The full name of this wonderful restaurant is El Arroyo Cantina and Mexican Kitchen - we'll mostly use El Arroyo - and it's located on South Washington Street, in downtown Sonora. El Arroyo is one of the newer Mexican restaurants in town, and when you're in the mood for fine Mexican cuisine, and fine outside dining overlooking Woods Creek, El Arroyo Cantina and Mexican Kitchen should be your choice of restaurant.
As with all of reviews that I publish, I have no affiliation with the restaurant reviewed, and there is no monetary gain on my part, as I am simply a person who likes to eat, and I love to write-up, and publish my dining experiences.
Photo: El Arroyo Cantina and Mexican Kitchen is located in downtown Sonora, next to Sonora Creek, hence the name of the restaurant. It's a little past 6 in the evening, Tuesday, July 02, 2019, and I'm in the mood for a great Mexican dinner.
Photo: The restaurant is actually located below the street level, and to enter the restaurant, you walk down a flight of stairs. The restaurant, and the shady patio, overlook the creek, which certainly makes for attractive dining. The red, double doors are the main entrance to the restaurant, and I ended up sitting at the small table next to the door.
There is a small parking lot at the rear of the restaurant, if you don't care to walk down a flight of stairs, and it also offers access for those with mobility issues.
Photo: I walked in the restaurant, told them I was dining outdoors, picked a table, and almost immediately, my server, Natalie," brought a bowl of chips, a small bowl of salsa, and a menu. The chips and salsa were absolutely delicious, and were a great "munchie" appetizer to enjoy while looking over the dinner menu.
Photo: As you enter the restaurant, you're greeted with a "Please wait to be seated sign." I simply told the meet/greet person that I was dining on the patio, as tonight was the perfect evening to enjoy dinner on their lovely patio, by the creek.
Photo: El Arroyo has a full-service bar, that also doubles as an overflow room when the main dining room fills up. There are several television monitors around the room, and they were all tuned to a soccer game.
The couple at the bar seem to really be glued to the soccer game.
Photo: The main dining room is small, sparsely decorated, but it's very clean and comfortable. The large window in the rear of the room looks out into the patio, and the nearby creek.
Photo: One page of the dinner menu, which features all of your classic Mexican dishes. Note the menu offers menudo on weekends, which is a "must" for a traditional, Mexican restaurant. I went over the menu, and everything looked delicious, but in the end, I went for "Carne Asada," from the "Traditional Plates" section of the menu.
Photo: Looking down the stairs at the patio, and the creek to the right. The temperature on this early Tuesday evening, was in the mid 80's, which is perfect for outdoor dining, and the beautiful plants and flowers added to the wonderful atmosphere. I sat at the small table, near the door.
Photo: My server, Natalie, brings a "Modelo" beer, complete with a slice of lime, to my table. If I wasn't driving, I would have ordered a second beer, as it was icy cold, delicious, and very refreshing.
Photo: My order arrived in less than fifteen minutes! Meet Liz, the friendly server who brought my dinner to me with a smile.
Photo: Thanks, Liz, for snapping my picture, as I prepare to enjoy my wonderful dinner.
Photo: From the "Traditional Plates" section of the "Dinner Menu," I chose #39, with "Carne Asada" as the main entree. This menu describes this fine dish as, "Two grilled carne asada steaks, grilled onions, and a grilled jalapeno pepper. Served with a side of rancheria sauce." Like all the dinners from this section of the menu, it came with rice, beans, tortillas and a salad.
You get two thin pieces of carne asada steak, perfectly grilled, and sporting attractive grill marks. The meat may be quite thin, but the pieces are large, as El Arroyo doesn't skimp on the meat. Each piece of meat was seasoned, tender and juicy, and you really didn't a knife to cut into the meat, as it was very tender. Grilled onion and a grilled jalapeno pepper accompanied the meat, which made for a very attractive presentation.
I've never seen beans like these before, as they were slightly runny, reddish in color, and arrived in a little square bowl, with a small dollop of sour cream, and a sprig of cilantro. Despite the unusual presentation, the beans were absolutely amazing! I ended up dipping my tortillas into the beans, and using them for a dip, and I scooped the last little of beans in the bowl with a tortilla.
I enjoyed the rice as well, but I can't really say anything about the rice that would make it stand out in a crowd. I poured the small bowl of rancheria sauce over the rice, which really worked out well.
The small side salad was super fresh, and added a nice touch to the meal.
This was a delicious dinner! El Arroyo has only been open for a few months, and for being such a new restaurant, they seem to be on the right track, as my dinner was simply perfect. I welcome them to Sonora, and I wish them a bright future.
El Arroyo offers delicious, authentic Mexican cuisine, on a lovely patio, overlooking Sonora Creek, in downtown Sonora. When you're in the mood for fine Mexican food, romantic dining outside on the patio, or inside in their spacious dining room, say "hola" to El Arroyo Cantina and Mexican Kitchen, located in downtown Sonora, CA.
El Arroyo Cantina and Mexican Kitchen
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