El Torito (which is Spanish for “little bull”) is a Mexican restaurant chain with over 60 locations primarily located in the state of California.
It’s owned by Real Mex Restaurants, a company that was acquired by an investment group called Z Capital Partners, which now owns RMR’s portfolio with several Mexican restaurants, including El Torito.
Technically, El Torito has one vegan option, which is their dairy-free guacamole.
However, you can also easily convert the veggie fajitas and the spinach enchiladas into vegan-friendly options by removing their animal-based components.
For the sake of providing you with more information about these options, let’s look at them in more detail in the section below. Also, note that the information in this blog post was taken from El Torito’s website as well as online reviews from vegan customers that have visited the restaurant.
3 Must-Have Vegan Options at El Torito
1 – Veggie Fajitas
As I’ve mentioned in the introduction, this recipe is not originally made vegan.
The Veggie Fajita contains fresh zucchini, spinach, potatoes, peppers, carrots, squash, green beans, onions, fresh rosemary, and mint leaves. So far so good, right?
However, this recipe also comes with Chile Relleno. If you’re not familiar with what it is, it’s essentially a fried pepper stuffed with cheese. Traditionally, it’s also stuffed with minced meat and coated with egg batter, but in this particular case, the recipe doesn’t contain meat.
To make it vegan, you have to remove the Chile Relleno.
It indeed loses the core component of the dish, but there isn’t a suitable replacement.
2 – Spinach Enchiladas
The Spinach Enchiladas are stuffed with sauteed fresh spinach, pasilla chiles, onions, pico de gallo, and fire-roasted tomatillo sauce. However, as you can see from the image above, they’re also topped with cheese.
Additionally, they also serve the Enchiladas with a portion of rice and beans on the side. The beans are vegan-friendly (as they’re not made using lard), but the rice – as surprising as it sounds – is not vegan.
It turns out that the rice is cooked in chicken fat, making it unsuitable for vegans.
In summary, if you want to make this recipe vegan you have to remove the cheese and the rice.
3 – Fresh Tableside Guacamole
A lot of guacamole recipes are made with milk, but El Torito actually makes their guacamole recipe without any animal components.
Fortunately, their recipe is simple. It’s a mix of avocado, onion, lime, cilantro, garlic, and tomatoes.
Aside from the three aforementioned options, there are plenty of vegan-friendly beverages you can choose from, as they have a wide selection of margaritas, wines, beer, and other drinks.
Here is a list of all of the vegan-friendly beverages:
- Black Diamond Margarita
- Cilantro Cucumber Skinny Margarita
- Spicy Jalapeño Cucumber Margarita
- Roca Skinny Cadillac
- Signature Margarita
- Patrón Citrus Cadillac Margarita
- Cadillac Margarita
- Pinot Noir
- Housemade Sangria
- Mexican Ginger Mule
- Classic Paloma
- Smoky Pineapple Mescal
- Effen Moscow Mule
- Bud Light
- Modelo Especial
- Michelob Ultra
- Coors Light
- Dos Equis
I haven’t seen any mention of soft drinks such as Coca Cola or Sprite on their menu, but I’m assuming those are available in pretty much every restaurant.
Summary: El Torito Is Not Vegan-Friendly
El Torito is not a vegan-friendly restaurant.
They have one legitimate vegan option (which is the guacamole), and the other options we’ve mentioned are originally vegetarian but we’ve made them vegan.
Fortunately, many Mexican restaurants offer a broader host of vegan options, in fact, one that we are happy to mention is El Pollo Loco, which can provide you with a way better experience. Not to mention the fact they also have more locations countrywide.
Two Recommendations For Your Vegan Journey
Allow me to make two quick recommendations that have helped me in my vegan journey by ensuring I’m always healthy and deficiency-free.
- The first recommendation is my favorite vegan multivitamin supplement. It was created with vegans in mind. It contains vitamins B12, D, and Omega 3. In other words, it contains nutrients that vegans are generally low in.
- The second recommendation is this amazing vegan starter kit that is actually a bundle with 9 e-books that will help you lead a healthy, vegan lifestyle without running into any dietary deficiencies. It has great advice, and it includes print-outs and checklists that will make the theory easy to implement. This is something I’ve included in my recommended products page as well.
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