It’s time for lunch and you are craving Mexican food. Where should you go? We decided to go to El Toreo at one of the Palmdale locations—2321 E. Ave S. This particular location has a private executive room that seats up to 20 people for a meeting or special occasion.  A very charming restaurant with nice lighting and lots of pictures on the walls— And, of course quite a few  AV Best plaques adorn the walls as they have been voted AV’s Best year after year!

We were seated quickly in a nice comfortable booth, handed menus and chips and salsa. We were also asked for our drink order, to which we had diet coke and iced tea. I really would have loved to have one of their famous blended margaritas, but it was lunch after all! Let me first talk a little about the chips and salsa—these were no ordinary chips and salsa! From the first bite you could literally tell these chips were fresh made with just the right amount of salt and crunch. The salsa was very fresh with a nice kick at the end!

As I looked over the menu, I noticed traditional Mexican items like Enchiladas, Tacos, Chile Relleno, Burritos, Tostadas, Flautas and specialties like, Fresh Baby Trout, New York Steak, Grilled Chicken Breast and Fajitas Extravaganza. If you are in the mood for Breakfast, several entrees are available—Machaca, Mexican Omelet, Huevos Rancheros and more. A little something for everyone.

It was now time to order and we chose Albondigas Soup, Shrimp Enchilada with tomatillo sauce, Avocado Salad, Beef Taco, Shredded Chicken Tostada and Chile Colorado. We couldn’t wait to dig in; so many colors with punches of reds, greens and yellows, almost too pretty to eat, but you all know a beautiful presentation has never stopped this foodie from devouring a delicious meal.

We started with the soup, which reminded my companion of his grandma’s homemade specialties! I have never been fond of meatballs so this made me reconsider. A wonderful, flavorful broth, with excellent seasoned meatballs, plenty of tender carrots, onions and celery that melted in your mouth, just beyond belief— And, let me tell you I didn’t just taste it, I ate almost the entire bowl!

Next, we shared a slightly spicy and very tasty shrimp enchilada, presented with a generous amount of tomatillo sauce, avocado and melted cheese on top. The shrimp had a robust flavor with so many stuffed inside they were spilling over into the plate! This was Lisa’s favorite of the day, even though I barely left her enough to really taste! But, we all know, when something is that good, it only takes one bite.

My favorite of the day had to be the Chile Colorado—amazingly tender chunks of beef in a wonderful, flavorful, savory red sauce served with warm flour tortilla, fluffy Spanish rice and mellow refried beans. A meal fit for a King, or in my case a Queen! Each bite was better than the next.

Now, let’s talk a little about the shredded chicken tostada, combined with fresh, cool, shredded lettuce, cheese, sour cream, beans and guacamole. The crunchy shell held the meal effortlessly—great for dining in or even on–the-go.

Interestingly enough, no matter what you order at El Toreo, if cheese or lettuce is included, you get a generous amount of both. That being said, I ordered one shredded beef taco and forgot to mention, “extra lettuce, please”; well, it surely didn’t matter, as this taco was exploding with both cheese and lettuce! I really like to use the extra cheese, lettuce and topped with a little salsa to scoop onto my chips—a very yummy treat!

Salads at El Toreo are always plentiful, loaded with crisp iceberg lettuce, giant slices of tomatoes, avocado slices, and once again plenty of cheese. The Thousand Island dressing was very tasty and my favorite, so tasty that I  put a little on my beans as well; then scooped it all up with a chip or two to get every last drop. Did you notice I seem to use my chips and salsa for more than just by themselves? I scooped up everything that fell out of everything I had!

Now I saved the best part of this lunch for last! Since I have enjoyed my fair share of fried ice cream and Nicole had never tried it before; we had to have it! I’m not sure if my description will be adequate for the most amazing deep-fried ice cream I have ever had. First, they take a nice big scoop of vanilla ice cream, coat it and deep fry it. It is then served on top of a tortilla shell drizzled with chocolate sauce, dollops of whipped cream and covered with maraschino cherries. It gave me chills bite after fabulous bite till it was gone. Both of us were just amazed at the incredible flavors we were tasting and enjoying—using the tortilla cradle to dip in the ice cream which just made this dessert go off the chart!

We enjoyed a fabulous meal with impeccable service—they are clearly experts and it’s a great place! El Toreo has been serving the same delicious food from recipes created and mastered more than 47 years ago and have never changed.

El Toreo has four locations; two in Palmdale (10th St. West at Palmdale Blvd & Ave. S at 25th St East) and two in Lancaster (Ave. L at 40th St. West and Ave. L at 10th St. West) They offer Lunch, dinner, Sunday Brunch and Evening Buffets. Bon Appétit!

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