It’s important to treat yourself to the little pleasures in life. Watching your favorite show, taking a walk in a beautiful park or down by the riverfront for some window shopping, finding that little bit of me time to restore some calm. As you all know, we here at 573 Magazine are big supporters of getting out there to experience life, and die hard fans of the awesome places to go and do just that here in the 573. I myself, as I’m sure you’re well aware by now, enjoy one very specific simple pleasure above all others...FOOD.
Food can change your mood in the most amazing way. It’s also really good for bringing people together and making precious memories with friends and family. I love food. Especially here in the 573 where there are so many amazing eateries. Today we ventured down to Cape Girardeau to do a little window shopping and go out to lunch at a place I’ve been dying to try for a very long time, El Sol on Broadway.
...something very special.
It’s no secret that good Mexican food is something very special. Loved by nearly everyone, well, everyone I know anyway, it’s always been a staple in the treat yourself playbook.
Standing tall with huge front windows completely covering the impressive 2 story eatery and a large bright sun hanging out in front of those windows like a beautiful shining beacon, El Sol commands your attention the moment it comes into view.
...it was going to be a beautiful day.
The very friendly staff were attentive and warm and seated us promptly even though it seemed they were still in a bit of a lunch rush. They all seemed to have this wonderful positive energy that was absolutely infectious, and by the time we reached our table I was in the best mood, like it was going to be a beautiful day.
We started off our lunch right with chips, dips, and drinks. The house made salsa at El Sol is amazing. Not too much tomato taste, with a nice heat that’s not too overwhelming. It was perfect, and complemented their Signature Guacamole very well.
The Signature Guacamole at El Sol is something beautiful to behold and was unlike any guac I’ve ever had in my life, completely changing everything I thought I knew about one of my all time favorite dips. With tomatoes, cilantro, onions, jalapeños and pomegranate...Yes you read that correctly, I said pomegranate! A beautiful medley of sweet and heat, it absolutely awakens the taste buds to an endless possibility of flavor enlightenment. Made at your table with or without any of the amazing ingredients, it’s not just a treat for the palate but the eyes as well!
Being in one of Missouri's top Mexican restaurants, you can probably guess we had margaritas. Lol. And you’d be right about that, but these margaritas were not like any I’ve ever had anywhere else. The Top Shelf Margarita was delicious! With sweet subtle hints of orange, this super smooth drink was tasty, refreshing and strong. Made with Patron with an orange and lime garnish, the Top Shelf Margarita at El Sol was the best Margarita I ever tasted.
That is, until I tried their Pomegranate Margarita. With a sweet yet subtle fruity taste and a smooth finish, the beautiful Pomegranate Margarita was not only aesthetically pleasing it was absolutely euphoric.
For those who need to watch their sugar, El Sol has you covered too! The Skinny Margarita is sugar free! Low carb & low calorie, this sweet but tart little treat reminds me of strong hard lemonade. Perfect for those who are watching their carbs, and those who love sour candy.
Oh...My...melty cheesy Goodness!
Before I knew it the entrées began to flow from the kitchen. The first one out was the Double Cheese Stack Burrito. Oh...My...melty cheesy Goodness! With cheddar and white queso stuffed between the two layers of tortilla, all wrapped around chicken cheese and rice, it’s really hard to describe the joy this dish inspired at our table. Not only was the Double Cheese Stack Burrito a magnificent meal, it also had a good story behind it.
“The Double Cheese Stack Burrito was actually a quarantine creation.” Explained Adam, one of El Sol’s awesome assistant managers. “We were bored, waiting on orders to come in and we just started messing around and was like you know what we need? ...A burrito with the cheese stuffed inside the tortilla. And then we started experimenting until it was perfect.” Mission accomplished!
Next up was the Taco Locos Queso. Another amazing low carb treat, the Taco Locos Queso’s shell is made entirely of cheese, and is stuffed full with steak, cilantro, and onions and served with a spicy green tomatillo sauce, aka verde sauce. Hearty, meaty, filling and delicious, this dish has a nice subtle heat that lingers, satisfying your hunger in an exciting and guilt free way.
Last but not least was the Spicy Garlic Shrimp. Another culinary experiment by Owner Alvaro Muñoz after a craving for shrimp pasta, this dish was a table favorite. I know I say it a lot, but I absolutely mean this from the bottom of my heart...YUM! The heat is actually layered! There’s an initial warmth that slowly revs up, stacking itself into a very impressive heat. The shrimp is perfect and tender and the seasonings are jubilant. With sliced and grilled onions and jalapeños cooked in a cast iron skillet fajita style, my mouth continued celebrating this dish long after the last bite.
...an American Dream realized...
We were blown away by the extraordinary menu and the amazing service. I had to know more. Luckily Owner, Alvaro Muñoz was there to fill us in.
Originally from Chihuahua, Mexico, Alvaro came to the United States with his family at 8 years old. A truly inspirational story of an American Dream realized, Alvaro worked hard to make his own way here in the states. He started working at El Acapulco, a franchise owned by his family, at 18 years old and by age 22 he was part owner of the Cape Girardeau location. In October of 2013 Alvaro opened up his very own place, El Sol on Broadway in Cape Girardeau.
...perfect for parties...
Not only an amazing restaurant, El Sol also offers catering services, and a Banquet Room in the upper level. With its own full service bar and private bathrooms, the Banquet Room is perfect for parties, receptions, or even large business meetings. “When we got this building we had the extra space,” Alvaro told us, “and we debated on doing a second floor dining, but we decided to make it into a banquet room, because in Cape there’s not many places to go and have your own private party. So we figured that would work best for this area.”
How has business been during this pandemic?
It’s kind of been like a roller coaster, you know, we have days when we’re busy and days when we’re not busy. We offer take out and curbside service, so if people call and order and if they don’t want to come in, then we’ll bring the food out to them. We did also have family meals, where it came in game containers so it would feed a family of 4 for a reasonable price. So people would just pull up and then call us and we would bring it out to them. Back when we were shut down, we came up with a way to serve margarita kits too. We’d have the mix and sell it with sealed single serve Patron shooters. We’re not doing that right now, but if we get shut down again like we did before, then we’ll start back doing that again.
What are your plans for the future?
We’ll be opening up a new place on Main Street in Jackson called Fuel. The building used to be an old gas station is why we named it that. It will be like a taco and burger bar, where you decide how to put together your own. There will be a checklist menu where you just pick what you want and then that becomes your meal ticket for the cooks. We’re hoping to have it open by February.
Well that sounds amazing! I can’t wait to go try it out! Until then 573, be happy, be healthy, be well!
Written by AJ Koehler