Review: El Roy’s Mexican Grill

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Albert Gregory

El Roy’s Mexican Grill provides many affordable options including their gordita, priced at $5 and piled high on fried masa with beans, onions, cilantro, your choice of meat, cheese and another piece of crispy masa on top.

Albert Gregory, Special to The Oak Leaf

El Roy’s Mexican Grill | 210 Edith St., Petaluma; plus food trucks at 175 Fairgrounds Dr. and 401 East Washington St., Petaluma and 760 Sebastopol Rd., Santa Rosa | (707) 774-3738 | Most entrees under $10

5 of 5 Oak Leaves

Signature Dishes

Tacos Dorados, Mexidog, Sopes

Review

For any college student, there is no better bite at such an affordable price anywhere in Santa Rosa or Petaluma than at El Roy’s Mexican Grill, either at the restaurant and food trucks in Petaluma or at the newest truck location in Santa Rosa.

After success with their first food truck, Yvette Vega and her brothers Roy and Fernando Cabrera opened their brick-and-mortar location on Edith Street in Petaluma, where they’ve been dishing out high-quality, low-cost authentic Mexican cuisine to happy customers since 2016.

While much of the world continues to shelter inside during this pandemic, Vega’s always-growing Mexican food empire, which also includes three food trucks and a catering business, is continuing to serve the public with take-out and pick-up options.

While wearing masks and gloves and enforcing strict social distancing, El Roy’s employees are continuing to quickly dish out comforting affordable food inspired by family recipes.

One dish that truly stands out from El Roy’s concise menu is the Tacos Dorados, one of the most expensive items. It includes three crispy tacos, layered with refried beans, your choice of meat, cilantro and a smothering of cheese for only $9.

El Roy’s offers your typical meat selection with delicious grilled chicken, carne asada, carnitas and chorizo, and shrimp and fish for a little more money, as well as some more adventurous options, including tongue, beef head and fried pork stomach.

But the best way to judge any Mexican restaurant is by the al pastor and that’s where El Roy’s truly shines, providing a juicy marinated pork that is full of flavor and spiced perfectly to compliment the fresh ingredients included in their dishes.

El Roy’s menu isn’t very descriptive but feel free to ask about anything you’re unsure of and you might find something you’d never think of trying, like the Mexi Dogs, which is bacon wrapped, loaded with tomatoes, grilled jalapeños and onions, and topped off with mustard, ketchup and mayonnaise. This signature dog is similar to something you would find street vendors serving. Priced at one for $3 or two for $5, you can get a ton of flavor for cheap.

El Roy’s take-out packaging may leave something to be desired in terms of sustainability with food either served either in Styrofoam boxes or on paper trays or plates bound tightly in plastic wrap. It may not be the most sustainable, but you know they’ll never skimp on the napkins.

El Roy’s makes up for its basic wrapping with the food’s beautiful presentation. The typical street dishes shine and are plated high, popping with bursts of color.

You can expect the typical portion sizes you’d get at any Mexican restaurant or food truck, if not even a little larger on certain items like the sopes. Priced at $3 each, you get a fried piece of crispy masa topped with creamy refried beans and your choice of meat, lettuce, cheese and crema piled on.

Here’s a pro tip you can usually find at most taco trucks: ask for some pickled jalapeños, carrots and onions, which they will usually give you on the side for free.

The closest El Roy’s location to the Petaluma Campus is the food truck parked at 175 Fairgrounds Dr., just down the street from the restaurant at 210 Edith St. and the original truck location at the corner on 401 East Washington St. The newest Santa Rosa truck location is also open at 760 Sebastopol Rd. For catering options, you can still pick up at the brick-and-mortar spot through their website www.elroysxpressmex.com.


The Breakdown

Category What were we looking for? Score out of 5
Packaging Neat? Sustainable? Did they remember cutlery? Napkins? Condiments? 4
Hygiene Was clerk wearing gloves? A mask? Both? Neither? What were the pick up and waiting areas like? Clean/neat? 5/td>
Speed and accuracy Food was on counter ready for pickup 4
Portion size Was it filling or were you left wanting more? 5
Leftovers Were there leftovers and, if so, did they reheat well? 2
Quality of Food Freshness, quality of ingredients 5
Tastiness of Food Flavor, spice and texture 5
Customer Service Friendliness, responsiveness 5
Overall Rating With 5 being a perfect score, this restaurant rated: 5