Craving Mexican?  Try El Patio!

The Rusty Bucket


‘The Social Network’


By Megan A. Drabek

If you are anything like me, you crave Mexican food—the crisp chips and spicy salsa, sizzling fajitas, and of course, a cold, refreshing margarita.  El Patio, a brand new authentic Mexican restaurant conveniently located on Plymouth in Livonia, would not fail to satisfy those cravings.

I was thrilled when I heard word of this new Mexican restaurant opening; I probably eat Mexican 1-2 times a week.  El Patio on Plymouth is one of their three locations; the others are located in Waterford and Farmington Hills.  I decided to dine-in on a Wednesday during lunchtime, and what happened to be their Grand Opening week.

The restaurant stands on the corner of Plymouth and Levan—a short, easy drive from the University.  I was immediately greeted at the door by a friendly, Mexican host.  The aroma of salsa, Mexican rice, and tacos filled the air; it definitely triggered those weekly cravings. 

When I opened the menu, I was not surprised to see lists and lists of food—appetizers, vegetarian specials, combination dinners, lunch specials, side orders, seafood and chicken dinners, a la carte choices, and of course, a dessert menu.  Traditional Mexican restaurants’ menus are packed with different choices; it definitely made it hard for me to order. 

To make it less stressful, I stuck with my usual favorite—fajitas.  I decided to go all out and order a combo of three proteins: chicken, beef, and grilled shrimp.  A side of Mexican rice, a set of guacamole salad, pico de gallo, cheese, sour cream, and tortillas also accompanied the fajitas, which were served on a bed of sizzling tomatoes, green and red pepper, onions, and mushrooms.  I, without a doubt, was in heaven.

I tried to limit my intake of unlimited chips and salsa as I waited for my sizzling fajitas to arrive.  The salsa tasted as if the vegetables were freshly cut; it was not too chunky, but a perfect texture and a moderate level of spice.  The chips were warm to the touch, and a perfect size to dip and enjoy. 

The interior decorations of the restaurant were rather pleasing and enjoyable; old authentic Mexican photographs were neatly hung on the walls, accompanied by hanging sombreros from the ceiling.  The colors were that of a traditional Mexican-themed color pallet:  warm reds, golds, and oranges.  The kitchen was not closed off, which allowed the aroma of my sizzling fajitas to flirt with me for the short, ten minutes that I waited. 

Not to my surprise, the fajitas-for-one that I ordered could easily feed three hungry people.  The sound of the crisp peppers, sautéed onions and mushrooms crackling on the hot plate filled the whole restaurant.  I was ready to push the chips and salsa aside and dig in.

I made my first fajita on a comfortably warm whole-flour tortilla that barely wrapped around the guacamole, lettuce, salsa, chicken, beef, and shrimp that I managed to stuff in.  One bite cured my weekly Mexican food craving.

Although I only ate one-third of my fajitas, I boxed-up the rest for a possible lunch the next day.  It was definitely a filling meal, and next time, may need to bring a date to help me finish!

The prices are very reasonable; my three-protein combination fajitas only cost $10.99.  If you are beyond hungry, a fajita-for-two is available for $18.99.  (I can’t even imagine that size!)  El Patio’s is open every day, Mon. – Thur. 11am to 10pm, Friday 11am to 11 pm, Saturday 11am to 10:30pm, and Sunday, noon to 10pm. 

So, if you are craving Mexican food, El Patio will promisingly cure your appetite.  I give El Patio four out of five stars, and will definitely try to make my way back soon.  The “art of authentic Mexican food” has hit Livonia—El Patio no se decepcionará!