Wine Dine and Play: El Toro Mexican Bar and Grill

El Toro Mexican Bar and Grill

El Toro Mexican Bar and Grill is at the crossroads between Cape Coral and Matlacha Florida

Boasts To Be The Best…Lets See
Cape Coral, Florida USA
Cuisine Style: Mexican
Average Price: $$
Overall Rating:  ½ of 1 / 5
Dined: October 2019

By Sean Overpeck (CFE)
**A full article and index glossary of restaurants, wines, recipes and travel for 
Wine Dine and Play are in the pages section above, or by following these links:

El Toro Mexican Bar and Grill Zomato rating:

EL Toro Mexican Bar & Grill Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato 

    El Toro Mexican Bar and Grill is a family-style restaurant that boasts as the best tasting Mexican food in Cape Coral Florida located nearer to Matlacha. Between Cape Coral and North Fort Meyers according to TripAdvisor, there are over 30 Mexican restaurants, so that is a strong statement to say you're the best. If so what happened on the day we visited? If you are going to boast about being the best compared to all other Mexican restaurants then stand behind your statement. The food we tasted was a little on the bland side, the presentation was very basic with no wow eye-popping garnish or plating techniques, and the customer service was less than to be expected for being one of only two or three tables seated in the entire restaurant with no one at the bar. It was after the lunch rush, and maybe this boasting takes place for the regulars during lunch and dinner only and not between, who knows. 

    El Toro Mexican Bar and Grill Menu:
      • Appetizers
      • Salads
      • Soups
      • Nachos
      • Vegetarian dishes
      • Especialidades El Toro
      • Fajitas
      • Chimichangas
      • Enchiladas
      • Quesadillas
      • Seafood
      • Burritos
      • Tacos
      • Dinner Combos
      • À La Carte 
      • Sides
      • Desserts

    My wife had 1800 Reposado tequila drink while I had a Dos Equis, which for an empty restaurant took some time to be delivered. We started with two appetizer dips of queso and guacamole from the menu, and there was nothing exciting between them honestly. The guacamole had little to no flavor and was slightly warmed instead of a nice chilled avocado and had little to no pico de Gallo mixed in. The cheese sauce was generic and not house-made which a restaurant boasting to be the best would do. If it was house-made then who made the roux and how long did the cream and cheese cook in it before being served? The presentation was the same as many large and unimaginative chain Mexican restaurants, so again the best?

    The Guacamole at El Toro Mexican Bar and Grill in Cape Coral, Florida was warm and lacked spices
    El Toro Mexican Bar and Grill / Guacamole

    We shared a fajita taco salad with grilled chicken, and it had all of the fixings one comes to expect from that salad item. The tortilla though lightly crispy just sat on a plane plate moving around with nothing to keep it stable. The cheese on the menu claims to be melted, and it was only shredded, and instead of being topped with the meat it was buried at the bottom with less than a 4-ounce serving that lacked any spices or herbs besides salt.

    The taco salad at El Toro Mexican Bar and Grill had grilled chicken fajita meat with all the typical fixings
    El Toro Mexican Bar and Grill / Taco Salad

    The lack of original presentation, service and not having a better variety of beer, wine and liquors brought the overall score down, and it's okay to boast what you are or want to achieve, just make sure you prove it. I would have accepted this restaurant as a typical hole-in-the-wall serving Mexican-American comfort classics if coming in the front door the service was up to a better par level and the food had better taste. From those two negatives, I began to look closer to see what work needs to be done. 

    We did not have dessert during this visit, but some items of interest on the menu included the doughnut sopapilla and the flan de leche.

    But check out some of these wonderful selections from Wine Dine and Play: 

    Please see these guidelines for Tipping in Restaurants and on following proper etiquette, customs, cultures, and avoiding assumptions when you dine out.

