El Dorado is on Lake Shore Dr. as you exit Highway 2 to go into Ashland. One side of the medium sized place is windows overlooking the Chequamegon Bay – part of Lake Superior – and the other side, where the entry is, faces a one story motel. There is limited parking around the restaurant but the sign by the door says additional parking is available at the motel however the motel clearly has their spaces marked “for hotel parking”. Inside you will find a bustling place full of workers, families and folks just stopping for lunch. Service is efficient but not overly chatty or attentive. For example, if you need a beverage re-filled or additional utensils or napkins, be prepared to snag a waiter and ask for them.
Tables are set with a bowl of mild but tasty salsa and crisp, thick chips that lack a distinctive corn taste. It is an unremarkable starter but nevertheless pleasant tasting. They offer a large menu and a few lunch specials as well as a couple specials of the day (which seemed to be things on the menu but offered at a discount).
We tried the Lunch Special #1 which was a Chile Relleno, beef taco, beans and guacamole salad. The large poblano pepper that made up the relleno had a nice strong and spicy flavor and was stuffed with gooey white cheese. The coating was soft but blended well with the molé sauce and extra cheese on top. The sauce was a surprise but actually made for a delicious combination of flavors. The beef taco was less exciting with a bland super ground beef filling. The guacamole salad had minimal flavor but was covered with lettuce and more cheese that made good supplements to the taco. The beans were very acceptable – creamy with mild flavor – and rounded out a good and well priced plate of food.
One of the daily specials was the Bistec a La Mexicana – tender slices of steak grilled with onions, tomatoes and jalapeños and served with rice, beans and flour tortillas. The steak had a nice caramelized finish and beefy taste and the jalapeños were canned but still added a good amount of heat to the dish. The tortillas and rice were ordinary but perfectly completed the plate.
The combination #11 was One Enchilada, One Beef Burrito and One Chile Relleno. On this plate the relleno was stuffed with the insipid ground beef and didn’t work as well for me. The enchilada was acceptable and combined with a side of guacamole this plate was fine but not as good as the first two.