There’s no denying El Camino’s buzzy following has remained hot since its Fort Lauderdale opening in spring. That carried on through summer and is true to-date—even on evenings seasoned restaurateurs would consider “slow” days, every table and bar stool in sight fills up quickly.
The Mexican soul food hot spot opened its doors on Las Olas following its highly successful location on Atlantic Avenue in Delray Beach. Brian Albe, Brandon Belluscio and Anthony Pizzo are the brains behind the restaurant. Albe says El Camino now fills what was once a void in Fort Lauderdale for “a great Mexican restaurant that focused on quality craft products.”
“El Camino was built on sustainability, technique, a passion for authentic Mexican cuisine and overall a great guest experience,” Pizzo says. “I’d like to say that we deliver at the highest level with humility and integrity. We focus on seasonality and quality.”
Aside from being the new shiny toy on the block, El Camino’s extensive spirits program is reason to stop by. With more than 500 mezcal and tequila options, guests can enjoy watermelon-jalapeño and smoked pineapple margaritas, to specialty flights and infusions. “We have worked very hard to acquire this list. We have even gone to the extent of contacting the mezcalero personally to bring their mezcal into Florida for us,” Albe says. Later this year, he plans to travel to Oaxaca, Mexico, to pick out a barrel of exclusive mezcal that has been aged in Pappy Van Winkle barrels.
Mexican Soul Offerings
There are plenty of ways to enjoy a dine at El Camino, but with so many choices, we decided to give you some pointers. Start with the Mexicans street corn, or go big with the smoked brisket nachos, which Albe says is a crowd favorite. They’re piled high with the works: jack cheese, pinto beans, jalapeño, scallion and pico de gallo with sour cream and guacamole.
Try the combo tacos for three different flavor profiles served with your choice of rice and beans or veggies. A few must-try tacos include the spicy chicken, chorizo and the Gulf shrimp. There’s also a selection of enchiladas, burritos, quesadillas and fajitas.
Churro doughnuts with Mexican hot chocolate, coconut tres leches and flan served with red wine cherries, candied mixed nuts and whipped cream round out the dessert offerings. Plus, stop by for weekly happenings like two daily happy hours (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. and midnight to close) and Taco Tuesdays.
By: Mellisa Puppo