Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Real good Mexican food

Since 1963 the Torres Cafe has been providing delicious Mexican food to the lucky people living in or passing through Billings.

I can't say enough good things about this family-owned restaurant. The waitresses are happy and friendly, the service is fast considering that everything is made from scratch, and the food is absolutely, mouthwateringly, delicious.

On my first visit I had the midweek pork carnitas special, which includes 3 small corn tortillas (handmade in the kitchen) and a pile of shredded seasoned pork. Today, having learned my lesson that eating a lot of good food can sometimes be too much, I ordered a moderate-size taco bowl, shown in the photo. Just right in every sense.

In the photo you can also almost see a bottle of Jarritos soda made in El Paso, Texas. This comes in several flavors, and I chose my waitress's personal favorite, mandarin. It is a refreshing not-too-sweet beverage made from cane sugar. I was sorry to learn that it no longer comes in watermelon or tamarind flavors, so I think I'll try lime next time.

I was also a bit sad to learn, after talking to one of the family owners, that Torres will probably die with the current generation. The younger members of the family, who literally grew up in the restaurant, are all too aware of the work hours that go into such a business. They prefer to spend quality time with their families and have chosen other professions.

But meanwhile we can all enjoy this fabulous food. Go, go, go to Torres and eat your fill!

And in addition to the food, there is plenty of visual entertainment. Hanging on the walls and from the ceiling are many interesting Mexican items, including bullfighters painted on velvet, wooden carvings, pinatas, and cooking utensils.

If you're small enough, a ride on a bucking bronco is well worth the price.

Or try your luck with the Fun Chicken. I have no idea what's in any of those eggs, but why not find out for yourself?

If you're in a more serious mood, perhaps needing peace and quiet or even spiritual guidance, you can stop for a moment in the meditation room, which opens right off the dining area. The owner's mother donated one Catholic statute many years ago, and the collection grew from there.

To find the cafe, go to the Kings Avenue exit (exit 446) and turn south, then west onto Frontage Road. Look for all the cars of eager customers.

6200 South Frontage Road
Billings MT 59101

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