Real Mexican food is a challenge to find outside of Mexico. There are fusions of Mexican cuisine with other regional cuisines, such as the famous Tex-Mex cuisine, but these aren’t true to the traditions of Mexican food and drinks. This is especially true in the United States, a melting pot of international, regional and ethnic cuisines, where every aspiring cook and established chef appears to be on to something new.
Fortunately, there’s El Torito to the rescue! The chain of restaurants with locations in California, Oregon and Arizona as well as overseas offers real Mexican food prepared with Mexican cooking traditions.
Below are the latest El Torito menu prices.
|Arroz con Pollo||$15.26|
|Loaded Tostada Nachos||$10.61|
|Fresh Tableside Guacamole||$13.04|
|Mexican Buffalo Wings||$10.84|
|Bacon Wrapped Shrimp||$14.88|
|Grande Fiesta Platter||$18.88|
Soup & Salads
|Grilled Chicken Mexican Caesar||$15.54|
|Tableside Fajitas Salad||$16.75|
|Fiesta Market Salad||$16.11|
Soups and Salads
|House-Made Tortilla Soup||$8.00|
|Ignited Fajitas Suprema's||$24.50|
|Ignited Fajitas Supremas||$23.33|
|Grilled Chicken Fajitas||$19.83|
|Grilled Steak Fajitas||$21.84|
|Family Style Fajitas||$68.03|
El Torito Specialties
|Carne Asada & Cheese Enchilada||$22.85|
|Carne Asada and Cheese Enchilada||$23.16|
|Pollo Fresco En Adobo||$18.19|
|El Torito Bacon Burger||$13.47|
|Carne Asada & Shrimp||$25.15|
Beverages To Go
|Shrimp Mazatlán Enchiladas||$17.38|
|Pick Any 2||$16.42|
|Street Taco Trio||$13.94|
|Pick Any 3||$17.57|
|Chicken & Sour Cream Enchiladas||$15.94|
|Grilled Chicken Taco Salad||$16.73|
|Housemade Tortilla Soup||$8.00|
|Chocolate Volcano Cake||$9.93|
|Deep-Fried Ice Cream||$7.77|
|Cheesecake Banana Chimi||$8.55|
|Mac & Cheese||$7.31|
|Mini Corn Dogs||$7.42|
|Kids' Chicken Fajitas||$8.50|
|Kids' Steak Fajitas||$8.50|
|Crispy Mini Beef Tacos||$7.35|
|Crispy Mini Chicken Tacos||$7.35|
Fiestas to Go (Feeds 4 Adults)
|Fiesta Combos - Make Your Own Combo||$40.77|
Add-Ons & A la Carte
|Chips & Salsa||$4.80|
|Cup of Tortilla Soup||$6.50|
|Sweet Corn Cake||$3.65|
|Frijoles de la Olla||$3.15|
El Torito touts itself as a pioneer in the full-service Mexican casual dining segment in California when it was established in 1954. Larry J. Cano, the chain’s founder, credits it for popularizing the margarita among Americans.
The name of the chain means “the little bull” in Spanish. Indeed, it has charged like a bull through the Mexican cuisine segment and, in the process, became a market leader. Today, the chain is owned and operated by Real Mex Restaurants.
What They’re Famous For
The El Torito chain is known for its emphasis on authentic Mexican cuisine from the appetizers and entrées to the desserts and drinks, although there are also American beers and liquors. The guests have also raved about the tableside preparations wherein many of the dishes, such as the tableside guacamole, are prepared according to their specifications.
Why Eat Here
The El Torito restaurants have the feel of a Mexican hacienda with its festive decorations, warm and welcoming atmosphere, and vibrant music. Guests may be in California, among other locations, but they will likely feel as if they have been transported to Mexico, perhaps even a small Mexican town with a fiesta in full swing.
The casual ambiance allows for casual attire but you will also see many young professionals in their smart business outfits. The restaurants are great places for groups of families with their kids, as well as for groups of adults with their friends, even business associates. The full bar coupled with the happy hours are just too good to pass up for people who want to unwind after a hard day’s work or who want to enjoy their drinks while engaged in conversions.
Most, if not all, of the El Torito restaurants have free W-Fi and television, mostly showing sports and news channels. While waiting for your food to be delivered to your table, you can surf the Internet, watch the shows, and talk with your friends. The waiters – yes, the chain has waiter service – are fast, efficient and friendly as well as knowledgeable about Mexican food.
Your group will have a waiter tasked to ensure that your dining experience is as enjoyable as possible, a distinctive advantage considering the casual dining vibe. You may even have the manager coming along to check about your dining experience so far without staying too long at your table.
Aside from the happy hours, the best days to come to an El Torito restaurant are on Tuesdays, Fridays and Saturdays. You can enjoy the outdoor seating arrangement, too, but you don’t have to worry about smokers inside – the chain has a strict no-smoking policy.
Of course, the overall quality of the food is still the best measuring stick of whether El Torito lives up to its own hype. According to the chain’s management, the food is made from the freshest ingredients including vegetables, fruits and meats, which are prepared using traditional Mexican cooking techniques. The Chef’s Specials are highly anticipated by regular patrons because the menu includes authentic regional Mexican entrées, appetizers and desserts, which the chefs learned on their visits to Mexico.
Be sure to try the El Torito specialties first because these will change your concept about Mexican food – the real one, not the fusion one. The Carne Asada is a 10-ounce marinated and grilled skirt steak with a nopalitos salsa topping, a tomato-jalapeno sauce, and cheese enchilada, as well as frijoles de la olla, warm tortillas, fresh guacamole, and rice – say “yummy” and it describes the dish. The Carnita Michoacan is an equally delicious dish made of tender pork simmered in spices, garlic and oranges, which is then served with frijoles de la olla, fresh avocado, and pico de gallo, among others.
You can’t get more Mexican than the Chile Verde, Pollo Fresco en Adobo, and fajitas, too. The fajitas, such as the flame-grilled fajitas, grilled steak fajitas, and the shrimp fajitas, are so good you can’t be blamed for ordering them every time you’re in the El Torito.
What about the El Torito prices? These are higher than in most Tex-Mex casual dining joints but when you think about the fact that you’re actually getting real Mexican flavors, then you will be more than willing to pay for them.
To learn more about El Torito or to find a location near you, visit their website at www.eltorito.com.