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Wednesday, March 12, 2008

El Torito Grill - Review #6

Date of Visit: February 23, 2008
El Torito Grill RSM
22322 El Paseo
Rancho Santa Margarita, CA 92688
(949) 589-4164

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UPDATE: This location has closed and is now called Mi Casa.


With so many people searching for information on "El Torito Grill in Rancho Santa Margarita" or "El Torito Grill RSM" I knew it was time to round up my El Torito Grill buddies, Chris and Kristanna, and make the trek out east down the 5, the 133, and the 241. I'd been to this location before when it used to be called Agave Mexican Grill. I'm not sure why Agave Mexican Grill went out of business. Maybe it just didn't have the name brand recognition that El Torito Grill has.


We started out with a basket of chips and salsa, the first time I've ever had chips and salsa at an El Torito Grill. We wondered if maybe they had got rid of serving the handmade tortillas with honey butter so we inquired and they brought us some of those too. They aren't pictured but we still got 'em and we still loved 'em.


I turned their special appetizer of the moment into my entree. It consisted of a lobster quesadilla, two carnitas tostadas (probably the best part of the meal), chicken tenders (yeah, that's not Mexican but that's what came with the plate), and, get this, a deep-fried beef tamale.


Chris the carnitas fiend veered slightly from his usual El Torito Grill order of the Carnitas Yucatan platter with an order of two carnitas tacos that he requested be made into burritos instead. What he ended up with was more like tacos that had been rolled up slightly but he said the carnitas meat was as good as ever.


Kristanna ordered the sizzling steak and shrimp fajitas. I forgot to get her opinion on them but they sure look good.

We didn't get dessert this time but we might've if their special dessert was anything different from what it was when we went to the Brea location back in November. Since it was still the deep-fried ice cream we went to a nearby bakery and got some Boston cream pie that was too rich to finish.

They were understaffed this evening and very busy but did a professional job handling the crowd. I still think of El Torito Grill as corporate but corporate done right. I just wish they would go back to a more frequent changing of their special dishes and respond to requests for information from the media. El Torito Grill 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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kingdon86 said...

I tend to stay away from chains but when I moved to So Cal from AZ I didn't know the area and gave ET Grill a try. It's much different than the regular ETs-more exciting food. My wife loves the BBQ Chick Salad. My favorite is the Carne Asada steak which is the best I've ever had in a restaurant. I went there for lunch last Sunday. Apparently they just started a brunch buffet. It's outrageous.

ChristianZ said...

Yeah, I like to say El Torito Grill is "corporate, but corporate done right." Actually, I may have said that right in the review.