¡Bienvenido! Taqueria El Dorado

After sitting vacant for a decade, a storefront at 478 Elmwood Avenue is now operating in full swing, as Taqueria El Dorado.

There’s an interesting backstory to this long overdue success story. It turns out that the space was converted into an authentic-looking Mexican restaurant by a couple of partners who ended up splitting up before they got a chance to open their establishment. So there it sat, for an additional five years, appearing that it would one day open, but it never did.

JB Ortiz

Fortunately, a new operator, JB Ortiz, realized his good fortune, by opening Taqueria El Dorado in a space that was perfectly suited for his enterprise. The Mexican restaurant opened this past Friday.

Since Friday, Ortiz has had his hands full. It didn’t take long before word on the street was that that Taqueria El Dorado was serving up authentic, scratch Mexican food, with a twist.

It turns out that Ortiz himself is Puerto Rican, but he has been working in Mexican restaurants for many years. Ortiz attributes much of of what he excels at as having a love for preparing both Puerto Rican and Mexican food. To the untrained eye, his menu is straight up Mexican, with a wide array of offerings from a dozen or so types of tacos (including beef tongue) to authentic tortas, quesadillas, fajitas, burritos, enchiladas, and chimichangas. Ortiz told me that he does take subtle liberties in how the traditional food is prepared. I must say that whatever he is doing, please keep doing it.

This past Friday, I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw this place open. I thought to myself, whatever it turns out to be, I will support it. I couldn’t bear to see the storefront closed any longer. Fortunately, Taqueria El Dorado is going to be pretty easy to support. I ended up eating there for both lunch and dinner yesterday. My lunch with my parents was so good that I told my wife that we had to go back for dinner. And both times I overheard a customer say that he/she had come back two days in a row – the food was that good. I would wholeheartedly agree. So would my parents and my wife.

As I alluded to above, Ortiz mentioned to me that he feels that his Puerto Rican heritage combined with his vast knowledge of a wide range of Mexican cuisine (from all over the country) is what makes his food stand out. While the menu is not necessarily considered fusion, there are hints that there are some different flavor profiles at play. In the end, it adds up to some of the most interesting, flavorful, and downright delicious food that anyone could ask for.

Taqueria El Dorado is what you always hope Mexican food should be, but rarely is. There’s no gloopy cheese sauce. The ingredients are super fresh. There’s a salsa station. The telltale salsas are bright, with variations of spice. The menu offerings are bountiful – almost too bountiful. Just getting through the menu is a process. But I’m telling you – once you work your way through the menu, and settle on whatever it is you’re going to order, you will not be disappointed. Instead, you will be beyond happy with the food at Taqueria El Dorado, not to mention the staff that makes it a point be happy, accommodating, and friendly.

Chalk up Taqueria El Dorado as a huge win for the “500 block” of Elmwood – a block that has, for 30 years, been a relative disaster, when considering the vibrancy of the rest of the street. As an added win for the block, Taqueria El Dorado is located directly next to Cluck Cluck Moo Moo, which could possibly be serving up the best smashburger in Buffalo. Plus, the fries are on par with the burger. What we’re seeing here is two home runs, with more on the way. It might have taken 30 years to get from some sparks to a flame, but I suppose that all good things come to those who wait… and wait.

Welcome to the block JB! Thank you for choosing this amazing little spot to open your first restaurant.

Taqueria El Dorado | 478 Elmwood Avenue Buffalo, NY 14222 | 716-331-3371 | Menu | Vegetarian dishes

Coming soon: Liquor licence

Dine in, take out, delivery


Mon-Thurs: 11am-10pm

Friday: 11am-10:30pm

Saturday: 11am-10:30pm

Sunday: 12pm – 9pm

The post ¡Bienvenido! Taqueria El Dorado appeared first on Buffalo Rising.

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