Sometimes making it through an entire day at the office seems like it deserves a prize. Dealing with a stubborn boss, clueless co-workers and all the traffic during the commute can make an eight-hour day feel like it lasts a week. Well, luckily, if you live or work in the greater Portland area, there is a prize waiting for you: El Tapatio. This family-owned restaurant chain serves delicious, authentic Mexican food all day long. So give yourself a boost, give yourself something to look forward to all morning. Treat yourself to an amazing Mexican lunch and spend the rest of the day with a smile on your face.
Built from the ground up: Not only does El Tapatio serve fantastic food, the brand also has a pretty incredible origin story. The man who founded El Tapatio is named Efren Guitron. He grew up in a sleepy little town in the middle of the state of Jalisco, Mexico. This town, named Cuautla, is so small, it almost never even appears on maps of the region! If you want to get an idea, it is nestled about halfway between Puerto Vallarta and Guadalajara. Guitron, like the hero of an old fairy tale, decided to leave home to make his fortune. He moved to the United States in 1970 in hopes of finding a bright future. He contacted relatives he had living in Seattle, Washington, and they hired him to work for them at their Mexican restaurant. He worked there for ten years, learning everything he could about owning and operating a restaurant and also being taught the family recipes. In the fall of 1980, he decided to use these family recipes, that had been passed down from one generation to another, to open his own restaurant. He opened it in Milwaukie, Oregon, and called it El Tapatio. He was dedicated and determined to make the venture a success. He ran the entire operation by himself for five whole years. He was the server, the cook, and the dishwasher as well as the owner and bookkeeper. He strove to always serve amazing food and to give his customers a great dining experience and atmosphere. All that hard work paid off. After five years, he had lines of customers waiting outside El Tapatio to get a table. He expanded, hired staff, began to open new locations, and today, he is the proud owner of 16 El Tapatio restaurants in the greater Portland area, as well as branches in California and Washington.
When you’re there, you’ll feel like family
Guitron made a commitment way back in 1980 when opened his first restaurant. He wanted his guests to feel completely relaxed and welcome, like they are eating at their grandma’s house. Even though the business has expanded, he maintains that same standard of customer service. To that end, every El Tapatio restaurant is well-maintained and has friendly, colorful decor. It will be a welcome splash of fun and color in the middle of your work day.
Dedication to authentic, quality Mexican recipes
Guitron believes great food starts with amazing recipes and quality ingredients. El Tapatio advertises boldly that it does not use canned ingredients. Each dish is prepared fresh when ordered. In addition to using high-quality ingredients, Guitron and his team decided it was time to alter their cooking methods to give their customers a healthier option. A few years ago they adapted their methods of preparing and cooking their meats to make them healthier. They completely eliminated lard from all of their recipes, opting for vegetable oil or canola oil instead. They also stocked their kitchens and their tables with natural sea salt instead of processed table salt. They made these changes gradually, experimenting with every recipe to make sure each dish would still taste as delicious and authentic as possible. This means choosing El Tapatio for lunch will give you a boost of energy, not a grease-induced food coma.
Extensive menu with options for everyone
El Tapatio’s menu contains Jalisco flavors in recognizable, traditional Mexican dishes. You’ll find all of your favorites, from guacamole, nachos, or quesadillas on the appetizer menu, to burritos, enchiladas, tostadas, and fajitas on the main dish menu. With dozens of options for different meats, fish or vegetarian dishes, you and all of your colleagues will definitely find something that piques your interest. Now that they no longer use lard, El Tapatio is a great option for vegetarians and with a few substitutions, it is also suitable for vegan and gluten-free diners. If you are having trouble deciding what to try, Guitron is especially proud of the molcajete. This dish comes with your choice of meat served in a hot stone mortar (or bowl) along with beans, radishes, fresh roasted jalapeños, sautéed cactus and three different types of cheese. And of course every table is greeted with chips and salsa and every main dish is served with rice and your choice of beans. The prices for a main dish start at only $8.99, making El Tapatio a bargain. Between the fresh ingredients, healthy cooking methods, amazing flavors, and reasonable prices, your body, taste buds and wallet will all go back to work satisfied after a lunch at El Tapatio.
Cater your next lunch meeting and make an impression
El Tapatio offers a full catering service that can be picked up or delivered to your location. If you want to ingratiate yourself to your boss and your colleagues, why not bring lunch to them for the next meeting? You can choose between a taco bar, the burrito boxes or a catered buffet. El Tapatio has dozens of options on their catering menu, including appetizers and desserts and can work with you and your budget to make sure you get a big bang for your buck. Tell them how many guests you are expecting and they will also include disposable plates, napkins and cutlery for everybody. Your next presentation will really stand out and make a big impression if your boss sees it while enjoying a delicious, fresh burrito! For more information, visit their website: www.eltapatiocuisine.com.