El Toro Bravo

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eltoro.jpg fajitas.jpgSteak Fajitas and Taco Platter

Location
237 D Street
Just down from Crepeville and Burgers and Brew
Hours
11am to 11pm daily
Phone
(530) 750-2500
Owner
Burgers and Brew, Inc.
Established
2012-12-16

El Toro Bravo has recently replaced Baja Fresh on Third Street. The eatery is owned by Burgers and Brew, Inc., the same company that owns Crepeville and Burgers and Brew. They serve beer and wine along with Mexican food.

The name of the restaurant means [wikipedia]The Fighting Bull.

The restaurant is smallish with a decent amount of street seating. Interestingly, they have small annex (if that's the word) that's open-air but flush with the building. Lunch appears to be an order-at-the-counter affair, like Burgers and Brew, and (also like Burgers and Brew) they don't allow split checks. Most plates are in the $8-10 range, while individual tacos are $1.95 apiece. Most of the beers on tap are Mexican imports (XX, Negra Modelo, Tecate, etc.), although they do have rotating domestic micro brew selections such as Racer 5 and Lagunitas IPA, etc. They don't have margaritas or Mexican drinks, like the ubiquitous [WWW]horchata.

liqour license.jpgEarly days: their application for license to sell beer and wine.

Early comments praise their chips, which are light and crispy. Their tasty beans are vegetarian.

Check your take-out order before you leave; they may forget things, and they are inconsistent when responding to take-out problems (see comments below).

Photos

etb3.jpgInterior of restaurant. Photo by Jon Colling. etb1.jpgInterior of restaurant. Photo by Jon Colling.

Menu

Click on one of these images:

Menu-1.jpg Menu-2.jpg Menu-3.jpg Menu-4.jpg menu2.jpgSreak Tacos no longer available

Or you can download the whole PDF at once in higher quality: El Toro Bravo Menu.pdf

Comments:

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2012-10-03 17:00:43   Does anyone know how this place is doing and/or have any photos of the interior and exterior? I don't live in the area anymore but am curious! —EliseKane


2012-12-16 16:54:09   They are now open today. My girlfriend and I just ate there, and we didn't know that today was their first day =P I had the taco platter with one each of fish, chicken, and shrimp. The chicken taco was good, the fish taco was made with tilapia and very delicious, and the shrimp taco had yellow squash in it, and was absolutely delicious. It came with beans and a lightly lime flavored rice. My girlfriend got the chicken nachos - the portion was sizable, and it had guacamole, sour cream, refried beans, and more on it. She thought they were delicious, and I tried a couple and concur =)
Service was great as well - everyone was very friendly and checked back a few times to make sure that everything was good.
I regret I forgot to take a picture of the menu to post here, however =( I guess that means you'll have to go see for yourself! Oh, and the prices were very reasonable - $16 for the two of us. —GeorgeGoro


2012-12-20 11:31:55   Went with a co-worker on Tuesday night. The chips are soooo good.They come with a black bean dip and really good salsa. I had the chile verde...excellent. So, much flavor and very tender. The lime rice was a little under done but had good flavor. My co-worker had the steak nachos. At the end she had quite a few bits of steak left and I asked her if she didn't like it, she said no the opposite it was really good but there was more than I could eat. Very attentive service. Want to go back and try the chile rellenos.... —LokiAbbi


2012-12-20 15:46:48   The food at this place is really good. The chips and salsa are probably the best in Davis. I tried an enchilada, which was excellent. It came in a tasty, thick, green sauce. Very different from anything I've had on an enchilada previously.

Service was very good, despite it being very crowded. It seems like some of the staff are still learning what to do, but the place just opened, so that isn't surprising. Some of the furniture appears to come straight from Burgers and Brew.

Prices are similar to Burgers and Brew, and somewhat higher than Crepeville.

