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



Dunkin' Donuts Removes Artificial Dyes From Donuts

Dunkin’ Donuts is kicking off 2018 with news declaring donuts now sold at restaurants nationwide are no longer being made using colors from artificial sources. As part of the company’s ongoing efforts to offer guests great-tasting, high-quality products and cleaner menu labels, Dunkin’ Brands Group, the parent company of Dunkin’ Donuts and Baskin-Robbins, previously pledged ... (click for more)

Chick-fil-A To Officially Break Ground For East Ridge Restaurant

Chick-fil-A’s Tennessee expansion continues with a groundbreaking event soon at the site of its new East Ridge restaurant, the second of six locations the chain expects to open in Tennessee this year. It will be near the Bass Pro Shop. Chick-fil-A representatives will join community leaders at the site of the chain’s East Ridge location at  639 Camp Jordan Parkway at Jordan ... (click for more)

BlueCross Sells Huge Tract Along River For $8.1 Million

BlueCross BlueShield has sold a huge tract along the riverfront in Lupton City for $8.1 million. The purchaser is listed as Riverton LLC., 651 E. 4th St., Suite 403, Chattanooga. BlueCross had bought the 216-acre site in 2001 as a possible site for its corporate headquarters. However, it wound up building a $299 million campus on Cameron Hill instead. BlueCross started ... (click for more)

1 Person Injured In Duplex Fire In East Lake Wednesday Night

One person was injured when fire broke out in a duplex Wednesday night in East Lake. The Chattanooga Fire Department received the alarm at  11:53  p.m. on  Wednesday  and responded to the 4800 block of General Thomas Boulevard with several fire companies. When the first firefighters arrived on the scene, Captain Chris Cordes with Engine 9 said a significant ... (click for more)

Thank You, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Thank you, Dr. King for stepping-out.  Thank you for your lasting voice to what it's all about. Thank you, Dr. King for  stepping up and also showing-up, ...when decisions were being made and  your refusal  to shut-up.  We find your fingerprints on both directions and toward progress.  your modeling, mentoring,  and reactions helps ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Kids Are Still Funny

I have never seen nor heard of a child actually getting one’s “head pinched off” but by modern-day standards the threat just switched in overdrive. There are children in our communities who haven’t been to school for six long days and the brutal temperatures drove the little darlings to inside where they most predictably stirred up all manner of mayhem. Back when I was in Elementary ... (click for more)