As you walk in the front door of El Rosal, the smell hits you like a ton of bricks. The smell... the amazing aroma... there is nothing better than the smell of baking tortillas, and that's what hits you as you walk in the door. You know you've come to the right place to enjoy a delicious lunch!
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 Rosal Tortillas and Deli has kind of an odd, out-of-the-way location, as the restaurant is located in an industrial park. After entering the restaurant, you'll note that it's more than a restaurant, as it's a tortilla factory, that includes a Mexican grocery store, and a deli/restaurant. With that in mind, the industrial location makes sense. Despite the industrial location, the restaurant attracts hungry diners from every part of Sparks, and the city of Reno.
It's 12:15 on early Monday afternoon, January 08, 2018, and my friend Robert Kipperman and I are meeting another friend, Ernie Silva, for lunch at El Rosal. Note the lady in the photo, who has just purchased several kilos of freshly-made tortillas.
Photo: As you enter the restaurant, the first thing that hits you is the delightful smell of baking tortillas. Just like the smell of baking bread in grandma's kitchen, the amazing smell of baking tortillas instantly grabs your attention, your taste buds, and your appetite. To the left of the photo is a pastry counter that hold freshly made bread - including bollios - and many varieties of Mexican pastries.
My friends Ernie Silva and Robert Kipperman are ordering at the counter, and the owner, Juan Ignacio, is taking their order. As I was taking photos, I asked Robert and Erine to order me whatever they were ordering, as the three of us have similar tastes in fine Mexican cuisine.
Photo: The dining room is gigantic, and along the perimeter are shelves lined with Mexican groceries, as well as cold cases lined with Mexican beer, soft drinks, dairy products, and other items that need to be chilled. The restaurant was an afterthought, as the huge warehouse-like building started out as a tortilla factory, with the restaurant and grocery store added later. There is pretty of room to stretch out and relax, and the pace is leisurely. The order counter is in the rear of the photo, where the three people are standing.
Photo: The gentleman in the photo has just placed an order, and seems to be admiring some of the deli items for sale. The guy in the middle of the photo, behind the counter, is preparing lunch, and there are more deli items for sale at the right of the photo. The order/kitchen/deli counter must be at least 40 feet long!
Photo: The restaurant menu is short, simple, and to the point. The other side of the menu is identical, except it's in English. Next time I visit, I MUST go for the menudo, as menudo is one of my favorite Mexican delicacies. Talk about comfort food! All three of us ordered the "Specials" with barbacoa as the meat of choice.
Photo: The kitchen is open to the dining room, so you can watch your chef prepare your meal. In this case, the chef is preparing a giant, "Wet Burrito," which El Rosal is famous for.
Photo: Our orders are getting ready, including a large tortilla warmer fully of warm, freshly-made corn tortillas, to compliment the amazing lunch. Ernie refers to the tortillas as "Mexican spoons," as the tortillas are handy to roll up, and use as a spoon for the meat, rice and beans. That's the way they're eaten in Mexico.
In the true taqueria format, you choose your selection from the overhead menu, you pay for it, and you wait for your order to be made. In the case of El Rosal, when your order is ready, the chef sets it on the counter, along with the tortillas, and you walk up and grab it. It seems to be on the "honor system," as they didn't ask us for a receipt, like is the case at most fast food restaurants.
Photo: Robert grabs his lunch from the counter. The three of us ordered identical lunches, and shared the large warmer of tortillas, and enjoyed tortilla chips and salsa from the all-you-can-eat chips and salsa bar.
Photo: Ernie says "Salud!" as Robert looks on, as we prepare to enjoy lunch. I'm taking the photo, and my lunch is in the center of the photo. I worked to get the "Kodak moment" over as quickly as possible, as I was hungry, and this food smelled tantalizing delicious. When I dug into my lunch, I wasn't disappointed.
Photo: Robert took the photo of Ernie and I, ready to enjoy our amazing lunch. Ernie picked up the tab; thanks, my friend!
Photo: My "Specials" lunch, which includes rice and beans. The choice of meat includes pork, beef, adobada, chicharron, buche, chicken or barbacoa. This is how my lunch arrived, as I didn't add any sauce, cilantro or onion. I was tempted to order an icy-cold Mexican beer, but since I was driving, a fruit punch Jarritos quenched my thirst.
Photo: My wonderful lunch, as it arrived, fresh and warm from the open kitchen. I didn't add anything to it... as it comes dressed "to kill."
Delicious in every way. Fresh, in-house made ingredients. I could taste lard in the refried beans, and the refried beans tasted the way I'm used to enjoying them during my travels to Mexico. After enjoying such a delightful lunch, I'm ready for a trip to Mexico. The price of all this goodness? ... $7.25, plus Nevada state sales tax, which is an excellent value.
I love this restaurant! The aroma is comforting, the food is amazing, the staff is super-friendly, and it's a great place to sit down, admire the Mexican grocery items for sale, people-watch, and enjoy some of the best Mexican food that I've had the pleasure to eat during my travels to Western Nevada. Highly recommended for lovers of authentic cuisine, and fresh-baked tortillas!
El Rosal Tortillas and Deli
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