I think that this place is going to do very well. —IDoNotExist


2012-12-22 14:40:43   Just left here about 40 minutes ago with a togo order for some Steak Nachos and a side of chips and Salsa. Service was attentive, even though it was togo they pointed me in the direction of all their flavored waters, and the order was ready in less than 10 minutes. Nachos were packed full and I'm going to get two meals out of this. Steak was lean and cut small and it was very full of guac and sour cream. Really yummy, reminding me somewhat of Dos Nachos but better quality of meat and less greasy on the cheese side. The chips are really good and obviously made in house. The bean dip was very pleasing and the tomato salsa was good but could have used more salt, acid and heat IMO.

Overall, its going to be another hit for this growing empire. The owner, (don't know his name) was there and was friendly to me and my daughter and obviously looking over things as they are still quite new. He has totally delivered to the Davis scene and having three places so close together is smart and allows him to oversee all of them easily at the same time. I'm thinking its a welcome addition and I look forward to going back for dine in and some beers.

(Update) Have been here twice since this initial comment and have had nothing but a very good experience. Have tried a few salads and various taco's in the taco plate and have left very happy. Racer 5 on tap makes me smile and we have had some good red wines as well. Service has been excellent each time we have been there and this is definitely a new favorite. Food has come out fresh and quick and we will be coming here often.


2012-12-28 09:33:37   I went here last night with a group of 6 to celebrate a couple of birthdays. I like it a lot, and I think it's going to do well. The food is quite good. Prices are comparable to most other Mexican restaurants in town, and a couple of dollars cheaper than the nicer sit-down places like Tres Hermanas.

Food: I had the fajita combination (chicken, steak, and shrimp). Delicious. The tortillas were fresh and hot and all of the fixings were excellent. I love their refried beans, and the cilantro and lime on the rice is a nice touch. Several people at the table got the taco plate, which is any three tacos with rice and beans for about $8. Everyone seemed to enjoy their tacos a lot. The enchiladas also looked tasty. They have both a red sauce and a creamy, slightly green sauce which they said was pretty mild. The beer selection includes a bunch of Mexican imports (XX, Tecate, Negra Modelo, Corona), as well as Racer 5 on tap. It sounded like they had a few wine options. No hard alcohol yet, so no margaritas. It sounded like they're working on that. The chips are really nice - great texture, just right on the salt. They come with a black bean dip and a medium salsa (they said they have hot available as well), both of which are delicious. The salsas could come in larger bowls, though; they run out pretty quickly.

Service: Very good, but with a few little kinks still to work out. They were extremely friendly and attentive. They forgot to bring us menus initially, and one person's food was delayed a few minutes, but otherwise it was all very good. I imagine in a few weeks they'll have it ironed out. It's a definite improvement over Burgers and Brew. No idea whether they do split checks.

Setting: The restaurant is quite small. I was surprised on walking in there. They do have a decent amount of sidewalk seating that'll be nice once the weather warms a bit, and there's also a covered alcove area at the side of the restaurant that's got a big heater and is open to the street. It looked like a nice area to hang out in the evening to enjoy a beer and do some people watching.

Overall: There are several Mexican places in town that I like a lot, and this one joined the list. I'll definitely be back. —TomGarberson


2013-01-05 22:48:55   Updating my comment to reflect two vastly different experiences.

First experience, January 5: We picked up food to go tonight. Got home and discovered they forgot mango on my salad. Called them and someone (I think the manager) delivered the mango AND threw in free flan and churros - extremely nice of them. Everything was delicious! Had a bite of my partner's house salad, which was pretty good, but my Cancun salad was AMAZING. I am so glad I called about the missing mango because it really made the whole dish. Also, I liked that they packaged all the nacho toppings separately** (**they apparently no longer do this) because it kept the chips from getting soggy on the ride home. The guac and pico that come with the nachos could be more generous, but the tasty beans and sour cream provided were good portions. Will definitely be a repeat customer.

