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Antojitos el Toril (the new Mexican place on Cottage Grove)

Where are you eating and what do you think? What's opening, closing, succeeding, failing?

Antojitos el Toril (the new Mexican place on Cottage Grove)

Postby cubanat » Mon Sep 18, 2006 4:01 pm

This place was awesome. Small, clean, and delicious-what more could you ask for on a Monday afternoon? For $5.25 I got a plate of tacos garnished with limes, ruby-red radishes & peeled cucumbers! The steak was lean and tasty, the pork was marinated in a mild red sauce, and the chorizo was perfectly greasy (not overly dripping out) and the tastiest of the three. I also got a pork gordita that was masterfully put together with tender bits of pork. shredded queso blanco & real Mexican crema placed in a lightly fried corn bun that was warm, crisp, and just beautiful! The chips were fresh & thick cut. I liked the tomatillo salsa better than the salsa rojo and the horchata was the best I've had in the state. In all the meal came to just over $11 for the 3 tacos, 1 gordita, and 2 glasses of horchata (plus free chips & salsas to start). My new favorite Mexican restaurant in Madison, hands down. Pelayos is now my 2nd. Pastor drops to 3rd.
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Postby massimo » Mon Sep 18, 2006 4:18 pm

Compelling. I'll have to give it a shot.
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Postby cubanat » Mon Sep 18, 2006 4:46 pm

make sure I've got the name correct when you visit. The nice server/cook didn't have a menu that I could take and I was in a food-coma when I got in my car.
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Postby massimo » Mon Sep 18, 2006 4:53 pm

cubanat wrote:make sure I've got the name correct when you visit. The nice server/cook didn't have a menu that I could take and I was in a food-coma when I got in my car.

I think you can get into that discussion here.
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Postby cubanat » Mon Sep 18, 2006 5:08 pm

Yeah, but then as usual it turns into a crappy-food diatribe from the usual suspects. I like burritos and tequila as much as the next person, but as far as taquerias go--I don't want them there & then. I guess that is my taste and therefore my problem. All I know is that this place rocks its tacos and other small plate stuff. The rest of the people can have their chi-chis, laredos and mexicrappi rose - I'll be at Antojitos el Toril stuffing my face and washing it all down with an ice-cold horchata.
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Postby aaron » Tue Sep 19, 2006 8:27 am

What a review! I have to try it...

How do you get there? (I don't think I've ever even been on Cottage Grove Road...)
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Postby juanton » Tue Sep 19, 2006 8:47 am

I had some tacos from this place at last weekend's Mexican Independence Day thingee. They rocked. The tostadas were tasty too.

I have to say, 5 years ago there was a mexican restaurant drought in this city. Now, we are experiencing a Milwaukee/Chicago style Mexican restaurant onslaught. Woo hoo.
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Postby GenieU » Tue Sep 19, 2006 1:00 pm

aaron wrote:What a review! I have to try it...

How do you get there? (I don't think I've ever even been on Cottage Grove Road...)


Cruise down Atwood until it becomes Monona drive. Turn left onto Cottage Grove at the Walgreen's. Drive about a quarter mile or so- Antojitos will be on the right-if you go as far as Highway 51 you've gone too far...
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Postby bekee » Tue Sep 19, 2006 4:30 pm

cubanat wrote:I'll be at Antojitos el Toril stuffing my face and washing it all down with an ice-cold horchata.


they ddn't have horchata when i went a month ago. do they now?
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Postby cubanat » Tue Sep 19, 2006 11:33 pm

now that you mention it, I don't think I saw it on the menu--I just asked for it.
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Postby Bellwether » Mon Sep 25, 2006 7:15 pm

Just back from there... my gordita wasn't fully fried, and was doughy inside. Someone should also mention that the chicken has absolutely no seasoning at all. I was disappointed. The pork taco my partner had was okay, though -- slightly more expensive than El Pastor sans cheese and/or sour cream.

