A small pocket in the far south of Fort Worth, near the intersection of McCart Avenue and Altamesa Boulevard, has become the hub of family restaurants.
There’s Turkey Leg House, where monolithic turkey legs are dipped in mac and cheese and other toppings. Nearby is Wizard’s Burgers, whose excellent namesake dishes made the cover of our “Best New Burgers” article in the August issue. A longtime sausage and soul food company, Sausage Shoppe chose this area to set up shop a few years ago. It’s near Da Crab Trap, a recently opened seafood and Cajun joint. And home cooking is at the Down Home Southern Kitchen, a few yards from the original location of Cousin’s Bar-BQ.
Add to the mix El Torito, a charming new Mexican restaurant whose cuisine and atmosphere are meant to give diners a taste of what it’s like to dine at a restaurant in Mexico, says Tony Silva, who runs the restaurant with his wife, America.
“We tried to think of every little detail to give people the experience of an authentic Mexican restaurant,” he says. “We want people to feel like they’re eating in Mexico.”
The decor, made up of fitted barrel chairs and tables, does a good job of setting the stage for the menu — a mix of both familiar and unfamiliar Mexican dishes.
There’s a wide selection of familiar faces: freshly made burritos, chili rellenos, enchiladas and flautas. One of the restaurant’s best sellers is Enchiladas Suizas, enchiladas stuffed with pulled chicken, tomatillo sauce and sour cream.
But the Silvas also offer plenty for those more attuned to traditional Mexican cuisine, with dishes such as campechana, a handheld, quesadilla-like stuffed pastor; the huarache, a flatbread similar to a pizza topped with your choice of protein; and several traditional Mexican breakfasts, served throughout the day. All are artfully and carefully presented, garnished with zigzags of cream or saddled with little heaps of cilantro – small visual and edible touches that make them a cut above the norm.
“The recipes come from my mother, my grandmother and my wife’s mother and grandmother,” says Tony. “But the little touches are ours. It’s a way of differentiating ourselves, of elevating the culinary experience a little.
The centerpiece of the restaurant is, without a doubt, a self-service salsa bar, stocked with at least half a dozen homemade salsas, ranging from a red chili pepper salsa to a tangy avocado sauce in passing through mild salsas.
“People have such different tastes when it comes to salsa – we wanted to give them as many options as possible,” says Tony. “You might like something light. Someone else at your table might like something warm or heavy. This way we can make everyone happy.
The Torito 6256 McCart Ave.