Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Torreador: 7926 Floyd St (OPKS)

Tuesday, November 18, 2008
Don't ask me why I thought this place would be good.


It is literally steps away from Mi Ranchito at 80th and Metcalf, which is a perfectly fine (but overrated) local Tex-Mex chain. Mi Ranchito is well-priced, very consistent, and has generous portions. Whatever.

When it comes to Mexican food, that's not good enough for me. Unfortunately I don't work very close to any good Mexican lunch spots. I'd love to hit up the Boulevard or downtown KCK on a regular basis, but I can't swing it. So I was having lunch at Mi Ranchito one time and noticed another little Mexican place across Floyd street that I had never noticed: Torreador.

Welcome to my thought process. It's small, a little ratty looking, I've never heard of it, and it's right by another successful Mexican restaurant. Gee, I think I'll give it a try.

I pulled up in the parking lot and saw a skeezy looking dude and a middle aged waitress smoking cigarettes by the front door. The dude looked like a more down and out version of Mark Borchardt. Turns out he was one of the "cooks" in the kitchen. One side of the entrance door had a high chair sitting on the stoop in front of it. This apparently works better than a "please use other door" sign.

I walked into a space that is essentially a decent little darkly lit bar, with tables on one side and a lounge area on the other. My waitress was sitting at a front table chatting with a couple of ladies who were having margaritas.

I took a look at the menu and was not overly impressed. There were only 2 lunch specials, one of which was Taco Salad.

Torreador

So I ordered the "Special platter" and began to have the feeling that yellow cheese and ground beef was in my future. There was a little table top display advertising something called "Southwest Egg Rolls." I didn't have the cojones to try them.

While I waited, my waitress brought out some chips and a little dish half full of salsa. She laid them down saying, "I'll be right back to fill up the salsa, I have to open a new one."

"That's fine, I don't need any more," I replied.

"It's no problem, I don't want you to think I'm trying to cheat you."

Torreador

So she comes back with a plastic bar pitcher full of this salsa and pours it into the dish.



By this time I had eaten two chips already and had decided not to have any more. Good move.

Then my food arrived! Hey, do you remember those Old El Paso Taco kits? I'm sure some of you still use them, especially those of you with children. I used to make taco dinners for my family when I was a kid using those kits. You just brown some ground beef, add the seasoning packet, and serve them in the taco shells with the packet of "hot sauce" that came in the box. Do you see what I'm getting at here?

Torreador

Torreador has, without a doubt, the worst Mexican food in the Kansas City metropolitan area.

Yeah, not good. They havn't even figured out the trick I learned when I was 10, which is to bake the taco shells a few minutes before using to make them crunchier and more delicious. The enchiladas were made with flour tortillas and were covered in the same sauce that the chips came with. And the rice? Here are my thoughts on the rice:



Everything comes from a can, a box or a bag, and you can tell. The thing is, people who eat at Torreador probably think it tastes good because that is what they are used to. Why else would anyone go there? And really, who am I to argue; I'm just another white guy with a blog.

The server was actually extremely friendly, and I have no complaints about her demeanor or skill. The owner or manager person checked on me a couple times, then made sure I got my check and my change quickly.

The clientele seems to be the lower-middle class, upper middle-aged JoCo set. In my mind they are hard drinking secretaries, retail managers, and waitresses. They buy lottery tickets and drive American cars. I'm sure the scream from the Torreador was audible miles away when the Overland Park smoking ban passed. I'll wager that it gets some business in the evenings from regulars looking for a post-work bottle of beer, and more still from folks wanting to meet friends or watch a game at night. It's just a local hangout for a certain kind of person. A hangout with terrible food.

In other words, the food probably isn't the important part. At least it sure doesn't seem that way. I'm sure the owners are proud of their business, but I simply can't count it among the spots I will visit again.

Don't take my word for it, read more:

Torreador Mexican on Urbanspoon

Yelp

20 comments:

Hoopstar said...

Nice post.

Snackie Onassis said...

Holy crap. I can't believe you ate there. I see that place and my balls go up into my body, along with my appetite.

Cate said...

Sometimes I think you have the most thankless job ... eating at crapholes so that the rest of don't have to!

Thank you, thank you!

m.v. said...

