El Rodeo is a small authentic Mexican restaurant in Levee area that is one of my favorite places on campus. While it’s not the cleanest restaurant in the world, nor does it have the best food I’ve ever tasted, there’s a certain appeal that keeps so many Purdue students going back again and again. I think that appeal has a lot to do with the fun atmosphere of the place. Where else is it acceptable to go and order a 32 ounce margarita for lunch? Especially now, during Grand Prix week, when a lot of students are having their last days of classes, it’s the perfect place to unwind and enjoy the few weeks we have left of school. The great thing about the restaurant is that it’s a short walk from campus so you don’t have to worry about anyone driving when they shouldn’t be.
Overall, I think it’s the laid back feeling that makes El Rodeo one of my favorite places to go for a fun lunch or dinner. Every time I’ve gone there it’s always been with a bigger group and I’ve never had to wait for a table. In fact, we go there so much the waiters usually recognize at least half the group. Another great part is that they have no problem separating the checks for a big group, which can be a nightmare otherwise.
The food on the menu is pretty good, not fine dining but obviously good enough to keep going back for. I usually eat too many of the complimentary chips and salsa to eat all the food I order anyways. For some unknown reason, the prices on the menu never add up to what you actually end up paying or aren’t listed at all, so getting the check is like a fun game of figuring out who paid the most for some variation of a tortilla with meat, beans and melted cheese. I had a friend get the same thing she got the last time she was there, yet it ended up being a different price. This can either mean that we’re all really bad at math or a side of sour cream costs $5.00, though we’ve usually had too many margaritas to care all that much.
In a nutshell, El Rodeo is the perfect place to go and spend time with a group of friends where you can be loud, eat, drink and have a good time without getting stares from other people in the restaurant. Needless to say I’m glad El Rodeo is back open after being closed for awhile last year and can’t wait to eat there a couple more times before I graduate and it’s no longer acceptable to have a 32 ounce margarita on a Tuesday afternoon.