Tetera Mexican Cafe

CONTRIBUTED BY JENNIFER MARTINEZ

Tetera Front

In a desperate attempt to find coordinating orange and teal ribbons for our dear friend’s baby shower, my neighbor Julie and I journeyed out to Shalimar House of 66 Cents.  While this fabric store is fantastic and I could easily get lost for days, this article is about a quaint Mexican restaurant we found on the way.

Driving down highway 339, we couldn’t help but notice 3 gigantic tacos in mid air above a small building that read Tetera.  I’m talking mucho grande tacos. It’s impossible to miss this place.  As Mexican food connoisseurs, our curiosity was working overtime as we passed by.

Tetera Front Side

After an hour of shopping and chasing my toddler through the fabric store, we were starving and ready to satisfy our tummies and our curious minds.  So we parked under the larger than life tacos hoping they didn’t fall and crush the car.  Both Julie and myself had no idea what to expect with Mexican food in Japan so she said, “If it’s horrible you’re buying lunch!”  The restaurant had just opened for the day and we were the first and only customers.  The authentic music and Hispanic decor provided a proper atmosphere from the start.  Greeted immediately by our waiter he seated us in one of three connected booths that sit just behind a glossy wooden bar.

Tetera Inside 1 An English menu was provided for easy ordering offering many options.  Our food arrived quickly and was made fresh to order.  Chips were served with a choice of sweet or spicy salsa.  While not what we’re used to it was very good.  The guacamole appetizer arrived with a beautiful, yet simple elegance. The great taste made up for the portion size. Our meals were served in a traditional Mexican style with much larger portions.  So much food, I took most of mine home.  While I wasn’t prepared with my camera, I did manage to snap a few photos with my handy dandy iPhone for fellow Oki Hai readers to enjoy.  (My apologies, we had already eaten most of our food before we thought about taking pictures of it!)

The restaurant seats approximately 20 occupants in the building, so I wouldn’t recommend taking a party.  However if you’re looking for a quiet lunch with good company in a calm atmosphere then my friend and I definitely recommend the cozy Mexican Cafe Tetera.

Tetera Inside 2

 

 

 

Hours of Operation: As you can see in the picture there are 2 signs with different hours, so your guess is as good as mine, maybe someone schooled in reading kanji can help us out here!11:30-16:0011:30-22:30

Phone: 892-0281

Address: 2 Chome-44-21 Aragusuku, Ginowan

Google Maps Coordinates: 26.2881128452, 127.767452884

Directions from Kadena Gate 2: Turn RIGHT on 330 towards Foster and Futenma.  Pass the Foster PX and Futenma Shrine Cave.  I did not count the stop lights but if you start looking for 3 HUGE TACOS on the LEFT, you will find it. If you reach the Shalimar House of 66 Cents fabric store you went too far and it’s a few blocks back.

13 COMMENTS

  1. This restaurant gave me severe case of food poisoning and sent me to the emergency room. I went back to the owner and explained what happened and she said it was my ‘ condition ‘. So all of the hospital emergency fees were on me for eating at this restaurant. I have never EVER had a case of food poisoning in my life up to that point. I will celebrate the day when this restaurant closes and so a good restaurant like Tortilla Factory which is only a block away can thrive!

  2. Recently moved from San Diego, so was hoping to somewhat satisfy my craving for Mexican food. Hmmm…not good. The hard tacos were soggy, the ground beef was burnt and the taco rice meat was very greasy. I could definitely cook a Mexican meal better than this. Oh well, I’ll try another place.

  3. Huh, when we went they -literally did not have rice or beans in the restaurant whatsoever-. I asked. Maybe they expanded the menu from a couple years ago (Oh wow, it’s already been that long since August 2009).

    If they’ve got rice and beans now, we may have to go back.

  4. @Kassidy I agree, although I’ve never been to Oblee, it is better than Obbligato (which is acclaimed best in Okinawa! Yikes)But we’re all entitled to our own opinions. Sometimes it just depends on the day you go, how smoothly the kitchen is running or who’s cooking that day… and that’s every restaurant.In my personal opinion I would never compare Tetera to Taco Bell because they are in no way similar. I don’t imagine too many mexican restaurants offering much of a vegetarian menu either, but I’m sure they’d happily make a bean and cheese burrito if you asked.

    I hope others can try it out and have a good experience as we did. As said in the original post it’s a nice calm environment for a relaxing lunch with a friend.

    Here’s my nitty gritty taste review: The tacos were slightly greasy due to the fact that they’re fried not baked, but definitely not in a “pool of grease”. My lettuce was crunchy fresh. (The hamburger lacked seasoning, but I give it the benefit of the doubt because we were first in the door and it can take some time to get beef just right. The longer it sits the better it tastes!) Either way, tasted good with the spicy salsa. The beef chimichanga was fried to a golden crisp, and my chicken enchilada was saucy and yummy. Chicken was much better than the beef. I liked the guacamole and choice of salsas. The rice and beans were average but better than most I’ve eaten on Oki. Overall quick, friendly, and filling.

  5. By ‘worst place for vegetarian’ I mean there is literally nothing except lettuce to eat. There’s usually a bean burrito or beans on site that I can get by with (I’m not a strict vegetarian. I’ll even pick meat out of things and eat it, happily). There’s tacos with beef, chicken quesadillas and a couple of other things.

    The ‘not expected’ was the soup of grease under my husband’s tacos and the tiny bit of lettuce I managed to chew on-which tasted old. If you want quick beefy tacos that are as greasy as taco bell, but off-base, go. Otherwise, I wouldn’t bother.

  6. I have not tried this place but I am looking for some customer comment elaborations if possible:

    @Miriam – Could you please elaborate on “terrible”? What was wrong with the food in your opion? (temp, quality, freshness?)

    @Kassidy – Could you elaborate on what you expected? When thinking vegetarian, Mexican food does not come to mind. Was the “not expected” experience related to a vegetarian expectance or something else? I am not a fan of Obbligato and would not recommend it for those seeking Mexican cuisine.

  7. This is the worst place for a vegetarian. The lady who works here is very sweet, but the food is not what I expected. It isn’t Oblee, but it’s better than Obbligato.

  8. Ooops, sorry about that. I meant 330… I have a habit of calling it 339 even after driving it a hundred times. Next time I’ll take a picture of the road sign so I don’t forget! I’ve actually thought about keeping a video camera in the car window so I never forget how to get back to where I’ve been!

  9. Are you sure the road is 339? right out of gate 2 from Kadena? We went out to search for it and there was no 339 instead it was 330 so we just followed that road (330) that later turns into 81, we got a bit lost since the numbers were a bit off but we found it. unfortunately the restaurant was closed. We will try to go there again, thank you for posting a review.

  10. Yeah, it should be 330. After Foster’s Legion Gate 330 and 81 run together, then just past the Futenma Shrine Cave 330 splits and heads toward Naha while 81 continues on to connect to 58.

    Maybe Joelle can edit that to clear up the confusion. Hope this helped a little.

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