Second experience, March 23: Picked up food to go, got home and discovered they forgot the sour cream and spicy guac that was supposed to come with my partner's quesadilla. He called and the person on the phone said "I'll have the manager call you back." Waited 20 minutes, no call - so he called again. The manager said "I'm too busy to talk right now with the dinner rush, I'll call you in an hour." Seriously? What a ridiculous response. Sure, I'll just sit here while my food gets cold and soggy! Here's a hint: if you have time to talk to people placing orders for pickup, you have time to talk to someone whose order you f'ed up. When the manager finally called back, the only thing he could offer was for us to come pick up a replacement. Soooo why did we wait more than 90+ minutes from the first call to get that solution? Why did you not have 30 seconds during the first or the second call to say that? How is that acceptable? P.S. The cancun salad was way overdressed/slimy and the nacho toppings were not packed separately as they were last time so all the chips were soggy by the time we got home.

Bottom line, if you decide to do takeout here, check and make sure your order is complete and correct before you leave. —MeggoWaffle


2013-02-07 20:42:26   Walked in around lunch time today and immediately noticed the active atmosphere of the restaurant. People looked happy and chatty and seemed to be enjoying their food. The staff greeted us warmly and were patient with us while we were looking at the menu. There are two cash registers so ordering was a quick process. I had the Chile Colorado with a Blue Moon and my friend something similar. We were invited to sit in any open table and the beer was brought to us promptly. I was very surprised at how quickly the food came out of the kitchen. It literally took three minutes. The food quality is 5 stars; coming from a Mexican household that cooks traditional Mexican dishes, I can say the food here (or at least the plate I had) is 100% authentic with delicious "Mexican" flavors. The complementary bean dip with salsa was particularly tasty, and the crispy but not-too-salty nachos certainly deserve a commendation. Depending on the dish you order - such as the Chile Colorado - you may get complementary tortillas, however I opted out of them so I cannot attest to their quality. It wasn't too noisy or too quiet for us; it was just right. We stayed the entire hour from 12 to 1:00 p.m. and did not sense any pressure from the restaurant staff to leave the table, despite the smallish size of the establishment and an influx of customers during the time we were there. And if you're wondering, yes they bus your table. We left satiated and happy. The staff will "thank you for coming" on your way out. Will visit again. —BrentCarcamo


2013-02-15 13:52:50   I picked up a veggie burrito to go a little while ago. Luckily I was eating it with a knife and fork because about half way through I found a piece of meat (I'm a vegetarian). I would have brought it back but I was back at work so just ended up tossing the rest since I was kind of grossed out. Not real happy about the lack of quality control and separation of ingredients. I have eaten here once before, at the restaurant, and the food (chile relleno) was good and what it was supposed to be. Can't say I'll be very trusting of them if I return, though. —CindiDrake


2013-04-28 14:34:35   Similar to CindiDrake, when I ate here my vegetarian burrito had a prawn in it :( —Psittacosaurus


2013-06-27 10:45:50   Love the savory quesadilla. The chips with salsa and the black beans are yummy and so fresh. —LokiAbbi


2014-01-19 12:52:19   First, the good: The greeter guy is very upbeat and personable. The tacos are pretty good, but feature limited meat choices. The vegetarian tacos really hit the spot when I'm craving nutrients — where else can you get a taco packed with eggplant? The bean dip and chips really sets this place apart from the other taquerias. The chorizo breakfast burritos are so so; I prefer the ones at La Chicana.

The bad:
They always get my burrito orders wrong. Last time I phone-ordered a steak burrito with no sour cream; the lady repeated it back to me and clarified on "hold the sour cream"/ "no sour cream" twice — my burrito came back as a basic burrito with plenty of sour cream in it.
I was very disappointed. I'll only be coming back for veggie tacos. —hanknguyen


2014-02-02 13:55:34   So delicious! And such great prices. I will be going back for those a la carte tacos many times in my life. —jenb

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