EAST LONGMEADOW – The walls are painted in teal and tan plaster with Mexican tile accents. Mexican music plays overhead, while conversation carries from the lunch customers seated at dark wood tables around the front room of Torito, a Mexican restaurant at 621 North Main St. in East Longmeadow.
Open for just over a month, bartender Paula Carrera said business has been good, particularly Friday evenings. The restaurant opened just as the weather began to turn warm, allowing patrons to dine on the patio, which seats 40.
Torito serves entrees of chicken, seafood, beef or pork, as well as half a dozen vegetarian options. There are more than 30 types of tacos, burritos, enchiladas and chimichangas.
Manager Viesel Rameres said the most popular dish at Torito is the tacos de birria, a savory Mexican beef stew stuffed in corn tortillas and served with a sauce from the stew, lime, grilled onion and cilantro and a choice of two of the following: charros beans, rice or refried beans.
Carrera said Torito serves authentic Mexican food. While most items on the menu would be familiar to American palates, dishes such as Lengua or beef tongue, allow customers to taste new flavors.
In the rear room, Torito offers a full bar. While many customers order full-sized margaritas, Carrera said the margarita flights are more popular. With four flavors of margarita, from mango to Michelada, patrons can sip a variety of flavors.
The East Longmeadow restaurant is the fifth location that owner George Ramos has opened, with other restaurants in New Haven, CT and Worcester, Danvers and Westborough in Massachusetts.
Rameres said Ramos knows how to pinpoint an area that has an absence of Mexican food and serve that need.
“It’s the only Mexican restaurant besides Springfield. A lot of our customers say they usually travel to Enfield,” for Mexican food, Carrera said. She said that Torito has done well attracting those customers because it is closer, “A lot tell me they can walk here.” She said the good service is what keeps customers coming back.
Sunday through Thursday, the restaurant is open from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. and stays open an hour later Friday and Saturday.