Mystery Diner: The Patroons in McHenry an appealing spot for Mexican fare

You have to know where The Patroons Mexican Restaurant off Route 31 in McHenry is tucked away to easily find it, but we figured it out on a recent takeout adventure.

We ordered online and then left not much later to make the pickup. Here are some helpful navigational tips for you: The eatery can be found just north of Dunkin’ Donuts in the corner of a strip mall near Subway and La Rosita Michoacana.

It’s a relatively small restaurant, with about five or six tables and bar stools around the side.

We selected a lot of our favorite Mexican dinner staples, ordering a chicken chimichanga meal ($11.99), chicken flautas meal ($10.99), beef tostadas dinner ($10.99), and a kids cheese quesadilla meal ($5.99) with rice.

We kicked off our dining with the guacamole appetizer ($5.99), but make sure you order chips ($3.50) as well. The guacamole was outstanding, and we enjoyed it both as a starter and to add another layer of flavor to our entrees. Its creamy avocado is married with tomato, cilantro, onion, salt and lime.

Of our meals, the tostadas and flautas stood out. Both had a ton of fixin’s including that top-notch guacamole.

The flautas are prepared with chicken, lettuce, tomato, onion, cilantro, guacamole, cheese and sour cream.

The beef tostadas include lettuce, tomato, cheese, onion, sour cream, guacamole and beans. The beef was nicely seasoned. And try a squeeze of the lime wedge garnishes, which really hit the spot in brightening each of the dishes.

The cheese quesadilla did exactly what it needed to accomplish, fill up a kid who enjoyed the meal. And then it was on to the dessert.

We ordered two churros ($2.99 each), and maybe we should have ordered more. We tore up one of them to serve with scoops of ice cream at home, and split the other in half to share. It was loaded with cinnamon and sugar, and the perfect finish to a Friday night meal.

The restaurant website notes the menu is inspired by the regional cuisine of Veracruz on the country’s eastern edge along the Gulf of Mexico. In a nod to the coast, one of the seafood appetizers is the Coctel de Camaron, featuring shrimp seasoned with onion, cilantro, tomato and avocado.

To feed more than one, an unusual dish is the whole grilled chicken, which includes rice, red beans, fried scallions and tortillas. The menu also extends to Mexican breakfast offerings.

If you’re driving through the south end of McHenry, it’s time to take notice of The Patroons Mexican Restaurant.

• The Mystery Diner is an employee at the Northwest Herald. The diner’s identity is not revealed to restaurant staff when ordering or picking up the food. If the Mystery Diner cannot recommend the establishment, we will not publish a story.


WHAT: The Patroons Mexican Restaurant

WHERE: 4005 W. Kane Ave., McHenry

PHONE: 815-322-2426