Ditto the black beans that came with my vegetarian choice: spinach enchiladas ($10.50). Two soft corn tortillas were filled with spinach and cheese and smothered with green tomatillo sauce (always more fiery than I remember). Here's where another short cut happened. The enchiladas didn't seem to have been baked with their sauce, just assembled warm enough so that the cheese melted, but the spinach didn't have time to cook.
Other vegetarian choices are: a fresh tostada layered with cheese, guacamole, lettuce, and tomatoes; black bean soup; a burrito with grilled veggies, rice, and black beans; another burrito with fresh veggies; and a spinach quesadilla (with a flour tortilla instead of the corn one in the enchilada dish).
We shared a thick dish of flan ($4.25), with a substantial layer of caramelized sugar on its inverted top. Though I prefer my egg custard a bit quivery, the taste was fine. They also feature fried ice cream and an apple-stuffed chimichanga served with ice cream.
They have several draft beers, including four or five Mexican imports, along with classic margaritas. There's a large TV screen near the bar and one across the room, just above our heads, both tuned to sports.
Have I become spoiled by tiny Mexican spots in Rhode Island, where the food is slow-cooked, and the pace a bit more laid-back? Of course, that's just a personal whim — El Tapatio has good, solid Mexican-American food with generous servings, a friendly staff, and enough variations on the chair backs to keep you entertained (sans TV).
On the Web
El Tapatio: eltapatiocranston.com
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