Rhonda On The Prowl: El Monterrey To Brighten Your Day

Tuesday, February 23, 2016 - by Rhonda Tuggle

It had been a minute since Pops and I had seen each other, so we did some catching up over lunch at his favorite Mexican restaurant: El Monterrey.

Located on Signal Mountain Road next to the Wal-Mart, El Monterrey has served my dad and me for many of our father-daughter dates. I like the colorful tables and chairs that portray different sunny scenes in Mexico. My dad, Carlos, likes the casual atmosphere and friendly service.

The host led us to a booth in the center of the restaurant. It was rainy and cold out; people were starting to file in.

Our waitress brought out the complimentary chips and salsa then took our order right then and there because Pops and I always know what we want. He ordered the number 18 combo that comes with one beef burrito, one taco, rice and beans for $8. I ordered the lunch enchilada special, which includes a chicken enchilada, a cheese enchilada, rice, lettuce and sour cream for $6.25.

While we waited for our food we munched on the chips, salsa, and melted queso cheese dip we ordered. My dad asked me all about my life, and I told him everything there was to tell – the good, the bad, the spectacular, the bland – because in a place like El Monterrey you are free to talk on and on, and never feel like you’re going to be rushed away.

The food came in a timely manner. “Hot plate, Senorita!” cried the bus boy wearing an oven mitt as he set the enchiladas before me. Something urged me to sweep my fingers across the plate to see just how hot it was. “Ouch!” I said. “It burns!”

My dad laughed. “The man just told you it was a hot plate, Rhonda. What did you expect?”

Who knows what I expected from my impulsive action. But I do know I expected my lunch to taste great. And, without a doubt, my expectations were met. The corn tortillas the enchiladas came wrapped in melted in my mouth. The chicken was tender and the cheese was melted. The special Mexican sauce saturating the enchiladas added a nice tangy flavor, too.

As always, Pops enjoyed his meal. He ate slow and steady, savoring every bite. His favorite was the beef burrito – fully loaded and smothered in red sauce. Then he polished his lunch off with the hard shell taco.

“There’s no place like El Monterrey,” he said as he stood to pay our bill at the front counter. It came to $17 before tip. Pops always pays for me here. He says it’s the least he can do. “I love treating my children. Always will,” he said.

Hopefully it won’t be too long before he and I come here again.

Location: 531 Signal Mountain Road    

Hours: M – Th, Sun: 11:00 AM - 10:00 PM

Fri - Sat: 11:00 AM - 10:30 PM


Waitr Expands To Outside Chattanooga City Limits

Waitr’s success in Chattanooga has prompted significant growth – delivery service now extends outside the city. In addition to Chattanooga, Waitr is now delivering to the Lookout Mountain area, and also just east of the city toward the Ooltewah and East Brainerd communities. The Waitr app lets you order from your favorite restaurant … then sends a Waitr driver to deliver it to you ... (click for more)

Charlie's BBQ & Bakery Tests The Waters Further Down Main Street

Charlie's BBQ & Bakery has opened in the old Charlie's Quik Stop at 2309 E. Main St.   Owners  Wes Agee, Elizabeth St. Clair and Stacey Anderson  from Manchester, Tn., said, "This neighborhood may not have a great reputation, but we are genuinely trying to make a difference in that reputation."   Ms. St. Clair said the trio saw the building up ... (click for more)

Chattanooga Police Investigating Shooting That Victim Says Happened A Week Ago

Chattanooga Police responded to a local hospital on Friday evening after a person arrived with a gunshot wound.   The injured man told police he was shot on Thursday, Oct. 11. He said he was shot while on the dance floor of a club somewhere along Brainerd Road.   If you have any information about the incident, call Chattanooga Police at 423-698-2525. You ... (click for more)

Charles Pipkens, Lajeromeney Brown Arrested In Series Of Violent Home Invasions In Which Robbers Posed As Police

Chattanooga Police have arrested Charles Dijon Pipkens and Lajeromeney Brown in connection with a series of violent home invasions in which the suspects told their victims they were Chattanooga Police officers.. Pipkens, 27, was charged in an Aug. 11 case and Brown, 40, in an incident on Sept. 19. Pipkens, of 434 N. Hickory St., is charged with two counts of aggravated kidnapping, ... (click for more)

Teach For America Raises Concerns

For the last several years, many groups, individuals and parties interested in preserving public education for our children have stood firm as a rampantly growing privatization movement has descended upon our local educational landscape.  We saw last year the Department of Education push a plan that would form a partnership zone which could potentially lead to schools in the ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Inequality & The Left

The story is told about a liberal politician who was getting a room full of snowflakes all heated up over equity and equality, which is big with the political Left right now. One of his handlers finally got the chance and whispered in his ear, “Use ‘fairness’ instead! That’s what sells … “ Afterwards a newspaper column read, “The liberals love fairness because it cannot be measured. ... (click for more)