Living in Kansas City, Kansas means that we are blessed to have the best Mexican cuisine options in the Midwest. Our hometown is known far and wide for being the home to numerous taquerias (taco stores), carnicerias (meat stores), and cantinas (bar & grills). When you add in the panaderias (bakeries), you expand the list even farther. In and out of each localized neighborhood we have found favorites. That doesn’t mean that we don’t enjoy trying our hand at new opportunities. A visit to El Toro Loco offered a chance to sample some tastes at the western end of our city. We weren’t sure what to expect at a place called The Crazy Bull. It ended up being a chance to taste the colors of Mexico at a fresh venue.
Variety is Alive in KCK
The spectrum of Mexican cuisine in KCK runs from cheap eats to fine dining. While we have sampled a nice variety of places, it seems like new ones pop up quicker than we can explore. On previous excursions, we have dined in spots that offer incredible flavors. A visit to Tacos El Tio had us eating off of disposable plates, but the food was unbelievable. At GG’s Barbacoa Cafe, we discovered chef-inspired dishes served up in close quarters. Even specialty eateries, like El Pollo Rey, become local hot spots because of the consistent quality. These three examples each bring a different style of dining into play, but every one of them serves up an opportunity to taste the colors of Mexico.
Feeling the Colors
Stepping into the dining area of El Toro Loco, we found a bright space designed for socializing. The overall feeling was like walking into a Mexican hacienda. Colorful artwork hung on the walls, while the ample seating invited us to sit for a spell. Even though we had arrived early for dinnertime, we found that others had come up with the same idea. We were happy to share the space and noticed that most of our table mates were other couples. I guess that made sense for a Friday evening.
We had just settled into our booth when a server arrived with salsa and chips. A decision was made to start our meal with some Queso dip and one of their house margaritas. Nibbling on these stimulated our hunger for more. Time to get down to some serious menu review. There is a vast array of choices, so we were glad to have a snack to tide us over. So many of the menu items sounded intriguing and we decided that if the food was good, we would have to come back for more exploration.
Bring on the Green
While I sought out my selection, I could almost predict what Crystal would choose. It’s almost guaranteed that a dish loaded with avocado will draw her attention. Sure enough, her choice was the Avocado Enchiladas. Made with shredded chicken, they are coated with an avocado cream sauce that met with her complete satisfaction. Spanish rice is another way that she will judge the quality of a Mexican cuisine destination. This one got a big thumbs up, so I guess she’d be okay with a repeat visit.
A Kaleidoscope of Colors
When faced with the almost insurmountable task of choosing from a huge menu, I decided to fall back on my old standard. Now I don’t mean a food choice, but instead a selection process. In these hard moments, I ask the servers a series of questions designed to help whittle down the potential choices. By pointing out that I am always on the lookout for dishes that are photogenic, it makes them look at their own menu in a new light. As our server mentally walked through the menu, they described a few of the most notable choices.
I was surprised to hear them suggest Taco Salad. As they listed the ingredients and the way it is presented, I could almost taste the colors of Mexico. The dish starts with a crispy flour shell that is slightly rolled on the edges. This is filled with black beans, shredded meat (choice of beef or chicken), lettuce, tomato, cheese, and guacamole. As the dish was laid before me, it almost reminded me of a colorful cowboy hat. I enjoyed having the crispy shell to use as a scoop for the filling. As I worked my way through my meal, I savored the flavorful meat that made the base of this entree.
Taste the Colors of Mexico
While El Toro Loco is not like many of the other Mexican eateries in our city, it makes for a good addition to the group. By bringing more styles of dining and dishes to our community, it ensures us that we will have plenty of variety to select from when we are hankering for this particular cuisine. The use of fresh ingredients means that the dishes this locally-owned restaurant serves are packed with taste. We are sure there will be plenty of visits to this location for us in the future. Have you ever sampled the menu at El Toro Loco? We’d love to hear what some of your favorite dishes are, so drop us a note in the comments section below.