Mar 062011

Cuisine: Mexican
Restaurant Features: Bar, Lunch Buffet, On-Site Parking,
Location: St Paul, MN (west side)
Address: 199 Plato Bvd. • St. Paul, MN 55107  (651) 222-2353
Hours: Sun – Thur 11am – 10 pm  Fri- Sat 11am – 11pm
Links: El Toro Website * El Toro on Facebook *  Google Map

Atmosphere: El Toro is located on the ‘west side’ of St Paul, at the corner of Plato Ave & Robert St, in a stand-alone building. There are a couple of different seating areas inside the restaurant, including this room where the lunch buffet is set up.  There are many tables as well as a few booths along the wall.

The bar area is slightly more festive than the dining room, with banners advertising Mexican beers hanging from the ceiling.  This area has several booths along two of the walls as well as seating around the bar.

Menu: Appetizers include a selection of Nachos, Shrimp Cocktail, Queso Fundido, Jalapeno Poppers, Mushroom Quesadilla,and Guacamole.

Soups include Tortilla and Fideo.  Salad options include Taco Salad (ground beef), Fajita Salad, Chicken Salad, Taco Loco, Chef and Guacamole Salad.

Enchilada choices include Enchiladas Rojo, Enchiladas Verde, Enchiladas Poblanas, Enchiladas Rancheras, Yolandas, Enchiladas Supremas and Seafood Enchiladas.  All come with guacamole salad and rice.

Quesadilla options include Shrimp, Ranchera, Veracruzanas, and Rellenas.

Burrito options include Mexicanas, Rancheras, Deluxe, Ruleta, Burritos Tipicos, Fiesta Burrito and Grande Burro.

Fajita options include Shrimp, Beef, Chicken, Texas Fajitas, Fajitas Vallarta, and Seafood Fajitas.

Special dinner entrees include Carne Asada, Steak Ranchero, Carnitas, Steak a la Tampiquena, T-Bone, Pollo Asado, Pollo al Lorito, Pollo Veracruzano, Chori Pollo, Chilaquiles Mexicanos, Taquitos Mexicanos, Chile Colorado, Chile Verde, Tacos de Chorizo, Chimichanga, Camarones de Diabla, Mojarra Frita, Tilapia, Shrimp.

You can also make-your-own plate with a large selection of A La Carte items including Tacos, Tostadas, Burritos, Enchiladas, Tamales, Rellenos and Quesadillas.

El Toro also serves Mexican Desserts including Tres Leches Cake, Flan, Fried Ice Cream and Sopapillas.

Price guide: Appetizers $6-10  Salad $4-8 Enchiladas $9-12  Entrees $9-14 Desserts $2-4

What we ordered: This was my first time to El Toro and we came for the Lunch Buffet which is suprisingly only $5.99 for all-you-can-eat.  They brought us complimentary chips, salsa and a creamy seasoned dip.  I have to admit I didn’t try any of these, my mind was set on the buffet.

My first plate at the buffet included beans, rice, a ground beef taco and a taquito.  I had just a taste of the beans and rice, both were decent.  The taco was good, with gringo-style seasoned ground beef which I topped with fresh tomato, shredded cheese and a heaping pile of fresh guacamole.  Very satisfying!  The taquito was also decent, a flour tortilla wrapped around shredded chicken then fried.

My intent with the Second Plate was to get a little bit of everything to try.  Unfortunately at least three of the items on the buffet were completely out and had not yet been replenished (various types of enchiladas, etc).  What I did have were the Chicken Quesadilla, Chicken Enchilada, and Huevos a la Mexicana (scrambled eggs with tomato, onion and chiles).  The eggs were the best thing on this plate, and would make  great breakfast tacos as well.  The grilled Quesadilla had big pieces of white-meat chicken along with some type of creamy Mexican cheese sauce (sort of like Mexican Velveeta).  The chicken was good but I wasn’t crazy about the cheese.  The enchilada was far from being fresh and was slightly dry.Eggs, Quesadilla & Enchilada at El Toro (lunch buffet) ~ St Paul, MN

Service: We had pretty good service and our server checked on us consistently which was nice, considering it was a buffet.
Overall Impression: El Toro has decent Mexican food and you really can’t beat $5.99 for all-you-can-eat lunch buffet.  It is not nearly as good at Boca Chica’s lunch buffet, but $3 less and they have just as much to choose from.

El Toro Mexican on Urbanspoon

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