    Other noteworthy Mexican cuisine articles and restaurants similar to El Toro Mexican Bar and Grill:
    Mexican cuisine is primarily a fusion of indigenous Mesoamerican cooking with European, especially Spanish, with elements added after their conquest of the Aztec Empire in the sixteenth century. The staples are native foods, such as corn, beans, avocados, tomatoes, and chili peppers, which expanded greatly after the European occupation which introduced rice, cheese, and domesticated animals. African and Asian influences were also introduced into the mixture during this era as a result of African slavery in New Spain and the Manila-Acapulco Galleons. Over the centuries, regional cuisines based on local customs reverted back to ancient ways while incorporating the new European foods, and areas such as those in Oaxaca, Veracruz, and the Yucatán Peninsula took on a new identity which resulted in traditional Mexican cuisine being inscribed on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO in 2010. Not all Mexican are created equal, as a good portion of American Mexican restaurants is a blend of Tex-Mex or “Gringo” Mexican with less flavor and spice.

    Benji’s Cantina An innovative approach to Tex-Mex cuisine in Austin, Texas
    Besito Mexican Restaurant Creative Mexican-blend eats chain; reviewed in Tampa, Florida
    Carmelita’s Mexican Restaurant A casual local chain for traditional meals in Pinellas Park, Florida
    Casita Taqueria Artistry with exceptional flavor From Every Bite in St. Petersburg, Florida
    Grand Hacienda Mexican Cuisine A recreation of Mexican comfort foods in St. Petersburg, Florida
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    Green Lemon A modern hangout offering upbeat Mexican menu & drinks for brunch, lunch & dinner in Tampa, Florida
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    Hablo Taco Mexican-blend joint known for tacos and margaritas in Tampa, Florida
    Nitally’s A Fusion of Thai and Mexican Cuisine from a husband and wife team in St. Petersburg, Florida 
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    Nueva Cantina - The second article from that “Mexican Place” in St Petersburg, Florida, October 2017
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    Poppo's Taqueria Gourmet organic Taqueria Street Food, City of Anna Maria Island, Florida
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    See the whole list by visiting “The Wine Dine and Play Article Glossary

    Other Cape Coral restaurants, and articles on Wine Dine and Play:

    Small shop for good sushi
    Cape Coral, Florida USA

    A few Florida restaurant favorites:

    Vibrant spot for classic Spanish dishes & tapas
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    Casual curries of North & South with Buffet
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    A Causal seafood cafe on the inlet to the Pass-a-Grille Channel
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    See the whole list by visiting “The Wine Dine and Play Article Glossary by country

    Final notes, review basics, observations, and more pictures:

    Most reviews are subjective, depending on the writer; but they should also be responsible, and respectfully written, upholding the truth, and accurately conveying the experience to the best of the writer's knowledge, even if it includes metaphors the restaurant may not like to read about. My ratings are by the stars I award (from 0 to 5). The rating is calculated on a point accumulation of six separate factors based on individual experience. They include wine and other beverage selections, plate presentation, customer service, restaurant or café ambience, food quality, and wow factor. 
    To see more details of this rating list, read this article:

    Overall from this experience and the score factors outlined in the ‘about page’ section, based on my individual experience and rating, I give El Toro Mexican Bar and Grill a 0.5 or  ½ of 1 out of 5 stars, meaning that they not only exceeded my expectations and were far above the average dining experience of most restaurants, but they surpassed outstanding and were extraordinary.

