I stopped by El Cid the other day to get the scoop on their Margaritas, and a few other things.
When I asked how many Margaritas are served in a typical day, Tony pondered and said they go through about two cases of Tequila a day. My friends, that makes a lot of Margaritas.
If you were to guess how many baskets of chips El Cid serves in a given day and you said one thousand, you would be close. That’s just an average day at El Cid!
According to owner Tony Olmeda, the popularity of local favorite El Cid comes down to three very basic things: good food, good service, and good prices.
How can it be so simple? I can see that Tony is an owner who spends a lot of time at the restaurant, moving around the dining area checking on his customers, making sure they are happy.
Long term employees also help contribute to the success of the business. Much of the staff has worked for Tony ten-plus years, which means they know their jobs very well. They know their customers too, and the customers know them. When I asked if he had any favorite customers, he laughed and said, “They are all my favorites.”
Tony worked for the original owners of El Cid and in 1995, when the opportunity to buy the business arose, he jumped at the chance. Over the years, he’s put his own signature on the business by making it not just a place to eat, but a place for people to meet. It seems that every time I go in, there is at least one large group of people celebrating a birthday, anniversary, or special occasion.
Anyone who has patronized El Cid a few times has seen the five hanging bird feeders (thistle socks) through the back window of the restaurant. The bird feeding got started after Tony saw the feeders at a nursery, bought one and hung it outside the window. When he saw how many birds were attracted, he added 4 more. The birds consume more than fifty pounds of bird seed every week!
This winter the El Cid parking lot will be paved to allow for additional handicap parking spaces and better overall parking. During these improvements, Tony will also be moving the bar from its current location to the parking lot side of the building. He is always working to make the restaurant better and provide his customers with an excellent experience.
Feeling bold, I finally asked the big question… “Tony, will you give me your Margarita recipe?” I held my breath until he replied, “Tequila and triple sec.” That was all I could get out of him!
When pressed further he relented and gave me one more clue: they use a full shot of tequila, not a typically smaller “bar shot.” I suppose I’ll have to come back another time (and maybe several after that) to obtain that elusive recipe.
Visit their website at http://www.elcidmexicancuisine.com