Friday, September 30, 2005

El Caporal

El Caporal, Bend Oregon --

This place will always be a staple in Bend, Oregon. We went here tonight for a quick dinner and a couple of drinks, and again ended up being impressed with their unique niche in an over-populated Mexican restaurant area.

This is a "Family-Style" restaurant, which basically means that you can bring the little brats, feed them, AND entertain them at the same time. Thus, DH and I always sit in the lounge whenever possible. Tonight was no different. Gene, the bartender, is always incredibly courteous, remembers our names (and more importantly, our drinks), and is swift with his business while maintaining friendly conversation.

DH and I decided that we weren't "that" hungry, so we ordered the prawn fajitas to be split between the two of us. Less than 5 minutes later, we were presented with an enormous sizzling platter of sauteed giant prawns, onions, peppers, and other goodies, along with two stacks of VERY freshly-made corn and flour tortillas, as well as another plate full of fresh guacamole, sour cream, shredded cheese, lettuce, and refried beans. It wasn't good... It was GREAT! We feasted on succulent prawns and buttery onions in the softest, moistest tortillas known to man, and then reluctantly had to stop eating or end up bursting from gluttonous explosion. One meal, two people, and enough food for four. THIS is El Caporal.

On other occasions, we've tried the Burro Aculpulco, a very large burrito filled with scallops, crab meat, large prawns, cheese, sour cream and beans, topped with a creamy white sauce. We also enjoy the what should be "boring" quesadilla, which is served with almost TOO many side dishes to dip in.

Gene, the bartender, makes the best damned margarita in the English-speaking world -- it's got top-shelf tequila, a very light splash of cranberry juice, sour mix, Grand Marnier, and a topper of Chambord. The sweetness of the raspberry liquer balances the acidity of the sour mix, and makes for a very easy going drink.

Cheers to El Caporal for making a "family-style" restaurant still unique, value-priced, and still a locals hangout.


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