I left my husband in charge of kitchen remodeling this week while I went gallivanting up the east coast with a few friends. We arrived in Norfolk, and headed straight for Margie and Ray’s Crab House. To our dismay, we discovered Margie’s closed not only for the day, but also for the week due to construction in the area. El Tapatio was in our sights for supper, so we decided to head there for lunch instead.
El Tapatio is located in Dam Neck Corner/Pungo on General Booth Boulevard in Virginia Beach. It’s cozy inside, and the decor is rustic Mexican with a southwestern flare. A second Virginia Beach location is on S. Lynnhaven Parkway.
Service was quick, and the servers had a sense of humor. When asked what was in the white sauce that’s served with the salsa and chips, the server replied “it’s the chef’s secret”, which was followed by a shrug, and an “I have no idea”. I didn’t eat too much of the salsa and white sauce; I wanted to save room for my lunch. One of my friends nearly licked the bowl clean.
El Tapatio’s menu is impressive. I had vegetarian Plato J – a spinach enchilada, a cheese enchilada, and a mushroom quesadilla served with a small salad. The red sauce was slightly spicy but flavorful, and the quesadilla had plenty of mushrooms. One of my friends ordered Brian’s Special–tender grilled rib-eye steak, grilled chicken breasts, and sautéed shrimp served with rice and beans, pico de gallo, guacamole salad, and tortillas. I so wanted to reach across the table and pick off a few shrimp, but I’m not sure I would have survived. My other friend enjoyed the Seafood Chimichangas–flour tortillas filled with shrimp and crabmeat, covered with seafood sauce, and served with rice and beans. I can’t really say how this dish looked or smelled; my friend left little evidence that anything ever filled the plate.
El Tapatio’s offers many lunch specials; a taco bar; salads; starters; a variety of nachos; vegetarian dishes; dinner specials; seafood dishes; carnes; kids plates; and desserts such as sopapillas, flan, fried ice cream, xangos, and choco tacos. The restaurant touts a full-service bar, and exotic and frozen specialty drinks and crazy margaritas. I wanted one of the margaritas in the worst way, but it was early in the day.
If you’re in the Virginia Beach area, you should make it a point to stop in and try El Tapatio. The food is mouth-watering, and the service is excellent. You won’t be disappointed.
2129 General Booth Blvd.
Virginia Beach, VA 23454