Pros: Good Mexican food, friendly waiters, nice surroundings, child's menu
It is very rare that my hubby (Payso) and I have a day off together. I work Monday thru Friday and he works Saturday thru Wednesday. We often have evenings to go out to dinner, but living in a very small town in Wisconsin, the choices are very limited. While we enjoy the places that we do eat, we frequent them far too often, and that can get pretty boring rather quickly. Since it is just the two of us at home now, I do very little cooking anymore.
Somehow it worked out that we were both off of work today...and decided that we would venture to the next town, of Plover...some 30 minutes away and go to one of the only Mexican Restaurants around....El Tapatio.
As you walk in there are waiters ready to seat you immediately. After being asked if we wanted 'smoking or non smoking' we were quickly seated in a large booth by a front window. The seats and table are a beautiful light wood and there is ample 'tummy' room between the seat and table.
They also have freestanding tables with huge ornate backed chairs at them. We've sat at these type of tables here before, and while I love the beauty of the chairs, I didn't find them all that comfortable.
The walls are adorned with Serapes, Sombreros, charro suits, hand embroidered dresses and ponchos. Hanging plants make the setting even more warm and friendly.
The smoking side at this particular restaurant is also the bar with a television tuned into whatever particular sporting event is happening. There are about ten tables on this side, but since neither of us smoke (okay little brag here...I quit 2 1/2 years ago!) I haven't really looked at the smoking section very well.
Let's get down to the nitty gritty...if the food isn't good in a restaurant, no matter how wonderful the service and surroundings are, I'm not going back.
They have the typical green dinner salad, with greens and shredded cheese for $1.95, and you can even add a scoop of guacamole for no additional charge.
Also listed among their salads is Nachos for $3.95 up to $6.25 depending on what you have added to it, such as beans, beef, chicken and one with 'the works'. Also in the salads is Homemade Mexican Chili with beans for $3.25.
**Combinaciones (Combination Dinners)**
In the Combination section there are 25 different choices for a combined dinner, ranging in price from $6.25 to $6.55. Most include some combination of taco, enchiladas, burritos, chalupa, chile relleno and rice and or beans. I'm not a rice and bean lover so will generally pick one that gives me a couple of cheese enchiladas and a taco. The flavor is very good, and the price is right too!
Fajitas can be ordered single or double for $9.95 & $17.95 respectively. The Fajitas include sizzling marinaded chicken breast or beef strips along with bell peppers, onion, lettuce, tomatoes, sour cream, guacamole, and either corn or flour tortillas. It is served with refried beans and rice and pico de gallo.
They also have a delicious Chimichanga, which is a flour tortilla stuffed with either beef or spicy chicken and deep fried to a golden brown. This is topped with lots of cheese sauce, lettuce, tomatoes, sour cream and guacamole. It is moderately priced at $6.95 and fills me right up.
Steak Tampiqueno looks like a winner to me also. It is a T-Bone Steak along with cheese enchiladas, flour tortillas and rice. I haven't personally tried this yet, but at $10.95 it seems like a good deal.
**Platos Vegetarianos (Vegetarian Combination)**
They have several different choices for the vegetarian to choose from. Most are moderately priced at $5.55 and include Burrito with rice and beans, one bean burrito with cheese enchilada and a chulupa or two bean burritos with Nacho Cheese Sauce.
**Platos Para Ninos (Child Plates)**
Children's plates, for children 12 and under, range in price from $2.25 to $3.25 and include Mexican and American choices. A taco with rice and beans, Enchilada with rice and beans, Shrimp and fries or Chicken Nuggets and fries.
One of our favorite times to go to El Tapatio is during lunchtime. They have a buffet for $6.25 per person that is very filling and is served 7 days a week from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. A lot of what they have on the menu is featured and a few things that aren't. They have some wonderful cinnamon sugar churros, fresh fruit, salad makings and then all of their mexican specialties such as enchiladas, taco makings, rice, beans, flour tortillas, carne asada and a few more american things such as chicken wings and french fries.
For those who prefer to not eat Mexican food, there are also some American choices. From Hamburger to Grilled Cheese Sandwich and Grilled Chicken Salad too. For some of my grandkids having fries and a hamburger is a must...so I am happy that they carry these foods also. Prices range from $2.25 to $3.95. Very reasonable.
If you have any room left at the end of your meal, try the Deep Fried Ice Cream...yummy, or if you prefer they also have Flan, Sopapilla's and Cheesecake. The desserts are priced at $2.95.
**Licor (Liquor) Vinos (Wine) Cervezas (Beer) & Bebidas (Beverages)**
Although my husband and I don't drink (geez, we're getting boring lol) El Tapatio carries a wide array of alcoholic and non alcoholic beverages.
You can get the typical frozen Margarita, Daiquiries or Pina Colada priced at $3.50 a glass.
Their wine is a house wine served at $2.00 a glass and they have Sangria, White Zinfandel, Rose, Burgundy, Chablis and Chardonnay available.
They have a rather large selection of beers. The house Draft is served at $1.55 a glass or $3.95 a pitcher. They have Domestic Bottled beers to include Bud, Coors, Michelob, Miller, Point (hey it's Wisconsin) and even O'Douls.
Probably the best choice would be an Imported Mexican Beer. They have Dos Equis, Carta Blanca, Corona, Tecate and Negra Modelo all selling for $2.95 a bottle.
Coke, Diet Coke, Sprite, Mello Yello, Root Beer and Lemonade are all served with free refills for $1.39. Also available is "Jarritos" a Mexican Soda for $1.75
White or Chocolate Milk, Iced Tea and Coffee are also available.
Location, Location, Location
There are three location within Wisconsin. The towns of Schofield and Rhinelander each have an El Tapatio, although I have never been to either of those locations.
We have gone to:
1830 Plover Road
Plover Wisconsin 54467
The hours are Sun-Thurs 11:00 a.m. till 10:00 p.m.
Fri & Sat 11:00 a.m. till 10:30 p.m.
El Tapatio is a great and inexpensive restaurant for couples or families. It is comfortable, while not being too formal and yet would make a great place to take a date also.
The food is fresh and filling. There is plenty on the plate and lots and lots of choices. I am very satisfied with the service and the food.
Our lunch came to $16.25 for two of us, without alcoholic drinks. So for under $20 we had a quiet lunch together on a Sunday afternoon....what more could a girl ask for???