Location: St Paul, MN
Address: 538 Rice St. St Paul, MN 55103 (651) 291-0363
Links: Google Map
Atmosphere: El Bravo is located in St Paul on Rice St, less than a block from University Ave (and just a few blocks of the MN State Capitol Building). There are two dining areas, separated by the door/counter area when you first walk in. El Bravo has both tables and booths, but decor is very basic. Mexican artwork and blankets grace the walls in a few places, but overall not a very festive-feeling place.
Tacos are served either crispy corn or fried flour with choice of Ground Beef or Chicken. Burritos have choice of Chicken or Beef and are smothered in enchilada sauce. Enchiladas include Beef, Chicken, Cheese, or Grandma-Style. Tostadas include Bean, Beef, Chicken, Bean & Beef. There are several different combos that include variations of Beef or Cheese Enchiladas, Tacos, Tostadas, Rice and Beans.
Dinner plates at El Bravo are Chile Verde (Pork in green chili), Chile Colorado (pork in red chili), Mexican Style Steak, Chile Relleno, and Chicken Mole.
There are also a few American items on the menu including Hamburger, Cheeseburger, Taco Burger, Grilled Cheese, Taco Salad and French Fries.
Price guide: Tacos 1/$2 or 3/$5-7 Enchiladas 1/$2.75 3/$6-7 Dinners $9-10
What I ordered: I had initially wanted to dine-in for my solo lunch, but changed my mind when I saw that they do not have free chips & salsa at El Bravo so I ordered my food to-go instead. I had one of the enchilada/taco combos, with one ground beef enchilada, one cheese enchilada, and a fried flour taco with ground beef. I thought I had read on the menu that all combos come with beans & rice, but mine did not have either so I am not sure if was my mistake or theirs. The fried flour taco was light and crispy and surprisingly full of ground beef which was only very lightly seasoned and didn't have much flavor. I used as ton of the red salsa they gave me but that wasn't very spicy either. The enchiladas were nicely sized and stuffed full of beef (in one) and cheese (in the other) and then smothered with enchilada sauce and melted cheese. The cheese El Bravo used was a mild white Mexican cheese and the enchilada sauce was also very mild and kind of boring. The ground beef in the other enchilada was the same boring beef I had in the taco. Tomato and lettuce were served on the side.
Service: My visit was during the lunch hour at the beginning of the week so it was somewhat busy but not crowded. I ordered at the counter and my food was ready in less than 10 minutes. The waitress wasn't overly friendly but made a few recommendations from the menu and allowed me to make a substitution with the enchiladas in my combo meal.
Overall Impression: Decent but boring Mexican food at reasonable prices. I found nothing exciting about this restaurant- plain and simple.