While I didn’t grow up in Mexico, I was born and raised in Southern California where there is an abundance of authentic Mexican restaurants. And while I typically am not that picky (after all, sometimes cheddar cheese is nice in your burrito), it is a breath of fresh air to enjoy quality cuisine made with love, and at Botanas Mexican restaurant in Branson, Mo., you can taste the love in every bite… In fact, it is my new standard for Mexican food AND margaritas.
How it All Started
Celine and I meandered down to Branson one day, like you do, and had the opportunity of meeting Elvia – the manager of Botanas Mexican Restaurant – who was delightful, generous and one of the original family members who has poured her heart and soul into Botanas Mexican Restaurant. The restaurant has been on the main strip of Branson since 2010 and, let me just say, their food was heavenly.
Botanas – Awesome Mexican Food in Branson
Remember I said this Mexican Restaurant in Branson was family-run? The recipes actually originated from said-family, and have been handed down generation to generation. There is nothing quite like grandma’s cooking! Their salsas ALONE are as fab as their Mezcal Margaritas (don’t get me started on those – Celine and I almost ended our friendship over having to share one). But I digress! Botanas Mexican Restaurant in Branson has a knack for handmade, homemade, fresh, authentic and natural food which will tease and tantalize your tastebuds. #truestory
We started out with chips with guacamole, queso blanco, salsa, and again, their dips are all handmade (no pre-made or frozen guac here, baby).
Celine opted for the mango margarita, I opted for the original, and then they brought the Mezcal Margarita – the crème de la crème of all margaritas. If I had to describe it, it was a top-shelf margarita with a smoky finish then went down smooth and left you lusting for more. This was one sexy drink. Their margaritas are concocted with fresh hand-squeezed lime juice – no “from concentrate” labels in these adult beverages. Simply uh-mazing.
Next, the mains, which were simply delightful.
We gorged ourselves on the Parrillada “Feast For Two” – a dish with homemade chorizo, steak, shrimp, cactus, green onions and jalapenos served with rice, beans and homemade tortillas. Their chorizo was pitch-perfect (it’s also my favorite kind of sausage…made me some chorizo con huevos the next day with the leftovers they generously let us take home and it was SOOOOO good).
Celine and I then reveled in the Pollo Tropical. This delectable dish comprised of Caribbean-marinated chicken breast, topped with mango salsa, and with sides of sweet fried plantains and COCONUT INFUSED RICE!! For a second, I thought I had died and gone back to Malaysia.
Lastly, we were gifted with the Enchiladas Con Guajillo With Carne Asada – hands down, the BEST enchiladas I’ve had in SW Missouri. I loved it because they weren’t dripping with enchilada sauce, but instead, had been cooked in the sauce and topped with queso fresco. I was so happy.
They kindly offered us dessert but by then, we were afraid – everything was so perfect, and while we are firm believers that women have an extra stomach specifically designed for dessert, we decided our mango margarita was dessert enough! Not too sweet, and with plenty of alcohol to help us forget our caloric intake for the evening!
In short, Botanas Premier Mexican Restaurant in Branson was, hands down, THE BEST Mexican restaurant in SW Missouri that Celine and I have tried (and she hails from Texas so she is hard to please)! I highly recommend this place to anyone, whether they are looking for authentic Mexican fare or a little Tex-Mex on the go, this place is exquisite.
They’re located at 3515 MO-76, Branson, MO 65616
Swing by and say hi to Elvia for us – she was a doll!
On another note, they have a private downstairs which you can book out for Bachelorette parties, private functions and the like. Whether you are visiting Branson as a tourist or are a loco local, you have got to try this place!