Tengo hambre (as usual). Yo quiero Taco Bell?
What a notoriously famous catch phrase associated with an even more notoriously famous chihuahua.
Anyway, no. Sorry, poor dog, I do not want Taco Bell despite its undeniable appeal to my stimulant-addicted taste buds. Instead, I’ve been craving the real deal. Don’t get me wrong, while I flirt with fast food of all sorts more often than I really should, I’m actually madly in love with authentic cuisines. The best foods I have ever tasted have very little to do with being fast and on the contrary, have everything to do with being literally and implicitly slow. It’s not just that these so-called “best foods” probably involve long and tedious procedures, but rather it’s that they involve a sense of time that is slow. Allow me to elaborate. What I consider to be an authentic food is one that embodies culture. Culture is refined over time and involves a unique series of events and influences, which bring about an individual set of behaviors, beliefs, customs, traditions and obviously, food. This occurs throughout history, which like I said is, over time that is slow. Despite the popular notion that “time flies,” sometimes time is slow and the institutionalizing of a particular dish is even slower. This just makes food that much better.
That being duly noted, I’ve been on the prowl for better food. Now, I know that my last post pertained to me trying to eat healthier and that this post doesn’t seem particularly healthy… But, to that I have two responses. One, this restaurant was visited a couple months ago and I am dearly behind with my local restaurant reviews and..Two, you are all going to realize sooner than later that although I have banned packaged junk food from my diet (presumably not for too long), I like to indulge myself here and there when it comes to tasty foods.
So, onto the food!
I’ve only been to Torito’s Mexican Restaurant a couple times, both during lunch. Personally, I had pretty good experiences both times and nothing during these visits deferred me from wanting to go again in the near future. That’s actually saying a lot especially since I’m really spoiled when it comes to Mexican or Latin American food. I lived in LA for quite some time growing up and my nanny was Guatemalan. When reminiscing about my childhood, she’s one of the most influential people in my up bringing. That aside, I grew up eating predominantly Korean and Guatemalan/Mexican food. Although I sadly can’t remember specific dishes, what I do remember is the quality and the love that was put into preparing them.
While I’m not sure if I can taste the love in these particular dishes, I know that the quality aspect is definitely there. It isn’t the cheapest or the best place that you’ll go to get Mexican food, but I do think that they have great lunch deals and hefty portions so you’re getting your money’s worth. They also give you free chips and salsa as your bread basket before your meal and come on, who doesn’t love free food? Or, free anything for that matter.
The restaurant feebly attempts to set a corresponding ambiance (Mexican music in the background, chili peppers hanging from the ceiling), but I wouldn’t go back for that reason. What I would go back for, however, is the Huevos Rancheros dish! I love, absolutely love eggs and any variation of them. Frankly, I’ve only had Mexican country/ranch-style eggs maybe once or twice before, but Torito’s hit the spot with this one. Huevos Rancheros is a Mexican breakfast dish given its name because it was traditionally served mid-morning on rural farms to workers. It consists of fried eggs over a slightly fried corn tortilla, smothered in a tomato-chili sauce and usually served with frijoles, or re-fried beans, and rice or potatoes. For me, I loved this one because the sauce was especially flavorful and everything was served suffocating in cheese.
Speaking of being served, I remember having very good service on both occasions. Despite hearing otherwise from other people, my waiter/waitress on both occasions only enhanced my dining experience and encouraged me to come back again for more. While I can’t say Torito’s is my favorite Mexican restaurant ever with the most authentic foods ever, I can say that I really enjoyed Torito’s Mexican food and hospitality and I’ll definitely be re-visiting them in the near future.
Torito’s Mexican Restaurant
Market City Shopping Center
Sunday – Thursdays 10am – 10pm
Fridays & Saturdays 10am – 11pm