It was a real struggle to get my husband to go to El Patron with me. He remembered vividly, as did I, our last visit there several years ago and it wasn’t pretty. Though it occurred right after the restaurant opened, our meal was so abysmal I made no pretense of eating my dinner and Tom didn’t finish mine as he usually does.
I have always heard such positive comments about El Patron, and it was recently mentioned in the new Food Lover’s Guide to Kansas City. That got my attention; I figured it was time to check it out again.
We’re both glad we did.
The chips were fresh and crisp, but I’d say the salsas are pretty standard. They do have a hot sauce that has a nice kick, but it could easily be eaten on its own without needing to mix in the mild salsa. The bowls the chips come in are ridiculously small–they must not have many customers like my husband who eats chips the way most people eat grapes–but at least they were quick with the refills.
I had the Burrito Puerco en Salsa Verde, a burrito stuffed with braised pork, onions and green chiles and topped with green salsa. Wanting to try the red chile sauce as well, I asked if I could have my burrito “Christmas” style with half red and half green, and they obliged. I preferred the salsa verde because, though it wasn’t as spicy as the red, it also wasn’t as salty. The pork was tender and not at all fatty.
Tom had cheese enchiladas smothered with molé sauce, and I mean smothered. It was chocolaty, fruity and decadent, just as it should be. The only thing missing was some rice to soak up all that goodness. Plates come with rice or beans, though the way we read the menu we thought rice and beans were included, not one or the other. You do have a choice of refried beans (which are listed as pintos, leading me to think they would be whole), or soupy black beans.
The menu is quite extensive, with a heavy emphasis on seafood. El Patron also specializes in the use of parrilladas, tabletop grills that come to the table with sizzling meats and shrimp on them. Similar to how we think of fajitas, but capable of serving an entire table.
The interior has to be one of the prettier Mexican restaurants on the Boulevard, with brick walls, spacious booths and a modern back-lit bar. It was obvious from the steady flow of customers coming in the front door that this hotspot is doing something right.