El Patron Cocina and Bar
I have tried few other entrees at El Patron because I can never get past the delicious, $1.50 tacos. Seriously, since discovering El Patron, all other KC Mexican restaurants are a distant memory. I'm sure they have other great things but, frankly, who cares?! Taco Tuesdays is now a regular part of our weekly routine.
Sitting by itself on Southwest Blvd, El Patron is a tall, regal brick building that brings back the feeling of old KC. The inside is not large, but the high ceilings and big windows in front make it feel roomy. On the left of the entrance is a small bar that is often full at happy hour, and to the right is a long row of booths that provide comfortable seating. There are also tables and few booths to the left in the back. The walls are exposed brick and there are several original paintings on the wall giving the room a warm, artsy vibe. At night small candles on the tables emit a warm glow. Mexican music at a comfortable volume plays in the background.
The service here is very casual, as expected, but always friendly, which I find commendable when the food is only $1. If it were me, Taco Tuesdays would make me pretty grumpy :) That said, I can say that we've been to El Patron on Taco Tuesday maybe 10 times and every time our order is wrong when it comes to the table. EVERY TIME. But, hey, it's part of the charm, no? In all fairness, we do order a lot of tacos. It's most likely not like that when you order regular entrees.
As you sit down you are brought a bowl of tortilla chips that are both warm and crunchy, but never greasy. I don't know how they do that! We usually go through at least 2 bowls of them. With the chips are 2 kinds of salsa, mild and spicy, both of which are pureed, as opposed to chunky, and both of which are very good. Personally, we prefer the spicy. Now, keep in mind that we are only reviewing the tacos here but, OMG these are quite possibly the best tacos ever! For starters, you have your choice of ground beef, shredded beef, chicken, and al pastor (diced pork in a spicy red sauce). Then, you can specify corn or flour tortillas, and whether you want them hard or soft. Basically, this is a taco lover's dream! When the tacos arrive, which is usually very quickly, they are absolutely stuffed with meat, and the meat inside is cooked in that down-home style, spicy, flavorful, moist, and delicious. It oozes out of the shell as you take a bite. In fact, sometimes there is so much meat I am in need of a little more shell. I use the tortilla chips. On top of the meat there is usually a little lettuce, cheese, maybe diced onions, but never too much to overpower the taco. The al pastor is served with a slice of lime, which is tasty when squirted over the top. The hard tacos are, again, crunchy but never greasy. No matter how many times I eat these tacos, I am always surprised by their deliciousness. Sadly, I can only eat 3. However, we are seriously considering coming twice on Tuesdays, lunch and dinner, so I can eat my fill. It's cheaper than eating at home!
The restaurant seems very clean. The bathrooms are a little scruffy, but not dirty.
Delicious tacos at $1.50 a piece. What else do you need?! OK, nice atmosphere and friendly service too. They also have good mojitos ($6)
Taco Tuesday gets busy after 6pm, at 8pm it's a circus. Better to go early or during the day. Our order is always wrong when it comes to the table.