Really? Authentic Mexican?
Really. Authentic Mexican Cuisine, the real deal, in western North Dakota? You’re kidding. Right? That’s what we thought when several locals recommended we try Los Saguaros in Watford City, North Dakota.
We Had Been Hiking….
Mike and I had just finished a long, exhilarating hike in the North Unit of Theodore Roosevelt National Park. We took our time leaving the park because we encountered these mesmerizing big horn sheep! In fact, we found our Jeep surrounded by them! Turns out, it was rutting season and they gave us quite a show.
Read about that here: Unexpected Wildlife in the North Unit!
We Were Mighty Hungry……
By the time we exited the park, it was dark. The daylight hours sure seem short in November in North Dakota! And we were hungry. Not just a little hungry. But, Really Hungry! Tired, too.
Instead of driving home, east about 150 miles, we headed north. To Watford City. Who wouldn’t! Fifteen miles from the national park, it’s a cosmopolitan small town with dozens of restaurants and eateries.
Los Saguaros to the Rescue
An eatery I had been curious about for some time had just been highly recommended to us by a good friend . And as it turns out, entering Watford City from the south, it’s the first eatery we came to! Mexican Cuisine it was. Hopefully, it would be as good and authentic as we had heard.
The performance was staged by the Hispanic Advocacy Group of North Dakota. It’s purpose is to empower the Hispanic community of Watford City, through workshops, education, and translation services.
The 2020 census found North Dakota to have the fastest-growing Hispanic population in the country. It also determined that McKenzie County is the fastest growing county in the entire nation!
Warm and Friendly
As soon as Mike and I walked through the colorful (and cheerful!) front doors, we felt better. Los Saguaros has a warm and friendly atmosphere. We were greeted immediately. The daily specials were prominently presented in front of the order counter.
Shortly after we seated ourselves at a table, we were presented menus and water. Shortly after that, chips and salsa. And man, was it good! Do not expect grocery store chips and salsa here. Home made, authentic, and so, so good is what you’re going to get.
I found the simple menu to be extensive. It was inclusive enough to make it hard for me to make a choice. I’m a Chile Relleno and a Tamale fanatic, but I consider the basic taco the gold standard by which to judge and compare down home Mexican Cuisine. Old El Paso boxed tacos get a thumbs down from me. The exquisite aromas of this eatery gave me hope!
Ground Beef Tacos were my choice. Mike opted for a Ground Beef Chimichanga. Could such basic choices really be that good? I’d read that Yolanda Rojas and her family are not only sincere, hard working, friendly people (whom we met at the Watford Market) but are extraordinary cooks. They own and operate Los Saguaros.
Si! Yes! You Betcha!
The low down is, I’ve never had tacos that tasted like this! From the tortillas to the ground beef to the fresh cilantro (yay!!!) to the spicing, these tacos were out of this world good. No, they were Great! I hadn’t expected such tastes, and I loved them. Mike’s Chimichanga was definitely to his liking as well. Very tasty, and filling. Beautifully presented!
I’ve already got my eye on my next choice at Los Saguaros. Something a bit more complex, and unique. It’ll be Shrimp Ceviche. After that, it’ll be a Carne Asada Plate, and I’m hoping to catch a Pablano Chile Relleno, too. Oh, and Pozole! I wonder if they’ll have Three Leches Cake, as in Banana Split or Chocolate with Mocha Coffee Cream, or maybe Flan? Honestly, I feel an addiction coming on!
Frequently Asked Questions
Where are the Badlands in North Dakota
The North Dakota Badlands follow the Little Missouri River from the southeast corner of North Dakota, north toward Watford City, then east toward Lake Sakakawea and Mandaree.
Where can I drive in the Badlands?
Several roads are open — except in a snow storm, or in muddy conditions — including East River Road and West River road. You can access them near Medora. Near Grassy Butte, drive Upper Magpie and Lower Magpie roads, accessed from Highway 85.
Where can I see wildlife in the Badlands
The Badlands are home to many types of wildlife. That includes rattlesnakes to prairie dogs, coyote, fox, mountain lion, mule deer, elk and big horn sheep. The Theodore Roosevelt National Park also has bison, wild longhorn steers and wild horses. The photo gallery “Animals of the Badlands” showcases many of the animals easily spotted in the Badlands.
Where is Watford City?
Watford City is on Highway 85 just north of the North Unit of Theodore Roosevelt National Park. It is the county seat of McKenzie County.
What is there to do in Watford City?
In the last 10 years, the surprisingly artistic town of Watford City has expanded its events venues at the Rough Rider Center and at many local venues for events like rodeos, hockey, swimming, shopping and historical research for families and adventurers.
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