!!! great authentic is the key word is so good and great and make sure you get the homemade salsa!

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