Taunton — It’s taken three years, but this past Sunday marked the opening of the El Mariachi restaurant at 44 Taunton Green. Located directly across the street from the city’s historic centerpiece, El Mariachi can rightly claim its own bit of history by being the first authentic Mexican restaurant to open in or around the Silver City.
The menu consists of a cornucopia of all things Mexican, from quesadilla camarones (sautéed shrimp with red sauce and cheese), to burritos, enchiladas and chimichangas. Some menu items perhaps not as familiar to fans of Mexican food include red snapper huapango, puerco asado (pork loin steak with guacamole) and tortilla chicken soup.
Desserts such as deep-fried ice cream and freshly baked flan topped with caramel and coffee liqueur are likely to satiate anyone with a sweet tooth. Lunch and dinner prices start at about $7 and top out at less than $20. All of the water used in both the bar and restaurant is filtered through a machine located in the basement, which also contains a prep station and walk-in coolers.
El Cantina bar, officially listed as 47 Taunton Green, is in the ground floor of an attached building and is accessible by a walkway near the restaurant’s waiting area. The bar area, unlike the restaurant which can hold up to 180 diners, has five flat-screen TVs tuned into Red Sox and other sports. It will also eventually be outfitted with Wi-Fi wireless Internet service.
The restaurant, however, is completely Mexican in character, with maricahi music playing through speakers, imported candelabras and hand-woven straw hats hanging from the ceiling and murals and paintings on the walls depicting Mexican culture and history. The Lopez brothers Jose, Arturo and David, in 2006 pooled their resources and paid $625,000 for both the former C.F. Foster’s clothing store building and its attached building.
They ran into problems in the summer of 2008 when work was halted after the board of health ordered them to properly dispose of asbestos being torn out of the buildings. They complied and spent more than another $600,000 in the process of bringing everything up to code, trucking the hazardous material off site and installing all new plumbing and electrical systems.
Looking back on the sacrifices he and his brothers have made, Jose Lopez said it’s been worth the effort. “Everything is good now,” he said. Lopez, who grew up in a town outside of Guadalajara, is also co-owner of an Acapulcos restaurant in Norwood with brother-in-law David Brambila, who is the owner of a dozen other Acapulcos, as well as Ixtapa restaurant in North Dartmouth.
El Mariachi "Family Mexican Restaurant" | www.elmariachimexicanrestaurant.com
44 Taunton Green. Tauton, Massachusets & 620 Washington st. South Easton, Ma. 02375