Thursday, December 5, 2013

Local Foodie Moment: El Camino Inn

Alright and we're back!  How was everyone's Thanksgiving?!  Ours was hectic and fabulous!  We went to Chris' aunt and uncle's house for his family's Thanksgiving celebrations.  First everyone watched the Lions game, then we got gussied up and ready for family pictures, then a delicious dinner then grandkid Christmas gift exchange (phew a lot to pack in in one day)!  Over the weekend we celebrated my Momma's birthday too, 50 years young that amazing lady turned!  Here are a few pics of all the fun!

Chris and his godson, Noah, cheering on their Lions!

All the handsome Mutchler men in their new ties!

Lunch at Melt in Cleveland Heights, one of the many yummy meals we had to celebrate Mom's 5-0!
Delicious dinner made by Daddy with special guests Granny, cousins Jenn & Todd and their little one Logan!

Alright now that we're all caught up!  In our quest to try this year's new restaurants we checked another one off the list, El Camino Inn.  This restaurant is owned by the same restaurant group as The Little Palace, Club 185, Philco Diner and Rossi Bar and Kitchen.  El Camino is located downtown on South 4th Street (next to Little Palace and down the street from 16-bit).  I like this strip of restaurants and bars downtown, there's never a parking issue, there's always good eats and good drinks!  Going here actually rounded out my restaurant/bar visits for that block (Dirty Franks, Little Palace and 16 Bit).

We went for dinner on a Thursday and there was quite a few people but we still found a table right away.  The atmosphere is kind of cozy yet eclectic.  Music plays from a record player and a giant marlin (or maybe it was a swordfish?  I'm not really fish savvy) hangs over the mirrored bar.

As to be expected of a Mexican restaurant, El Camino's cocktail list specializes in tequila.  Neither Chris or I are tequila fans but I figured "When in Mexico" and ordered the Paloma which was on special for happy hour.  This was light and refreshing and went really well with my dinner.

Chris ordered a bourbon cocktail that for the life of me I can't remember its name, something like Sweet Romance, not sure?  It was a little on the sweet side.  They have a good selection of beers, all of which are served either in cans or bottles which enhances that casual, cozy feel.

For dinner we each ordered tacos and I ordered the Chicken and Rice soup.  The soup was very good, had nice hints of cilantro giving it a really fresh taste.

Chicken and Rice Soup (little blurry, sorry!)

The tacos we're very yummy and were reasonably priced.  We tried each of the kinds of meat on the menu between us: chicken, chorizo, barbacoa, carnitas and carne asada.  These were all pretty good.  Chris' favorite was the chorizo and mine was probably the carne asada.  I liked that everything seemed very fresh and not greasy.

Carne Asada and Chicken tacos

Tacos Especial
What's nice about El Camino is that it's not pretentious, its casual but good food.  The service was great and the staff was very friendly.  The prices ($2 a taco, add 25 cents for especial style) were reasonable and the food came out relatively fast.  It's places like this that offer a fun atmosphere, sit down restaurant style but cut the waiting for food time practically in half.  They make it easy and accessible for you to get to your next event but they also make you comfortable enough that you don't really want to leave!
El Camino Inn on Urbanspoon
This review is featured on urbanspoon!

I definitely recommend El Camino if you are up for some simple and delicious Mexican food and drink.  The restaurant, although small, accommodates groups large and small (probably max. table size is for 6 to 8ish) so grab some amigos for a pitcher of margaritas and some tasty tacos!


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