If someone can eat at the same restaurant for 50 years, it's gotta be decent, right? After a very convincing phone recommendation, I headed over to El Torero to check it out.
Walking into that faded pink building nestled into a parking lot off of South Fourth Avenue, my first thought was, how does this exist? The dimly lit room looks like a time capsule from 1953, with a busted up vintage jukebox and faded paintings of Spanish toreadors on the walls.
The place serves a plate of beef patty tacos, which they push out to the table on an old rolling cart. It was a showy spread with three large crisps, loose and curling out at the edges, behind a thin canopy of salty Cotija cheese. The ground beef was cooked to a delicate medium rare, not heavily spiced, but just perfect inside that snappy tortilla. Definitely retro, but in a sense, refined.
Weird fact: Owner Brad Hultquist painted the building "31 shades of pink" like Baskin-Robbins, because he wanted to stand out from the business next door. He figured they'd never follow suit on the odd color choice, and he was right!
Location: 231 E. 26th St.
Hours: 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Mondays, closed Tuesdays, 11 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. Wednesdays through Fridays, 12 to 8:30 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays