Friday, March 18, 2011

El Toro!

My never-abating passion for Mexican restaurants led me to El Toro (10602 Shelbyville Road) the other night, giving myself a bit of a break from Ernesto's. But that's what I get for trying new things. The service was pretty awful - I had to ask four times for a bottle of hot sauce since there was none at the table - and the frozen margaritas were rather melty and watered down. Weirdest of all, when you get the "two for one" frozen margarita happy hour special, they bring both of them to you at the same time, which made the second one even more melty by the time I got to it.

I should have sent them back and complained, but for some reason I decided to not be the jerk who demands that stuff not suck. I don't know what came over me. I could feel the fellers in Raising Arizona leaning in close to me and whispering, "Jeff, you ain't bein' true to your own nature."

I strolled to the bar and asked the tender what kinds of Mezcal they carried in stock. He looked at me blankly. Aw, jeez, no, don't tell me you've never heard of Mezcal, amigo. He apologized for not having any but promised to tell the distributor that they wanted to start carrying it. I betcha a thousand dollar bill it'll be Monte Alban, but what the heck. I'll git it where I can.

I ended up rounding off the evening with a Golden Margarita, which was much more what the doctor ordered. From the taste it actually had more tequila than Grandma in it, which is more than I can say for some of these joints.

I also tried out a new purchase of Sir Walter Raleigh aromatic, which is a leap away from the regular no-frills variety and a step towards Captain Black and its suave sweetness. (No, I didn't smoke it in the restaurant, although my waitress was so perpetually AWOL, I have no doubt I could have gotten away with it easily.)

Oh yeah, food, I hear they serve food at this place. My dinner companion had the tilapia, which came completely intact, I mean like the whole fish, head, tail, bones and all. She seemed patient enough to pick the slivery little bones out and enjoy her meal; I took a taste and gave it a hearty two thumbs up, but I am a lazy man and will stick to my uber-prepared tilapia at Mitchell's Fish House.

And me, my drinks were my dinner.

Will I return to El Toro? Absolutely. I actually have dined and imbibed here before, a long time ago, and it was fine then, so doubtless I just caught them on a bad night this time. They have a lovely ambience, and soon they'll have their nice shady outdoor patio open and it'll be cervazas and mojitos and mariachi bands.

Besides, there's a bottle of Mezcal incoming with my name on it and it would be rude to let it go to waste, now wouldn't it?

- - JSH

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