el puerto mexican restaurant

I generally try to find a truck to fill up half of the picture. This one's perfect.

I generally try to find a truck to fill up half of the picture. This one’s perfect.

My princess and I have been dating for a little over seven years. I know. I know what you’re thinking. Why would anyone be with me for longer than seven days? I’m not really sure, either, but I’m very glad I’ve fooled her for so long. Her parents live in the far north suburbs, and recently we drove up to hang out with them for a nice sunny Saturday afternoon and evening.

Seeing that their daughter has been dating such a fine catch for a while, what better way to capture my heart than through some Mexican food? So, we headed to El Puerto Mexican Restaurant in Fox Lake.

El Puerto is located right on Fox Lake. I’ve always loved hanging around water. Whether it’s watching the waves crash on an ocean beach, watching a river flow relentlessly by, or the calm waters of a lake, I love the atmosphere of being on or around water. El Puerto has a great patio that overlooks the water, where you can watch boats buzz around the lake or drive right up to the dock and catch a meal. It’s the kind of atmosphere where you feel at peace, and everybody around is in a chipper mood.

So, with such a great start to the day, did El Puerto deliver when it came to their food?

Absolutely!

Don’t get me wrong, El Puerto isn’t doing anything Earth-shattering, or blazing any new trails. But, they do everything right and the food is a perfect match for the setting. The food and menu is simple, but they execute it very well. I tried all three tacos: the steak, the ground beef and the chicken.

The steak is my favorite. It has a nice charcoal grill taste and the meat is tender and juicy. It contains a nice amount of meat and is topped with lettuce, tomato and cheese.

The chicken is also very good. It isn’t dry like a lot of chicken tacos. It’s got a little marinade that gives it a little kick too. I’m normally scared of chicken tacos, but this one is simple and very flavorful.

Likewise, the ground beef taco is tasty. I don’t order a lot of ground beef tacos, but this one is one worth trying. It doesn’t taste like Taco Bell or your mom’s packet seasoning you grew up with. It kind of tastes like Mexican Sloppy Joe…in a good way. I was pleasantly surprised.

Maybe it was the atmosphere, or maybe it was the great company, but this place really impressed me. It’s simple, yet everything is done with great attention and the food is excellent. I will definitely go back.

After finishing our meals, we proceeded to go out for the evening, where my princess inexplicably ordered shot after shot of Fireball Whiskey. She, and her father, ended up re-tasting their meals later, but that’s a story for another blog…

On to the next episode.El Puerto Mexican Restaurant tacos

  • Location:  200 Forest Ave., Fox Lake, IL (Chain O’ Lakes)
  • Tourists:  Josh, Julia, Bingo, Lisa
  • Tacos sampled:  steak, ground beef, chicken (th….th…that’s all folks)
  • Toppings:  lettuce, tomato, cheese
  • Salsa:  salsa roja
  • Extras:  chips
  • Tortillas:  corn or flour
  • Atmosphere:  lake, Northwoods feel, calm, boats, blanco
  • Price:  $1.95/ea.
  • OVERALL RATING: 7.75
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