This Mexican institution, long fronting the highway just outside of Ashland, is beloved by locals and travelers alike for its lack of city meals tax.
El Tapatio Family Mexican Restaurant
Cuisine and scene: This Mexican institution, long fronting the highway just outside of Ashland, is beloved by locals and travelers alike for its lack of a city meals tax. A 2008 move behind Ashland Motor Co. makes El Tapatio something of a hideaway, but newcomers have only to follow the green-white-and-red arrows through a car lot and past a physical-therapy clinic. Tucked out of sight as it is, the restaurant boasts a large parking lot and expansive dining room anchored with heavy, carved, wooden tables and tall-backed chairs, as well as deep booths along the walls.
Recommended: Burrito filled with scrambled egg and spicy chorizo is a nice change from the ubiquitous chicken or beef; fish tacos feature a crunchy breading around the fillets.
Alternative diets: Vegetarian options for tostadas, burritos and enchiladas, as well as seven vegetarian appetizers.
Beverages: Mexican and domestic, draft and bottled beers; house wines and sangria by the glass, half liter and liter; specialty margaritas; full bar; bottled and fountain sodas; juices, lemonade, horchata, iced and hot tea, coffee and hot chocolate.
Price range: Breakfast, $$7.95; daily lunch specials, $6.50; lunch combinations, $6.75 to 9.50; appetizers, $4.50 to $11; soups, $5 to $10; salads, $5.50 to $8.50; entrees, $7 to $24; a la carte items and sides, $2 to $7.50; desserts, $4.
Extras: Kids' menu; complimentary chips and dish of salsa come with a small carafe of additional salsa, so diners don't have to wait for refills; live guitar music on some evenings; logged perfect score on most recent health inspection.
Serving: From 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily.
Info: 1633 Highway 99 N., Ashland; 541-488-2276.
— Sarah Lemon