Thursday, November 5, 2009

Ironton's Toro Loco Restaurant

by Emily Hubbell

In Spanish, “Toro Loco” means “the crazy bull,” a phrase implying disorder and chaos. But as I walked into downtown Ironton’s family-owned Toro Loco Mexican restaurant, not a thing seemed out of place. The burgundy tiles on the tabletops formed a perfect row and column pattern, and the oversized wooden booths were situated neatly around the perimeter of the restaurant. The sponge-painted walls were a fitting backdrop for the Spanish portraits hanging at eye level.

Then I got the menu. All five jam-packed pages of it.

With more than fifty variations of Mexican restaurant staples—burritos, chimichangas, quesadillas and tacos—this must be where the ‘loco’ came from. I don’t know how the waitress kept track of all the combos or how the chef managed to perfect them. But, a short ten minutes after we ordered, the waitress appeared with a colossal quesadilla in hand. It was filled with the perfect ratio of meat to cheese and, as an added bonus, was smothered with Toro Loco’s signature white cheese sauce.

But I have to admit that dessert was on my mind even as I ate my quesadilla. The dessert menu was also endless. In addition to fried ice cream and other traditional Mexican desserts, the menu included six mini desserts that looked too good to resist. I ended up with a sopapilla—a fried pastry covered in whipped cream and sprinkles. My friend opted for one of the mini desserts, a tiny carrot cake with cream cheese icing. The portions were small; but after eating a quesadilla as big as my dinner plate, my taste buds were perfectly satisfied.

As I left Toro Loco, the dinner rush was just starting. Within minutes, every oversized wooden booth was filled with families. But there still wasn’t a trace of chaos. The waitresses hurried effortlessly, delivering massive burritos and quesadillas smothered with cheese to patrons at every corner of the room. And if the guests’ faces are any indication, the chef was still mastering the hundreds of menu items to the tee.

My meal at Toro Loco was delicious and reasonably priced. Needless to say, I’ll be back again for seconds.

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