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Friday, October 26, 2007

El Torito Grill - Review #5

Date of Visit: October 20, 2007
El Torito Grill
555 Pointe Dr
Brea, CA 92821
(714) 990-2411

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El Torito Grill -

Continuing my quest to cover every El Torito Grill in Orange County I went last Saturday with Chris and Kristanna (my regular El Torito Grill buddies) to what could be the oldest El Torito Grill ever, the one in Brea. At least Kristanna says she remembers it being there in the mid-80's, about ten years before I was aware of the El Torito Grill concept.

We started out with their excellent hand-made tortillas that come with honey butter and two types of salsa:

El Torito Grill - Tortillas and Honey Butter

And we couldn't resist ordering the guacamole made tableside again, once again brought to a medium spiciness with a helping of queso fresco on top, served with round tri-colored chips:

El Torito Grill - Tableside Guacamole

Kristanna went for Combination #4 again, "Grilled Chicken Roasted Corn Enchilada, Mesquite-Grilled Steak Taco and Two Chicken Taquitos."

El Torito Grill - Combo #4

Chris, sticking with his love of all things carnitas, once again ordered the Carnitas Yucatan, "Roasted marinated pork topped with red onions marinated with habañero chiles and lime juice. Served with red and black beans, rice, avocado relish and sweet corn cake."

El Torito Grill - Carnitas Yucatan

I went for one of their current specials, the Mesquite-grilled Salmon Quesadilla: "Fresh salmon mesquite-grilled with jack, cotija and cream cheeses, pineapple-mango relish, red onions, pasilla chiles and capers rolled in a grilled cilantro-jalapeño flour tortilla. Served with tropical and avocado relishes." Not your usual flat tortilla with melted cheese inside, this quesadilla is more like a cross between a . . . well, it's really more like a chimichanga that hasn't been deep fried.

El Torito Grill - Salmon Quesadilla

Before heading over there I had read about their "Pumpkin Chimi" online. Made with "Spiced pumpkin, cream cheese, marshmallows and pecans in a crispy cinnamon-sugar flour tortilla served with dulce de leche ice cream, glazed pecans, cajeta, chipotle-chocolate sauce, crispy cinnamon-sugar tortilla strips and a dollop of fresh whipped cream," this is the dessert Chris and Kristanna shared.

El Torito Grill - Pumpkin Chimi

I had wanted to order the Pumpkin Chimi myself but when I found out they couldn't make it without pecans I then ordered the deep-fried ice cream from their specials menu (it was on their specials menu in the restaurant but not mentioned along with the Pumpkin Chimi in the specials menu online). After I ordered it, the waitress-in-training came back to the table and asked if I had a nut allergy. While peanuts are fine for me I told her that walnuts, pecans, and coconut are out of the question. She then told me that the coating used for their deep-fried ice cream has walnuts in it and the waiter she was with showed me a cup of the coating. I then realized I couldn't get this dessert either. I should've thought to ask about it beforehand but I forgot but the waitress caught it and helped avoid a disaster. That's what I call personalized service.

When the two dessert items currently on their specials menu became out of the question I went for an old standby from their regular menu, the Molten Chocolate Cake, "Warm chocolate cake with a soft, creamy center drizzled with chipotle-chocolate sauce. Served with dulce de leche ice cream, strawberries and a dollop of fresh cream."

El Torito Grill - Molten Chocolate Cake

I like to say that El Torito Grill is corporate, but "corporate done right." My experience a week ago at their Brea location maintains a solid four and a half Speedy Gonzales rating for the whole chain:

Speedy Gonzales Speedy Gonzales Speedy Gonzales Speedy Gonzales Speedy Gonzales

Read our other El Torito Grill entries:

Or click on the "el torito grill" label below to read our full El Torito Grill coverage:

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1 comment:

jennifer said...

i think the el torito grill in brea has been there for quite awhile, but it was previously a regular el torito. there's no way it's been el torito grill since the 80's because i distinctly remember when it changed and i was born in 82. lol