146 Boundary St West End
El Torito has to have the honour of being the only Mexican place in town that isn’t fast food or rubbish; it does well in this regard and is all round a very good place to eat it’s also BYO including beer which is always a fantastic thing. It being the first Thursday in a while that I’ve had money to afford dinner meant that I had to go to dinner, so I called on some reliable friends for a meet at west end. It has been a few years since I last sat down at El Torito, last time I ate there the food was quite nice, but lacked a particular intangible that I can’t quite remember or determine. This time the stars lined up and the meal was fantastic.
The decor of El Torito is bright and energetic, it uses the long narrow space it has for a dining room effectively, it’s not a romantic dim private place it is an exciting, fun place with plenty of noise. The bright warm coloured walls covered in sombreros and pictures of Amerindians gives the place an electric feeling, that the food is bound to be exciting and generous. The service in El Torito is pretty regular, with the only way to be served being essentially demanding it; however they do get kudos from me for letting us stay for almost an hour after everyone else left.
Onto the most important of things, El Torito makes fantastic food; this place isn’t a suburban Tex-Mex place with 14 year olds in the kitchen, it’s a place that makes what tastes, feels and smells like genuine Mexican food (not being entirely melted cheese and oil). Our table had a few entrees and then a main each, the entrees all featured beans, which in hindsight was a genius decision considering they were all fantastic, the Beans Tostada has particularly stuck in my memory due to its great balance. Of the mains I only had the opportunity to try my own, which was a chorizo burrito and a friend’s which was the Tinga Poblana. Both of these dishes displayed an amazing level of balance and a great texture; however the lack of overwhelming defining flavours can make the meal feel boring to those uninterested in the combination of flavours.
I would recommend El Torito to anyone especially to those who have negative views of Mexican restaurants due to the suburban monsters that ruin an entire cuisine for people.
El Torito is open for dinner most nights
Our entree’s cost $5-$10 and our mains cost ~$20 each.
El Torito is fully BYO with Corkage costing $2 per head