Sunday, May 19, 2013

El Loro - Mounds View, Minnesota

El Loro Mexican Restaurant - Mounds View, MN  

I love it when an iPhone app really works. I was recently (yesterday) in Minnesota visiting friends and family.  While at my friend Doug’s house, we decided to go to lunch and used the Urbanspoon iPhone app to help us decide where to go.  We had some trouble narrowing in to what cuisine we wanted; however after a bit, we finally decided on my favorite, Mexican. The Urbanspoon app has a feature where you select nearby restaurants and can then filter by cuisine.  Press the “thumbs up” and you receive “Nearby Mexican by Popularity.”  Urban Spoon suggested El Loro, at 2535 County Road 20 in Mounds View with a rating of 96 (50 people rating).  My friend had never been to El Loro (the parrot) so we decided to head to it before going to the airport.

The atmosphere was excellent. Bright, cheery, choices of booths, tables, or at the bar.  We were led to a booth, which was comfortable.  There are excellent paintings on the walls and it looks festive. 

The chips were good and the salsa acceptable. The chips also came with a bowl of some sort of spiced crema, which I believe was homemade ranch. I could see where some would really like it, but I’m not into cool ranch chips or dips and stayed with the traditional salsa. 

The waitress was there quickly to take our order and then gave us time to decide.  For appetizer, we ordered two Patrón Reposados and a Queso Fundido. I love queso fundido and the picture in their menu looked really good. I wondered if the delivered product be be anywhere near as good.  


When the queso arrived I was impressed.  It looked as good as the picture in the menu.  Perfect amount of chorizo sausage and cheese, cooked and melted perfectly, not overcooked or burned.  Like most restaurants that serve queso fundido, it came with three tortillas.  It really should come with four tortillas if there are two people enjoying the appetizer so they both have two tortillas. But that is sort of a personal quest for me.  I should have asked for an extra tortilla.  El Loro’s presentation of queso fundido was very tasty, very good, and a nice portion. The Patrón also arrived and was a very good pour. We were happy and saluted our friendship (48 years).  

We both ordered the lunch chimichangas, fried with shredded beef, mine with beans and my friend’s with rice. Timing was excellent, the chimi’s arrived moments after we finished the queso. The ends were crispy, as they should be, with a good amount of filling.  Nice taste. Our server, Heidi, was excellent.  

El Loro

Ambiance: 4 (Clean, Spacious)
Food: 5 (Best queso fundido ever)
Service: 4 (Friendly and timely)
Price: 5 (Lunch under $10 per person)
Value: 4.5 (My friend Doug will go back regularly, me whenever I’m in town.)

Thanks to Urbanspoon, we found a great restaurant, just what we were looking for. 

El Loro on Urbanspoon

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