With a fridge full of Easter eggs and too much ham, our appetites switched gears to something completely different, and we decided to return to El Taco Grande in downtown Batavia.
The Mexican restaurant is nestled in the historic stone building at the triple intersection of Route 25, Wilson Street and North River Street, on which the entrance is located. Paying visual homage to the nearby Fox River, a beautifully sculpted metal fence depicts fish and shoreline inhabitants. It borders the length of outdoor patio seating.
We opted for carryout, and pickup is just inside the canopied entrance. Two dining rooms lead off from the entry area, with the vintage stone providing nice aesthetics.
The long-time restaurant, launched by the Martinez family, has been in the hands of new owners for several years, and they proudly note on their Facebook page that the beloved original recipes still are featured.
The menu is extensive and can be found on the Facebook page under photos. We picked a variety of a la carte items for sharing, and opened with a refreshing chicken tostada with beans, topped by plentiful crisp greens, tomato and crumbled cheese.
An excellent salsa was provided with our dishes, which starts out subtly and then makes its heat known.
Next up was one of the De Fajitas Tacos, fajitas meaning strips of grilled meat. It was topped with lettuce, cheese and tomatoes. We opted for steak, and it was served on a delightfully fresh corn tortilla that practically floated off the plate.
My dining companion always tests Mexican restaurants with a classic burrito, this time going with the De Pastor, featuring pork marinated in seasonings and tangy red sauce, which was mild and savory. He added avocado slices, and his burrito arrived jam-packed with delicious tidbits folded into a flour tortilla. Accompanied by a side of savory Mexican rice, the generously portioned burrito earned high marks and provided plenty to share.
Sharing was not something I wanted to do after biting into my enchilada of mole with chicken. Always a fan of the complex Mexican sauce with its myriad spices and hint of chocolate, I’m often pushing the edge of my tolerance for spiciness, and this recipe hit the sweet spot. I can’t wait to go back for more of the standout dish.
We ordered a Bohemia with our carryout food, for a crisp Mexican flavor accent.
El Taco Grande is a great place to enjoy a meal and the hospitality for which this family-run restaurant has always been known.
• The Mystery Diner is a newsroom employee at the Kane County Chronicle. 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 review.
IF YOU GO
WHAT: El Taco Grande
WHERE: 6 N. River St., Batavia
INFORMATION: Facebook at tinyurl.com/2k2pvxfy