Moving from Southern California, I had reservations about eating at Mexican restaurants in the Midwest. I mean, how could we get the same flavors and selection here that we got when we lived a hop, skip and a jump away from the Mexican border? Our first few experiences with Mexican restaurants were exactly what I imagined, which meant that I gave up on the idea of finding anything that compared to what I had left behind in California. But then my husband stumbled upon Tacos El Rey De Oro in Round Lake Beach (with a second location in Libertyville) and we found our little bit of SoCal in the Midwest.
Hungry for a traditional Mexican dinner on my birthday, my husband, kids and I decided to go to the restaurant that my husband had found with my daughter a few weeks ago. Walking in, I saw the decor of a traditional Mexican restaurant and we chose a seat in the back, by the TV (my kids don’t watch TV during the week, so I think they were more excited than us!)
While we decided on our meals, our waitress brought salsa and chips. After having too many watered-down salsas that were more tomato juice than anything else, I was very happy with the flavor and spice in the salsa at Tacos El Rey De Oro.
My kids were happy that the TV was playing children’s movies and my husband and I were able to chat while the kids watched Monster’s Inc. I ordered a burrito with shrimp (not on the menu, but it was perfectly acceptable to substitute) and my husband ordered his favorite, a wet burrito. My daughter also ordered a burrito and my picky son was happy with a cheeseburger.
My burrito had giant shrimp throughout and was large enough that I took half home to eat for lunch the next day. It had lettuce, beans and tomatoes, and the flavor was a perfect mix of the ingredients. If I liked spicier Mexican food, I’d have used the hot sauce brought to the table with our meals. My husband’s shredded beef burrito had perfectly seasoned beef, and was exactly as he likes it, spicy and covered in an enchilada gravy, which he says always enhances the flavor. We were served rice and refried beans with our meals, and my son’s cheeseburger included french fries.
It being my birthday and all, I decided to order a pomegranate margarita, which perfectly complemented my flavorful meal. Our sides were rice and beans, but since I prefer the Mexican rice, I took my husband’s portion and gave him my beans. The rice was delicious, and my husband’s refried beans were perfect.
Leaving Tacos El Rey De Oro with full bellies, I have to say that we will be going back any time we need our authentic Mexican food fix, and we will be pointing any other recently land-locked families in the same direction.
322 W. Rollins Road, Round Lake Beach | (847) 740-2607
864 S. Milwaukee Avenue, Libertyville | (847) 247-4433
What’s your family’s favorite Mexican dish?