Beer Journal

A quasi-daily examination of beer and things related to beer.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Eats: Toro Burger

My first trip to Toro Burger (2609 N Mesa St, El Paso, Texas) consisted of these three drinks: Dogfish Head 90 Minute IPA, Brooklyn Lager and Young's Chocolate Stout (for dessert)*. This was a long awaited visit for me, having passed by the place numerous times and it coming recommended by friends just as often. Two of those friends joined me on this visit, providing the necessary third component of a worthwhile dining experience for this reviewer.

*As far as introductions go, that's an opening gambit along the lines of "Smells Like Teen Spirit/In Bloom/Come as You Are".

The menu lists house-created burgers, a roster of fried sides, some salads and milkshakes. Of course, if so desired, you can construct your own burger, selecting from a variety of cheeses, sauces and toppings. I went with the Green Chile Burger*; angus beef topped with a mass of chilés and onions. Along with a pile of sweet potato fries, mine was a more than substantial meal, the heat of the peppers just enough as to not overpower the savory and fruity flavors. Most satisfying was the actual taste of beef - too many places serve up frozen patties that taste like a hamburger but hardly like actual meat; Toro's burgers are robust.

*My dinnermates enjoyed the Veggie and Ultimate Blue Crab, neither of which actually feature hamburger.

The layout of the restaurant is of the nouveau American bistro variety: lots of metal, loud music and multicolored lighting for a purposefully cramped, urban feel. When seated inside, it's a nice look, but the outside seating, unfortunately, rests directly next to the parking lot and only a few yards from a major road. The appropriateness of the décor within context means a lot more to me than the actual aesthetics, so in that sense, Toro Burger's design works in spite of the stripmall location. Moreover, between the grub, drinks and company, the Toro Burger experience is on that I certainly would like to revisit.

(Photo via.)


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