Saw Pelayo's on the way home; will try that later in the week. Based on the high recommendations for this restaurant, though, I have some trepidation as to trusting you guys on that one, now. :)
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Postby juanton » Tue Sep 26, 2006 9:11 am

I went back to their restaurant after enjoying their pork tacos and tostadas at one of the Mexican Independence Day things and it was horrible. I had the Chicken Flautas and they were tasteless. The rice and beans were awful too. The beans were almost liquid.

Pelayo's is way better. The two restaurants aren't even in the same league.
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Postby cubanat » Tue Sep 26, 2006 11:40 am

So apparently there may be some consistency issues here--show me a restaurant besides McD's that doesn't have them and I'll eat there for my 10-14 meals I eat out per week. I will admit though that I never eat/order the rice & beans at any Mexican resto that I go to. I just think it's filler. As for the gordita that I have had there, it is lightly fried for sure BUT the inside is perfectly warm & doughy (not raw though) That to me is expert frying. I did use their salsa verde to season it up though. I'll try it again this week and report back.
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Postby TAsunder » Tue Sep 26, 2006 12:02 pm

Bellwether wrote:Just back from there... my gordita wasn't fully fried, and was doughy inside. Someone should also mention that the chicken has absolutely no seasoning at all. I was disappointed. The pork taco my partner had was okay, though -- slightly more expensive than El Pastor sans cheese and/or sour cream.


That sounds like my reaction to La Hacienda. Although I must admit to not being a big fan of el pastor either.
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Postby Bellwether » Tue Sep 26, 2006 12:25 pm

cubanat wrote:BUT the inside is perfectly warm & doughy (not raw though) That to me is expert frying.


This was dough. Not cooked. I guess that's what you're calling raw.

Not a big fan of La Hacienda, either (like you, Torn). Perhaps I've just been lucky at El Pastor, but all summer we went a couple times a week and never got a bummer meal.

Used to love Laredo's (west side) back in the pre-mural days, the quesadilla roja was excellent. Not even on the menu anymore, and as others have said, the food is only just okay. The price has increased (almost double on some dishes), but the quality has decreased. The price of popularity? The place is almost always packed.

Gringas at La Concha, that's a wonderfully greasy and satisfying plate. It's the only way I eat radishes. The sandwiches are so huge I can't think of ordering one, though we split one one day -- didn't like the fried pork tenderloin on it. Grilled, as the gringas pork is, would have been a better choice. Never tried the breakfast.

Mexicali Rose isn't great, but my earlier point was that it's not to be disparaged simply because there's one in the Dells. Love being able to sit outside to hear live music. Period. More places should do this. Like the chips, dislike the salsa, the meal is fine. Not great, but not the worst I've had by a long shot.

There's a little place on Park Street, not far south from where Fish Hatchery branches off, on the east side of the street, looks like an old house. Dunno the name, but it was really flavorful the time we stopped in there.

Ate at Marimar after some friends on the block recommended it, and it was okay. Not as good, in our experience, as El Pastor -- but we are big fans of cilantro <g> -- and slightly more expensive, sans cheese and sour cream. Hint: The white metal door isn't marked, but you can get in that way. The big glass window into the other hallway isn't marked, but it slides and you can get in that way as well.

Casa de Lara (Fish Hatch) outdoors is okay, I enjoy drinking there and watching the geese and muskrat in the drainage pond (they really need to aerate that). The food is fine, not great, at least not the things I've had. I haven't eaten everything.

I don't consider Chili's to be Mexican (and my partner looks at me like I'm from another planet when I say so). I prefer Chipotle hardshell tacos over Qdoba's, but Chipotle has no taco salad (though I do not eat the shell, so a naked burrito *should* in theory work... never done that). I consider both of them to be "fast food" and about as representative of Mexican as McDonald's or Wendy's is representative of American. In spite of that, they are still tasty enough if you're honest with yourself about what you're eating. :-)

On the list: Abuelo's and Pelayo's. Never been to either of them, yet.
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