**** (4 stars)
I had avoided this restaurant for many years after a bad experience when they first opened, but I’m glad I decided to try it again. It’s a pretty interesting Mexican restaurant, particularly considering it’s in a tourist area where it doesn’t need to be all that good.
I admit I started with the Presidente Margarita, which at 24 ounces may have favorably colored my experience of the rest of the meal! It was much too sweet, but a plate of lime wedges fixed that.
I started with the nachos, a generous serving to say the least. I don’t like bean and meat on my nachos, so I had them without that, and they were really good–even though I usually want melted cheese, not queso on nachos. There was a generous mound of pickled jalapenos on top, and they were just the right degree of spiciness.
After all those nachos, I just had a single taco al pastor. It was very authentic, with two corn tortillas, bits of pineapple, and just the right level of spice in the marinade.
Even though I was full, I couldn’t pass up a dessert special, bunuelos. This was a stack of three deep-fried flour tortillas coated in sugar and cinnamon and topped with vanilla ice cream. It was really excellent, very freshly made and crisp, with the perfect combination of sweet and salty, crisp and chewy, hot and cold. A dessert home run.
I really enjoyed my lunch, which was not cheap, but was just what I wanted. Everyone else in the place was taking advantage of the lunch buffet, which is a good deal, especially for a tourist area.
Service was attentive and friendly, and the place is nicely decorated. I will definitely return.
El Patron Restaurante Mexicano
12167 S Apopka Vineland Rd
Orlando, FL 32836