Cuisine: American, Mexican (Tex-Mex)
Location: St Paul, MN
Address: 538 Rice St. St Paul, MN 55103 (651) 291-0363
Hours: Mon-Fri 11am-8:45pm, Sat 3pm-8:45pm Sunday Closed
Links: El Bravo on Facebook * Google Map
Atmosphere: El Bravo Mexican Restaurant is located on Rice Street, in the North End neighborhood of St Paul, just one block north of University Ave and the Central Corridor Lightrail line. This was my first visit to El Bravo since the time I visited in the spring of 2009, and I was pleased to see that the walls had been painted in shade of green and yellow that provided it with some vibrance that it seemed to be lacking in the past. The paintings adorning the walls all seemed to be updated as well. What a difference some updating can do to the interior!!
Menu: Appetizers at El Bravo include Chips & Salsa, Guacamole, Nachos Refritos, Nachos Jalapeno, Quesadilla, Nachos, Nachos Bravo, Quesadilla Tostada and Bean Dip.
Salads include Dinner, Beef taco Salad, Chicken Taco Salad and Veggie Salad.
Tacos are served on either corn, flour, crispy corn or fried flour tortillas. Tostadas are served on a crispy corn tortilla topped with beans and chicken or beef, lettuce, tomato. Options include Chicken or ground beef. Burritos are stuffed with Beef & Cheese, Chicken & Cheese or Bean & Cheese, and then grilled with the option of smothering in enchilada sauce.
El Bravo also offers a couple of burgers and American items such as Hamburger, Cheeseburger, California Burgers Taco Burger, Chili, French Fries and Grilled Cheese.
Mexican entrees served at dinner include Carnitas, Huevos Rancheros, Mexican-Style Steak, Chile Relleno, Chile Verde, and Chile Colorado.
There are a number of Combination Dinners if you’d like to try a variety of the offerings at El Bravo. usually some combination of Beans, Rice, Tacos, Bean Burritos, Enchiladas, Taquitos, or Chimichangas.
Price guide: Apps $2-7 Tacos $2-3 Burgers $3-4 Dinners $7-10 Combos$5.50-10
What we ordered: We started with the complimentary Chips and Salsa, which were very good. The chips were freshly made and while the salsa wasn’t very spicy, it had a lot of flavor.
I ordered the two taco, two enchilada combo, with fried flour tacos and cheese enchiladas ($7.50). This plate didn’t come with beans and rice but there was enough food that I didn’t really need them. I did, however, order a side of guacamole which was fresh and tasty. The taco meat was seasoned ground beef and the lettuce and tomato were fresh. Both the tacos and the enchiladas were much better than I remembered from my first visit to El Bravo. The fried flour tortilla was delicious and not as greasy as you might think. The enchilada sauce was really good as well. I wouldn’t consider this authentic Mexican but it was very good for Tex-Mex style.
My companion ordered the same combo that I did ($7.50) but switched it up slightly and got two crispy corn beef tacos and two beef enchiladas. Both were just as tasty as mine and a big hit with my companion.
Service: Our server was nice and the food was served reasonably quick. We were in an out for dinner in less than 45 minutes.
Overall Impression: While my first visit to El Bravo wasn’t particularly favorable, several readers had left me comments telling me I had to go back and try it again. It took some time for me to get back but I am so glad I did!! The food was very good and extremely low priced for a big meal. I can now see why El Bravo has been around for so many years and why they have so many loyal customers.