By Anna-Marie Menhenott
FORT PIERCE -- From the festive touch of South American charm that surrounds El Patron, to the spacious dining area, genuine Mexican music and the chatter and laughter of customers in the full seating area, El Patron Mexican Cuisine is the perfect destination for a quick lunch or family dinner.
Since new management took over the quaint spot, there have been a few changes to the already impressive menu, and daily specials added to please entire families, ladies and children.
When restaurant-goers are seated in the dining area, one of the first things they may notice is the festive atmosphere. The background music adds to the Mexican charm, as does the décor inside the restaurant.
Chips and two types of salsa are quickly presented with the friendly warning that although the red salsa has a kick to it, the green salsa is only for the daring. My companion decided he would brave the green salsa, and said it had incredible flavor, with a definite heat. I decided to stick with the red salsa which was full of fresh ingredients and still had a gradual kick to it.
As we were enjoying our salsa and mulling over the expansive menu, the new restaurant manager, Isaias Del Toro, came over to speak with us.
I asked him what he liked about the restaurant and what prompted him to join the Fort Pierce location.
"I love the area," Mr. Del Toro said. "There's such a small, tight-knit community feel and I love to be a part of that. We shop local and want to keep the money in the local economy. From our vegetables to the signs out front, we buy from local suppliers. In turn, we want residents to eat at the local restaurants. We are offering delivery to local businesses and residences and hope that we can all help each other out."
The delivery service is getting off the ground and coupled with an incredible menu, is sure to add an impressive component to the already outstanding restaurant.
Mr. Del Toro suggested my dining companion and I try a couple of his favorite dishes. His recommended chicken, pork and beef stew, which was served with refried beans, rice and tortillas, was better than I imagined. The meat was perfectly prepared and melted in my mouth.
My companion was served the Patron fajitas, which was a combination of shrimp, steak and chicken, grilled with incredible flavor, and served with onions, bell peppers, refried beans and onions. This meal was quite large and could have easily been shared by two people.
The fresh ingredients were obvious in every bite. From the crunch of the vegetables to the tender quality of the meat, every bite of each dish was incredible.
For dessert, we were brought freshly made flan which was creamy and delicious and the absolute treat of warn churros with ice cream. This dessert was out of this world and recommended by both myself and my dining companion.
Each of the dishes prepared for us brought out not only the authenticity of homemade Mexican cuisine, but the genuine love that the chefs, servers and management have at the restaurant.
To check out the daily specials like Taco Tuesday, Ladies Night, Kid's Eat Free and other specials, visit their Facebook page.
El Patron is located at 1006 South U.S. 1 in Fort Pierce. They are open for lunch and dinner seven days a week.
For more information, call (772) 489-0210.