My thoughts are along the same line as Cate, I am mostly subscribing to comments in preparation for the outrage from the regulars.

Hey There! I'm Amanda! said...

Mi Ranchito not looking so bad now, hmmmmm? Thanks for the heads up. Bleah.

Goofy Girl said...

I think I understand DLC's goal here. Sometimes you just have to try the nasty looking places. Sometimes they are good!

Ever been to Cascone's in River Market? Looks very "hole in the wall"...tastes pretty darn good.

...but you'll still find me at Mi Ranchito.

PV Pathfinder said...

Sounds like it's out of your way, but try Taqueria Mexico sometime. There are a couple of them, but we usually hit the one at Rainbow and SW Blvd (I've been told that the one near SW Blvd and Summit is a LOT more authentic). No, it's not great. But it's a reliable, well done, cheap-ish and tasty KC gringo version of Mexican food. Beats the pantalones off of Margaritas and Ponaks.

DLC said...

thanks all, I'm always willing to take one for the team!

Goofy, I posted about Cascone's last year. Basically I thought it was pretty good.

PV, Taqueria Mexico near Summit is one of my standard Mexican choices. I agree with your assessment completely. It's a great place to hit up before first friday shenanigans. I have yet to try Ponak's for comparison. People seem to either love it or hate it.

Brian Rules the World said...

You must be a psychic DLC. I was over that way last weekend and realized that while I've been to Mi Ranchito several times, I'd never tried Torreador. Thanks to you, I won't have the displeasure. Keep up the good fight...

Snackie Onassis said...

Ponak's makes me sick every other time I eat there.

PV Pathfinder said...

About the only suggestion I can make on Ponaks, is to just eat it while sitting on the crapper. Don't bother with a magazine, because "it" won't take long...

Faith said...

I have some old friends that used to love Torreador. I haven't talked to them in a while, but I'm pretty sure that they still hang out there. They used to like their tacos ok. I've never been...now I know to avoid it forEVAHHHH!

Happy In Bag said...

You must be some kinda media elitist.

ShawnF said...

Torredaor's is evil and must be stopped in our lifetime.

If you're going out to JC for Mexican, I would recommend either Panzon's on 87th and Lackman (much better when it was in old Lenexa, but still good) or Torreon Cantina on 91st and Elmhurst (behind the Phillips 66 and QuickTrip on that funky corner west of Sante Fe Trail and Antioch). Torreon's maggies are freakin' deadly.

jill said...

I think I can offer up an even worse mexican restaurant and i would LOVE to read your recap of it... i know it would be pee-your-pants funny. Patrikios on 98th and Holmes.

kc wired said...

A roach crawled over our table the first and last time I ate there. I am not kidding.

Skullbussa said...

Finally...validation! I've been telling my family this is the worst craphole Mexican in KC for years.

Erin said...

I would NEVER eat at this restaurant. I parked in a spot next to a building next to theirs, and one of their employees parked behind me because apparently, it is "rude" to park in front of their building and not go there. I had to go in and be treated in a very hostile manner. When I explained that someone had parked behind my car, and that there were no signs saying that this parking was exclusively for their restaurant (I didn't even park in front of their building) they got extremely hostile and a 40 something year old man got up to try and harass me (I'm a pretty small female.) There was no one eating there, only employees who look like they are from the backwoods of Arkansas and obviously don't know how to dress professionally for the job. Disgusting and obviously quite angry about the fact that a business down the street is doing MUCH better than they are. Take my advice and stay away!

heidi said...

Torreador is the best resteraunt I have ever been to. Ignorant people just look at it and judge it. Mi ranchito has gotten people SICK. i have never, ever heard of anyone coming from Torreador feeling sick. So people need to stop being so close-minded and open up to understand that this family-owned resterant is something i am a part of, and have been since my birth. I have never felt crappy, or even needed a different resteraunt. But it's your choice. Just know that it's not the foo-fooy fancy resteraunt that people feel is the only good kind of resteraunt..so I suggest to some people, if you haven't even tried it, you need to keep your mind to yourself.

Porker Steve said...

Ugh. Why would you eat here when you were only a few minutes from Torreon, one of the best mexican places in all of Kansas City?

http://www.torreoncantina.com/

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