El Patron Mexican Restaurant – #5 on the Return Tour

This is not fair. Why would anyone go to a restaurant proudly stating they make authentic mexican food and order a gin and tonic. There is something perverse and unpleasant about the concept.

But that’s what  I do. I go to every place with a bar and get a gin and tonic. It’s really a dumb thing when you consider it.

The place is open and airy and filled with the kind of folk art you expect in a Mexican joint. It was two on a Saturday afternoon and the place was half full. The food looked great.

The guy greeted me and I asked for a gin and tonic, but really fast, like I ask for it all the time, so it came out like “ginandtonicplease.” The guy blinked and said, “Uhm, is that with Vodka.” I shook my head. “Gin” He gave me a puzzled look and went away for a minute.

He returned and made me a drink. I saw him pour from a gin bottle, I saw the lime go in. I saw him squirt from the fountain nozzle. I paid seven forty four. And then I took a sip.


Let’s try that again.

Yeah. Huh.

It was sweet, almost like Seven Up. But no, it was tonic. But where was the gin. I think I could taste it. I have had many gin and tonics. Some good. Some bad. Some odd. This was the first one that tasted like a gin inspired soft drink.

But then the bartender gave me the complimentary chips and salsa and all was forgiven. In 150 plus bars, this was the first time I got free food. And the salsa was excellent.

There are places that are bars where you drink and there are places that have bars where you eat and have a drink. This is the latter.

I hear they make amazing margueritas. Their selection of tequilas was good. I have planned to get here for the food, and those plans have not changed.

A friendly open place. Do come. Don’t order the gin and tonic.

You can find El Patron at 192 Harding Street


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