El Toro Mexican Bar and Grill – Dayton, Ohio

Good quality Mexican food is hard to find in the Midwest. El Toro provides good Americanized Mexican cuisine, if you know what to get.

Mexican food has been a passion of mine since I was a kid, all starting at a mall restaurant named Fiesta Bravo.  So it’s good to return to Mexican food when I returned to this blog after a 2 year absence during my COVID-19 down time. While we might not be eating out, I have plenty of pictures and thoughts to share for when things open up again

While I might have been spoiled by real New Mexican and Mexican food from my time in Albuquerque, I have found that American-style Mexican, like that at El Toro can be good if you know what to order. While El Toro caters to Midwest tastes (cheese, conformity and blandness), it has some very good food. It is also part of a local chain and each restaurant has consistent quality.

The lunch specials keep El Toro busy during the week, but we like to stop by here for lunch on Sundays and let the kids watch the cars drive by and eat chips. The chips are very fresh and very good, probably the best in the area. The salsa is reasonably good, but needs some hot sauce.

This is a good quality American style Mexican restaurant. You want get raw authenticity, but you will get good quality food. The decor is good and it is styled with stereotypical Mexican effects. However, Mexican music on the radio adds a very nice real touch and it is great to listen to. I’ve added many songs to my playlist after eating here.

Sizzling Fajitas
Sizzling Fajitas for two…

Sizzling fajitas are the best option. Despite the slight gimmick, the meat and vegetables are excellent. The chicken soup, Caldo de Pollo, is also extremely good and well balanced. Burritos and tacos are good as well, but be warned it automatically comes with the white sauce which often adorns all midwestern Mexican food.

Caldo de Pollo
Caldo de Pollo a favorite for the kids

The bar side of the restaurant is also very good. They have good Mexican beers on tap and their kegs are always very fresh. It’s nice to have a fresh Negra Modelo with a Sunday brunch.

El Toro Bar and Grill
1375 N Fairfield Rd
Dayton, OH 45432
(937) 427-4199
Yelp | Webpage
First Visit: 2016
Most Recent Visit:  12 February 2020
# OF VISITS: 20+
Cuisine Rating:  8
Decoration Rating: 8
COST: $$
BEST BET (meats):  Chorizo, mixed meats
BEST BET (meals): Rice, Soups, Sizzling Fajitas