After 23 years of cooking in other restaurateur‘s kitchens, Juan Carlos Avalos finally made his dream come true. He and his family transformed the old, short lived, not so great El Rodeo on the corner of West Main and Radford Rd in downtown Christiansburg into the wonderful new El Bronco Mexican Bar and Grill. Since its grand opening 4 weeks ago, Bernie and I have eaten there 5 times and have sent quite a few guests there too. Rave reviews from all!
Our first visit was for lunch on a Sunday. It was pretty crowded but we were seated quickly and given chips and salsa. We ordered a chicken fajita to share. The chicken was juicy with just the right amount of seasoning. It came with 5 tortillas, both refried beans and rice and a salad with a generous portion of guacamole. So many Mexican restaurants are way to stingy with their guacamole and I love guacamole.
On our next visit we got brave and decided to order dishes that we had never had before. Bernie ordered the pork carnitas and I tried the ceviche. OMG The pork was so tender that it practically melted in your mouth. The ceviche was diced fish, tomato, cilantro, jalapeno,cucumber, radish and onions mixed together and served atop 3 tostadas. Super yummy. OK, now for the true test of a good Mexican restaurant. We asked if they had flan for dessert and if they made it in-house. Yes! We split the creamiest flan either of us have ever had.
We had lunch there again today. I tried the shrimp cocktail, not your average appetizer shrimp cocktail but the chef’s special shrimp cocktail meal. About a dozen shrimp come in a Margarita goblet filled with jalapenos, tomatoes, cilantro, onion and diced avocado and a mouth watering sauce. It’s sort of like a super duper Mexican gazpacho. I’m sure by now you have guessed that we love this place.
Restaurants tend to come and go in that spot but I hope this one is here to stay for a long, long time…Buen Apetito