El Camino Real: Authentic and Delicious Mexican Food

El Camino Real – Authentic and Delicious Mexican Food

When El Camino Real owner Francisco Casilla was a young boy living in Acapulco, Mexico, his mother (or “Mama”, as he refers to her) taught him everything he needed to know about making authentic and delicious Mexican food. She would send Francisco to the village markets daily to buy the fresh ingredients that she would turn into magical dishes for her family. Only the best would do for his Mama and if he ever brought home ingredients that didn’t meet her standards, out the door the two of them would go and head back to the market. She would then proceed to take him to each of the vendors and introduce him as her son and instruct them that should they see Francisco shopping for her, they were to help him choose the best and freshest items they had – nothing less would do.
These are the lessons that Francisco brought with him when he moved to America in the early 90’s and began training with chefs to further hone his skills. When he moved to the Triad area close to 15 years ago, he worked with local chefs from Milner’s and Bermuda Run Country Club, where he added things such as budgeting food costs and managing a staff to his culinary tool kit – skills necessary for him to further his career in the food and beverage industry and make his next move of opening his own restaurant.
Francisco took that big step in 2009, when he opened the first El Camino Real location in Greensboro. Working side by side with other family members, it quickly became a favorite of Greensboro residents as the place to go for authentic and freshly made dishes.
After 6 years of driving back and forth to Winston-Salem daily, Francisco decided it was time to consider opening a second Triad location, and began looking for the perfect spot to do just that. In 2015, the Winston-Salem location of El Camino Real opened their doors.
When asked what sets El Camino Real apart from other Mexican restaurants in town, Francisco was quick to say that it’s because they serve authentic, homemade Mexican dishes like his mother made – using only the freshest of ingredients and making everything from scratch, every day. Everything from their tortillas, chips, salsa, and pico de gallo, to the margarita mix is made daily. If an item doesn’t meet Francisco’s high standards, it’s remade until it does. He admits it doesn’t happen often as all the staff have been trained and taught by him.
Another thing that makes his food special is the way he prepares his tamales. Whereas most restaurants prepare them using corn husks, Francisco and his team prepare them using banana leaves, which makes them more moist on the inside and gives them a distinctive flavor. This is a technique he learned from his mother – however, instead of drying the leaves out on the rooftop, Francisco opts for a procedure a little closer to the ground and dries them out in the kitchen.
Popular entrees at the Winston location include those very tamales, tortes, sopes, and pozole. If you’re in the mood for soup, try the Coctel ala Campechana which has shrimp, oysters, and octopus in it, all served with open shells – definitely not your average bowl of soup! Another unique feature of their menu is that Menudo is served every day of the week. Some Mexican restaurants only serve it one day a week.
There are daily specials in both the restaurant and the bar. According to Francisco, a must-have from the bar menu is the very special Presidente Margarita. This unique margarita is made with Mexican brandy as opposed to the traditional tequila. The brandy has to be special-ordered from the state stores, and takes four weeks to be delivered, which means on rare occasion it is not available. If you miss getting it on your visit, that just means you have to go back and visit again!
With the welcoming environment, the friendly staff, and the freshly made dishes, we are certain diners will enjoy every aspect of their visit to El Camino Real! However, if you need additional incentive to stop in and dine, they will be showing every game available of the soccer World Cup over the next few weeks. So grab your friends or your family and head to the second location of El Camino Real located in Winston-Salem!
The Winston-Salem restaurant is located at 3800 Reynolda Road in the Food Lion shopping center and is open Monday – Thursday from 11:00am – 10:00pm and Friday – Sunday from 11:00 – 10:30. Takeout is available for all menu items with an additional $0.25 charge for each order.
Find El Camino Real online at https://www.elcaminoreal01.com/ and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/caminoreal.