I have been hearing a bunch of mixed reviews from people regarding El Amerikano. It takes me a while to visit because I don’t get to Fullerton much, but I am able to drop in for lunch recently with some friends and am glad I am finally able to weigh in on this discussion.
The restaurant is tucked away at the corner and it takes me a few minutes to find it. Once you enter, there is a menu board to peruse before you order, and then, find a seat. Although this places El Amerikano in the fast-casual style category, the menu is far from being fast food and not all that casual either since servers come around and refill your drinks.
We begin with Prime Rib Nachos ($9), a generous bowl of tortilla chips topped with a duo of cheeses, onion, red chimicchuri, cilantro and crema fresca. There is a generous amount of meat on the chips and quite frankly, I am rather shocked at how much you get for the price. If I order this on my own, I will not be able to finish it.
The same goes for Seared Lamb ($8), an ample chunk of fork-tender lamb with crispy diced potato, cabbage, escabeche, cotija and crema fresca. Take one of the flour tortillas and fill with a little of everything. The lamb is amply seasoned and I like that the meat has a hint of gaminess to it. Most lamb these days is so mild I don’t feel like I’m eating lamb at all.
Rib Eye Picado ($9) arrives like the seared lamb, with flour tortillas to wrap everything in. The grilled rib eye is beautifully charred. Mushrooms, sweet peppers, cabbage, goat cheese, eggplant, pepitas (pumpkin seeds) and salsa verde come together for a really flavorful mouthful.
El Amerikano is extremely vegetarian friendly and the following dishes will make you want to be vegetarian, if only for one day.
Cucumber Ceviche Salad ($7) is light and refreshing. Cucumber slices and avocado are the bulk of this dish, while almonds, roasted corn and tomato add color and texture. The goat cheese provides richness and depth.
Portabello Fries ($7) are thick wedges of mushroom with a crispy chipotle adobo seasoned corn meal batter. They are delicious with the accompanying roasted garlic aioli, and of course, perfect for non-meat eaters.
Avocado Poblano Queso ($5) is another meatless choice. Dip the house-made chips into the gooey cheddar cheese dotted with nuts, cotija and diced avocado. This is a great item to share.
One of my favorites is Roasted Cauliflower Pesto ($7), perfect as a side to share, or a meal in itself. A filling dish, the cauliflower florets are smothered in a sauce of cotija, pepitas, cilantro, roasted corn and black bean.
Creamed Corn Poblano ($7) is a Mexican creamed corn of sorts. Char grilled corn, cotija, cabbage, nuts and cilantro come together for a truly well-concocted plate. There is a mix of flavor profiles as well as textural contrast. Absolutely love it.
Affogato is one of my all time favorite desserts and here, El Amerikano offers Churrogato ($6) a scoop of ice-cream with Stumptown Fench vanilla espresso, and a side of house-made churro. Honestly, I do not need the churro at all. The ice cream and coffee are sufficient to make me swoon — and my insides buzz for the next several hours.
As a fast casual gastropub, El Amerikano serves its purpose, and serves it well. It exceeds my expectations in so many ways, but most of all, a stellar menu with great flavors at very reasonable prices.
100 S Harbor Blvd
Fullerton, CA 92832
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