A Mexican Vacation Without Leaving Town
The minute you walk into El Torero you'll be greeted with a contagious smile. Colorful chairs and tables, upbeat music playing overhead and icy margaritas flowing from the bar. There's something about it all that just makes you feel happy. Whether it's all the colors, the spicy food or music that makes you want to dance, I felt like I was on vacation in a tropical paradise. The only thing missing is the beach but they do have an awesome outdoor patio.
El Torero has been serving up some of the area's best Mexican food for over 11 years according to owner Jesus Angel. In the past he had worked for restaurants owned by family members doing everything from waiting tables to washing dishes. Learning the industry ins and outs, he finally decided to grab the bull by the horns and open his own restaurant properly naming it, "El Torero".
The menu is big and it may take you a while to decide what to order but don't worry. Whatever you decide on will be fantastic and don't be afraid to be daring and try something you've never tried before. As I sat waiting for my first tasting of El Torero my eyes widened as the staff brought out one dish after another. Before I knew it, the table was covered with amazing dishes and my mouth was watering.
Of course you will be welcomed with a basket of chips and salsa. I highly recommend the Queso Fundido to go along with the chips. The salsa is smooth and a medium hot. The Queso Fundido is cheese dip to the extreme. A creamy white cheese dip with spicy chorizo sausage bits throughout. You'll be double dipping with this starter. First dip the cheese, double dip in the salsa and open wide. What a great way to get things started not to mention waking up those tastebuds.
According to Jesus, the number one appetizer on the menu is the Quesadilla with Grilled Chicken. It's huge. I've never seen a tortilla so big. This giant flour tortilla is topped with seasoned grilled chicken and cheese, another tortilla on top then grilled to melt it all together. It's cut into wedges and surrounded by a cool salad of shredded lettuce, fresh, homemade guacamole (which by the way is amazing), sour cream and pico de gallo. Every bite is loaded with warm cheese and chicken and when mixed with the cool sides, it's an amazing bite. Everything is so fresh, beautifully plated and easy to see why it's so popular. It's big enough for a meal and big enough to share with friends.
El Torero has a quesadilla for everyone. Seafood lovers will be very pleased with the Seafood Quesadilla. More of those giant tortillas filled with crabmeat and shrimp and that delicious cheese sauce, grilled to a golden brown. They have quesadillas with chicken, with vegetables, with steak and even one with just about everything. They're big, they're bold and they're muy bueno!
Fajitas are popular and El Torero has a fajita dish to satisfy everyone. I tried the Shrimp Fajitas, a Fajita Burrito and my favorite, the Mini Fajita Quesadilla. The Shrimp Fajitas came out sizzling hot and I thought if they taste half as good as they smell I'm in for a treat. I was not disappointed. This dish was packed full of big shrimp, broccoli, peppers, onions and mushrooms. The vegetables were cooked perfectly, well seasoned and you'll get just a hint of smokiness from the grill. A sizzling hot dish that is sizzling good. If you can't make up your mind between the fajitas and the burritos, go with the Fajita Burrito. Of Course it's a no brainer. You get all the sizzling veggies and either beef or chicken rolled up in a tortilla, smothered in a creamy white cheese sauce and served with a side of really good, flavorful rice. You could put this cheese sauce on just about anything and it would be delicious. My favorite "fajita dish" was the Mini Fajita Quesadilla. In my opinion, this is the perfect lunch. It's kind of like a pita sandwich filled with fajita yumminess. A tortilla is folder over steak fajita fixings then grilled to a golden brown. Served with a side of that lettuce, guacamole, sour cream, pico salad mix and a good portion of refried beans topped with cheese, this is the dish I will order again. It's packed with tons of meat and veggies and definitely needs both hands to hold it all together. Love everything about this dish.
There were two dishes I tried that were completely new to me. Pollo Fundido and El Vallarta. The Pollo Fundido is a perfectly seasoned, grilled chicken breast topped with that amazing melted cheese sauce AND chorizo bits. Great flavor combination. You get the light creamy cheese with the spicy grilled sausage, the two flavors work perfectly together. Served with rice, beans and tortillas, Pollo Fundido is another great dish. The last dish made my eyes light up. El Vallarta. A whole pineapple is cut in half. The fruit is cut out and grilled with strips of steak, chicken, green peppers, a little hot pepper, and onion, then all put back in the pineapple half topped with a layer of melted cheese. It's almost like a shish kebab went to Mexico on vacation. You've got the smokiness of the grilled meats, a little kick from the hot pepper and then this sweet caramelized pineapple. Completely different and refreshing flavors. Not at all what I would have expected. It's not on the menu so when you ask for this one, tell them I sent you. Love the flavor combinations, love the presentation.
I had a great time at El Torero. Loved talking with Jesus and his staff. Very relaxing. Good food from good people. If you love Mexican food and are looking for an adventure, you've got to come here. Try something different. I did, and I'm glad I did. My next visit will definitely include one of my favorites, something new, something cold, hmmm, maybe a margarita and I'm saving room for dessert. Whether I order the flan or one of my favorites that's new to their menu, Xango (Fried Cheesecake). Who needs a vacation when you've got El Torero in Warren?