Initial Visit: October 21st, 2014
Rating: 4.25/5
Price: $

Description: So much food. So many memories.

El Mexicano is one of those places that was located in a weird spot. It was on the corner of a street away from a commercial district but not quite in a residential area.

Tim, Matt, and I pulled up for an early dinner one evening and were greeted by some friendly workers. We placed our orders at the counter and took a seat at one of the few empty tables. There were a few others in the restaurant but due to the sheer small size, it felt packed with just the few of us in there. As with a lot of Mexican places, we had our food out in front of us before we even had time to really dig in to a random topic. Not only was it cooked exceptionally fast but the sheer amount of food was borderline nonsense for the price we paid.

You gotta start somewhere, so I started by eating the extra goodies that came with my burrito. It was a combination of rice, refried beans (?) and some salad stuff topped with sour cream, I think. Scarfing down the sides was easy as the food was pretty good aside from the bean paste stuff. That was a bit dry.

After priming my stomach for the main course by downing the side stuff, I used my fork and knife to cut in to the burrito. As is the norm at these places, the burritos are massive. Like, this is half the size of a loaf of bread. It’s gut-busting sized. But, I was able to use my knife and fork to shovel down most of the burrito. I had to tap out at about 1/4 left as I just couldn’t do it. The food was just too much. I think my meal was under $10 so to get full for that much is an incredible value in my book. The burrito was on par with the side stuff. It was good, if not borderline great. El Mexicano would’ve definitely been a place I would revisit if they were still open.

It didn’t help that we put down a ton of chips and salsa in between bites as well. I love chips and salsa. Matt was in the same boat as me. Unable to finish. Tim was the victor and put down all his stuff and then some more of the chips and salsa. The man is a beast when he wants to be.

So, it was a sad day when I was doing some searching around on Google and discovered El Mexicano had closed. Here is a link to an article the local newspaper did on it closing, if you are interested. I was surprised to see it had been in the area for 16 years. At that point, it becomes a staple to the area.

Update: It appears El Mexicano is back open. Hurray!

1520 NE Jefferson St
Peoria, IL 61603
(309) 636-8858

Yelp: https://www.yelp.com/biz/el-mexicano-peoria