El Rodeo / El Reparo

If you've read many of my reviews, you know I like Mexican food. I was a missionary in Mexico for 4 years (which is another story for another day) and I really enjoy Mexican food - especialy AUTHENTIC Mexican food. Now Cuco's and El Chico are good, but when it comes to REAL Mexican food, you need to get a REAL Mexican to cook it! That's what El Rodeo (and its sister restaurant El Reparo) offer best! Real Mexican food cooked by Real Mexicans.

El Reparo was actually the first of the two but I eat more often at El Rodeo, which is why I've listed it first in the title. They're both owned by the Melendez family from Guadalajara and they both offer the same dishes, with small variations.

When these two restaurants opened up their help was so Mexican they almost didn't speak English! That was one of the reasons I loved going there because it gave me a chance to practice my Spanish. I love surprising folks because this white gringo is the last person they expect to hear speaking fluent Spanish. I will say that the majority of the waiters do a lot better in English now and there aren't as many communication errors as there used to be.

One of my favorite plates is the Chimichanga. This is like a burrito but it's deep fried. El Rodeo has one of the best Chimichangas I've ever eaten. It's a very generous serving with just the right combination of spices, sour cream and guacamole (both are optional). It comes with a light salad, pico de gallo (finely chopped onions, tomatoes & peppers), beans and Mexican rice. It's a very filling plate with a great flavor.

They offer a lot of various dishes and you would do well to experiment. My wife loves their Chalupa, my dad really likes their fajitas, my mom enjoys their taco salad, my sister likes their taquitos and my kids love their soft tacos and quesadillas. If you're on a diet their vegetarian quesadilla is awesome!!!

I can't say enough good about these restaurants. They have a nice atmosphere, well decorated ambience, excellent food, pleasant waiters, very reasonable prices ... what more could you ask for? 

El Rodeo is located on Hwy 165N in Ball, across from Ball Foods.

El Reparo is located on MacArthur Drive in Alexandria, next to Super 1 Foods.

(written 6/1/02)



El Rodeo

6005 Monroe Highway
Pineville, LA 71360

El Reparo

550 Macarthur Drive
Alexandria, LA 71303



"El Rodeo" is pronounced "El Ro-day-oh". It is the origin of our word rodeo, but it's pronounced like the road in Hollywood, which is the true pronunciation.

"El Reparo" does not mean "the repair"! It's the term used for a rearing horse, like the Lone Ranger's horse Trigger when he reared up on his hind legs.