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Friday, August 30, 2013

El Rodeo Restuarant Review - South Portland, Maine

Stepping into El Rodeo Restaurant instantly brought me back to stepping onto the Micro in Chile. The Reggae ton was playing loudly and the staff was wondering why the Gringa had wandered onto their street. They were friendly but curious. I had inadvertently come to their restaurant on the second day they were opened.

I honestly thought they had opened a month ago and was surprised when I googled them for this review to find out that they just opened yesterday. I had been eyeing them for months and couldn't wait to try them out. I love an Americanized Version of Mexican Food and was hoping they would give me another option nearby besides On the Border.

It was very festive when we pulled into the parking lot. I especially loved the large blow-up bottle of Corona. Try having a discussion with your four year old after witnessing that. We had just left the Children's Museum and he got to go inside a huge blow-up whale. He wanted to know when we could get inside that beer bottle.

I don't know about you but love a lunch time special. I am cheap and require to be fed often. Specials make it much easier on my budget.

We made our way inside and were greeted with a hearty "Hola". Let me end your suspense now. I never worked up the coverage to use one bit of my Spanish. I agonized during the whole meal how I was going to bring up some of my rusty Spanish and really wow the server.

I had it all worked out. They were going to come up to the table and ask how everything was and I was going to respond with "Que rica" (how delicious) and "Me gusta mucho" (I like it very much). The server would be super impressed and I would launch into how I lived in Chile for six months and my son was half Chilean. Let me end your wondering now...they got a half smile and a vigorous head nod when asked how I liked the meal.

Anyway I digress. We had a very friendly greeting and were brought to a booth right away. I was impressed with the size of the restaurant. It was much larger than it looks from the outside. The bar was very inviting and if I didn't have a four year old with me, I would have definitely had lunch there.

The booth they brought us too was way to small for me. If you are of size like me, you know the constant worry of trying to fit into one of these. As a Rhode Islander I actually prefer them but are still terrified of them at the same time. I am so afraid that I will not be able to wedge my self into them and it will be witnessed by other people. I made a half-hearted attempt and quickly determined I didn't want to proceed any further. The server looked at me like I was crazy when I requested to sit a table but he obliged me.

The complimentary chips and salsa were brought out promptly. The chips were not as fresh as I would have preferred BUT the salsa was amazing. It was incredibly fresh with a strong taste of cilantro. It was everything I hoped it could be.

We ordered our meals and settled into wait for our food. Approximately five minutes later our food came out. The kitchen was on their game. Every table nearby to us experience the same great fast service.

Kid's Burrito Meal ($5.99)
Gabrian went with the Kid's Burrito Meal. It really was as huge as it looks in the picture. I didn't try any of it but it looked really great and Gabrian ate a pretty large portion of it.

Speedy Gonzalez (Lunch Special of $5.99)
I went with the Speedy Gonzalez Lunch Special. It normally goes for $6.99 but they had it on special for $5.99. It included a taco, enchilada, and your choice of rice or beans. It was delicious with lots of cheesy goodness. No I did not repeat the picture of Gabrian's food. They just looked very similar and I am suspecting tasting exactly the same. It doesn't matter, it was still delicious for me. The only thing I was missing was a salty, icy margarita.

Overall, I loved this meal. It was everything I hoped it would be for an Americanized Version of Mexican Food. I will definitely be a repeat conversation.

If you would like to try El Rodeo Restaurant for yourself, they are located at 147 Western Avenue, South Portland, Maine.