Since Steph had yet another snow day on Wednesday I was obligated to bring her along with my friend and I as we went to El Patio. El Patio is that place on east central that you have probably driven past a hundred times and never noticed it. It is directly to the west of Baysinger Police supply, but some conveniently located trees block your view most of the time. El Patio is also the restaurant that’s sign has a giant number 6 beneath it. Now I am unaware of their being 5 more El Patios in Wichita let alone one other, so I’m guessing maybe there was an old Motel 6 here and they just decided to recycle the sign. Anyway its a good conversation piece. Once inside El Patio you will find a cozy dining space appropriately decorated with Hispanic pictures and drawing. There are about 10 tables in the place so expect a wait when you go over the lunch hour.
My friend had beat us there and was holding down a table for us. He had also polished off half a basket of chips so I guess he approved. Their salsa can best be described as un-chunky. It is so runny that its served out of squeeze bottles. While I prefer chunky salsas, El Patio’s is very good. They do give you a second bottle of salsa that is rather on the hot side and caution must be used when using this condiment. I thought it hit the spot on a cold winter afternoon. On this occasion, still recovering from a bout with the flu, Steph and I both went with the safe beef combo. It came with a taco, tostada, and enchilada. All three of these were well done. I would put the taco and tostada up against any other in the city. The enchilada was good, but not as good as Felipes or La Posada. El Patio offers all your typical Mexican dishes plus one that I would like to go back and try. That dish is menudo. Had my stomach been feeling 100% I might have taken the plunge, but I had to put it off. Menudo is a stew that contains slow cooked tripe (stomach lining) with a rich broth. Now you may be thinking that is disgusting, but it must be good if so many people like it.
All in all El Patio is a simple Mexican joint that serves good food for a low price. If you are ever in need of a good place in the downtown area and can’t find a Taco Bell this is one place you can go.