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Fresh Mex concept working at El Pueblo in Folsom

Folsom Lake Entertainer
By: Eric Laughlin, Folsom Lake Entertainer
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After each spending nearly two decades in the kitchens of Sacramento area Mexican restaurants, friends Danny Borlando and Jesse Gonzalez had a pretty good idea of what works and what doesn’t. Last year the pair teamed up to open “El Pueblo,” an establishment that strayed from what’s often the norm of serving up food from a can. The restaurant has built quite a following based on its strict policy of making everything completely fresh, from scratch. And that includes everything from the sauces to the refried beans, to the entrees. “People can taste the freshness,” Gonzalez said. “Everything we serve is prepared that day.” Gonzalez said his time in the restaurant business taught him that patrons were becoming more and more concerned about their health. “That’s what led us to do something different,” he said. “We found that people were looking for food that not only tastes good, but is also good for them.” He said with great ratings on restaurant review websites, their formula for freshness is also one for success. El Pueblo features a full menu with appetizers, entrees and desserts. Also, a unique happy hour is offered all day on Wednesdays and Thursdays. “It’s happy hour every day we’re open from 3 to 6 p.m., but we found that having it all day on Wednesdays was a good idea,” Gonzalaz said. “So we extended it to Thursdays.” The happy hour beverages are said to be just as impressive as the food items, with highlights including 100 percent organic agave tequila margaritas with fresh squeezed key lime and Sauza Gold for $5. Other beverage specials include $3 pints of premium draft and $4 premium well drinks. The happy hour appetizers include two “street tacos,” which consist of carnitas or grilled chicken with pico and guacamole for $2.95. Nachos and quesadillas are served with all the fixings for $4.95. When it comes to entrees, Gonzalez said El Pueblo has become known for its pork carnitas and chile rellenos, made fresh daily — like everything else. Other notables on the menu include the fajitas caseras, which can be prepared for parties of up to four. Choice of meat for those include chicken, steak or shrimp and veggie lovers will appreciate the zucchini and squash option. When it comes to dessert, you’ll want to try the fresh vanilla flan, fried ice cream or the lighter Mexican hot chocolate with cinnamon. As far Gonzalez and Borlando, they don’t plan on changing anything. “The word of mouth is what keeps us successful,” Gonzalez said. “We came here to start a restaurant for the locals and so far that’s really working out.” * * * EL PUEBLO Where: 6608 Folsom Auburn Road, Folsom Information: elpueblofolsom.com, (916) 987-5797