Jalisco, officially Estado Libre y Soberano de Jalisco, is a state that sits by the Pacific Ocean halfway down Mexico. It gave birth to mariachi music, Mexican rodeos, the Mexican Hat Dance, the wide brimmed sombrero and tequila. The region has also bestowed upon us the cuisine that we’ve come to be very familiar with living in New Mexico. El Tapatio is a purveyor of some of the very best from that region – sans the tequila.
There’s a page on their menu that is basically dedicated to seafood, Jalisciense style, which means that you’ll be getting traditionals like mojarra frita: a fried, whole tilapia seasoned with a flavor that resides in the hearts of many whom are familiar with Jalisco style cuisine. Filete al mojo de ajo, another fish dish but one sauteed in garlic sauce with just a few ingredients that render a delectable dish. Also, fish soups. One can never get enough caldo de pescado when it’s cold out. Atop all of this, there are many other dishes centered around the ocean, either fried, sautéed or grilled. When you need to alleviate Saturday night pain but a Sunday cure isn’t readily available, coctel de camarones is a good stand in for menudo. It’s available at El Tapatio in a few different styles plus oysters by the dozen if you need to make it extra strength. If you prefer the turf over the surf, El Tapatio has that covered too.
A parrillada, or Mexican BBQ, should whet any carnivores appetite as it’s a plethora of meats – grilled steak, chicken and sausage served with a stack of corn tortillas, onions and cilantro – what more does a carnivore need in life?
Fajitas, combination plates, relleno plates, burritos, tamales, enchiladas, tacos and tostadas…even burgers and salads if you feel like being a tourist. El Tapatio has it all if an hour long culinary vacation to Jalisco is what you’re looking for.
Don’t think that’s enough? El Tapatio also has a separate menu for desayunos and it’s just as extensive. Omelets, burritos and egg plates that equally cover both American and Mexican tastes. Chilaquiles, migas and machacas which are fried corn tortillas mixed with any combination of eggs, cheese, beans, chile, chorizo, shredded beef, jalapeños, tomatoes and onions. Also, steak, pork chops and chicken fried steak each include eggs if you need an extra shot of protein with your morning joe. French toast and pancakes (with or without the strawberries and pecans) make the menu as well.
There’s something for the under-developed little palates as well – kids have some good choices here. A la carte and dessert menu items are also at hand, which include my personal favorite: tres leches cake. El Tapatio also offers a variety of domestic and Mexican beer, micheladas and wine. Daily specials are common so check in frequently.
If you like Mexican food, notably Jalisciense style Mexican food, then Jorge (the owner) is aiming to please at El Tapatio, located at 3012 N Main, Roswell (575) 578-1915. If you’re in the Ruidoso area, try El Tapatio’s sister restaurant, Jorge’s Cafe located at 2064 W Highway 70 (Billy the Kid Trail), Ruidoso (575) 378-9804. Open everyday 10 a.m. – 10 p.m., breakfast served until 11 a.m.