Returning to work from a long holiday is always difficult, but something about this past Monday was extremely rough. It could have the been the 300+ emails waiting in our respective mailboxes, the bipolar weather, the extended turkey hangovers, or whatever the case may. The point is that these Monday Blues, in attempted Tay-Tay style, weren’t “shaking off” easily.


Gaby: How’s your Monday going?

Trisha: Get me some wine or vodka and appetizers, STAT!

Gaby: You, too, huh?


Monday was going down like a pill, a horse pill, to be honest. While our first initial thoughts were to be drowning the last 12 hours with carbs and adult beverages in some corner table of a bar, by chance, and because life really likes to throw a monkey wrench or two into your plans, we ended up having a family-style dinner at Koko’s Cafe Uptown. Our normal outings of 2 shifted to 7 adults, give or take, and one adorable baby.


Gaby: Long story short, my heart grew three times that day (only that day). I decided to take my baby nephew to see the lighting of the Christmas Tree at the McAllen Convention Center. His mom, grandma and aunt numero 2 joined in for the fun… and Koko’s, too. “iUna Margarita en las rocas, por favor! iRapido!”

Trisha: Aww… Gaby had the feels. I love when that happens!

Gaby: For like a second!

Trisha: Oh, well, it was good while it lasted (wink). Not being a big fan of Margaritas, I ordered a Carreta instead. Koko’s Carretas are put together so well, you can only taste the Tequila. Score!

Gaby: Drinks were set on the table and before I could take my first sip, I hear, “Can I have a sip?” *Sigh* That's right! You know how it is if you come from a large family.

Trisha: Plus, at least most of the time, we can’t really say “no” to our younger siblings.


While the menu was full of options, our distressed minds and hungry tummies were way too focused on much needed nourishment to pay much attention to the variety being offered. We skimmed the rows and rows of food options and came across a few items that peaked our interest: Caldo Tlalpeño (savory chicken broth with shredded chicken, rice, white cheese, avocado, & bit of chipotle), Parrillada (grilled beef fajita, chicken fajita, sausage and mollejas served with rice & beans), Botana (beef and/or chicken fajitas, flautas, been & cheese tostadas, quesadillas, guacamole, onions, tomato, jalapenos, rice & beans).

You know, just your casual Tex-Mex comfort food. Oh, and a Taco Salad (ground beef or shredded chicken with beans, tomato, cheese, and guacamole)! Plenty of cheese topped dishes for sharing and a surplus of deliciously prepared fajitas, both chicken and beef, for all of us dairy fans and carnivores to indulge in.

INSIDER’S TIP: Try not to completely fill up on the tasty salsa and perfectly toasted tortilla chips, served to every table of customers, before your main dish arrives. Also, if just two of you are going to Koko’s and you’re looking for a quick dish with all the fixings, order a Botana for one. Trust us, there is plenty of food for two to share!

Our impromptu dinner was full of food, drinks, laughter and smiles. Even though it wasn't our first vision of how we wanted to spend our evening, it actually turned out better than expected. We even shut the place down. Not the first time and probably won’t be the last. Our waiters didn’t bother telling us it was time to go and just continued to let us enjoy the night. Who knew that a little bit of tequila and family time would be the perfect recipe for making things all better?

Don’t forget, for family breakfast time on the weekends, you can always enjoy the menu options at Koko’s Cafe Uptown, available on Saturday and Sunday.

Koko’s Cafe Uptown is located at 6100 North 10th Street in McAllen. They're hours of operation are Monday-Thursday 11:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.; Friday 11:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.; Saturday 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.; and Sunday 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. They can be reached at (956) 630-5656. Additionally, their second location Koko’s Mexican Restaurant is located at 4809 West Expressway 83, McAllen.

Gaby Jones and Trisha Watts work hand-in-hand with the service industry. Jones is in charge of craft and imported beer for L&F Distributors and Watts is the communications director for Visit McAllen. Each week they will have a new adventure and provide an opinion on various locations throughout the Rio Grande Valley.