    Scores are detailed in the factor chart below:

    Formula Factor Conclusions and Overall Ratings for El Toro Mexican Bar and Grill
    Max Points Possible:
    Total Points Awarded:
    Total Points deducted:
    Food quality
    Plate presentation
    Customer service
    Alcohol and other beverages
    Total regular points awarded
    Total percentage — less the Bonus


    “Wow” factor BONUS
    Total bonus percentage


    Total percentage and bonus for a final star rating


    Stars Awarded (see chart below)
    - 0 - 5

    **A full break down and explanation of the observations and point disbursement is available in the linked article above. To receive a detailed copy of your score, feel free to contact me at any time and I will provide it to you.**


    Overall Star Rating:
    .05 of 5 Stars: 
    66% Rating with a 0 point “wow” bonus
    A Very Basic Dining Experience
    Corkage fees:
    El Toro Mexican Bar and Grill does not list any corkage fee’s however, most American restaurants charge $25.00 per bottle
    Casual dining
    Cuisine Style at El Toro Mexican Bar and Grill:
    Allergen or dietary accommodations: 
    Gluten-free choices, Low Carb Choices, Pescatarian, Vegetarian Options
    Not Required
    Dress code:
    Casual attire

    It’s Florida, everybody wears flip-flops!
    Child policy:

    The Restaurants reviewed on this site may have a kids menu or cater to them; however, for full enjoyment of food and wine, it is recommended that kids not to be in attendance, unless they have been trained in proper etiquette. 
    If not then:
    Hire a Babysitter! 
    El Toro Mexican Bar and Grill Experiences:
    Contemporary, Hole-in-the-wall, Tourist grabber, and a Neighborhood Gem
    Cash, Visa, MasterCard, Discover, American Express
    El Toro Mexican Bar and Grill has a public lot
    The restaurants reviewed on this site may have Wi-Fi, but do not require you to go online, because the excitement of the food and wine alone will keep you too entertained instead of checking your social media and emails.
    Noise level:
    El Toro Mexican Bar and Grill is a non-smoking restaurant
    Patio or terrace:

    Food Prices 
    (excludes, alcohol, taxes & 20% gratuity’s)

    $£€¥ -                Under 50.00 (inexpensive)
    $£€¥ x 2 -          51.00- 99.00 (moderate)
    $£€¥ x 3 -          Over 100.00 (pricey)
    $£€¥ x 4 -          Over 200.00 (expensive)
    $£€¥ x 5 -          Over 400.00 (very expensive)

    **Currencies reflect the world’s major travelers, restaurant, or wine connoisseur’s**

    United States Dollar (USD)
    Great Britain Pound Sterling (GBP)
    Canadian Dollar (CAN)
    Chinese Yuan (CNY)  
    European Union (EUR)

     Alcohol prices:

    $28.00 USD

    El Toro Mexican Bar and Grill:

    3015 SW Pine Island Road 
    Cape Coral, Florida 

    Contact Information: 

    Restaurant website:
    Maître d or host:
    +1 (239) 558-5181
    Website Contact:
    Serving hours:
    Eastern Standard Time
    (GMT, Zulu, or UTC - 5:00)

    Daily: Sun - Thur
    11:00 am - 9:00 pm
    Fri - Sat
    11:00 am - 10:00 pm
    Social Media 
    Accolades for El Toro Mexican Bar and Grill:

    The world’s best restaurants is a subjective list of who is writing it and changes on a regular basis. The Wine Dine and Play best experiences are based on my highest rated stared restaurants, meaning that the visit was an outstanding or extraordinary experience. From cafés, chains, mom + pops, hole in the walls, to fine dining including a few Michelin spots. Visit the Top 100 page to see the entire list.

    A few to tease you with…
    Highly creative new American molecular gastronomy tasting menus
    Chicago, Illinois, USA
    High-end steakhouse chain with aged prime cuts
    Akron, Ohio, USA
    Modern Gastro Whole Animal Cookery
    Buckhead, Atlanta, Georgia, USA

    Other El Toro Mexican Bar and Grill Pictures:

    The queso dip at El Toro Mexican Bar and Grill was not like any other in Mexican restaurants
    El Toro Mexican Bar and Grill / Queso Sauce

    “Culinary perfection consists not in doing extraordinary things, 
    But in doing ordinary things extraordinarily well.”
    -Angelique Arnauld (1591-1661)

    Who is John Galt?


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