El Charrito Restaurant: A Florence Flavor-ite

A favorite of Florence foodies, El Charrito has been serving authentic Tex-Mex and Mexican dishes to an enthusiastic following of locals and highway travelers since 2009. Away from the central business district eateries and among sparse development at the edge of town, El Charrito is a jewel wrapped in a slightly unpolished exterior.  From the street, the generic commercial facade isn’t exactly impressive, but once you’re inside you’ll be pleasantly surprised.

The décor is comprised of shiny chocolate-colored ceramic tile floors, textured plaster walls painted with bright tones, and lighting above from tasteful little chandeliers. Behind the hostess stand is an attractive open kitchen. One of El Charrito’s charming hostesses welcomes you and guides you to a hand-carved wood table. As you enjoy the warm, comfortable and well-appointed interior, you may even find yourself forgetting the slightly rough exterior altogether.

Great Tastes, Reasonably Priced

The menu at El Charrito includes breakfast through lunch as late at 3 p.m., and is full of deliciously prepared favorites. Mornings at the restaurant include all combinations of Tex-Mex taco specialties — many of them ordered to go. The kitchen also makes delicious migas, a delightful blend of scrambled eggs, generous portions of onion, green pepper, crispy tortilla chips and topped with cheese in this traditional Mexican breakfast casserole accompanied by pan-fried potatoes as well as a choice of refried or borracho beans and freshly made tortillas. Bring a healthy appetite as all of the dishes prepared here are served up in generous portions.

At lunch, El Charrito switches gears and prepares a wide selection of grilled meat favorites including chicken and beef fajitas, carne asada, pork carnitas, and carne guisada, all available in both a single taco or as a plate lunch selection of freshly crafted goodness. The restaurant, open Tuesday through Sunday, features a different lunch platter each day.

The Carne Guisada Plate includes generous cuts of beef stewed in moderately seasoned rich brown camino gravy. The entree is served with with pan-fried potatoes, beans, a small lettuce, tomato and avocado salad, and their delicious, freshly handmade tortillas. Garnish your food with any of several freshly made daily salsas and this dish is guaranteed to please.

Same Rules Apply to Books and Restaurants

Just as you’ve been told not to judge a book by its cover, one can’t always evaluate the quality of a restaurant’s food by the building’s exterior. El Charrito is such a restaurant. Stop by on the next trip through Florence and you will embrace this truism as well. Their friendly and attentive staff is busy preparing and serving up some of the best Mexican favorites you will find anywhere, including the big city, and for substantially less cost.