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



Cheesecake Factory To Open At Hamilton Place Mall

CBL Properties announced on Tuesday that The Cheesecake Factory is coming to Hamilton Place in Chattanooga, Tennessee, as the first key component of the Sears redevelopment project. Construction on The Cheesecake Factory is underway with an anticipated grand opening in late 2018. “The Cheesecake Factory is one of the most successful and highly sought after restaurants in the ... (click for more)

“Share The Color” Food Workshops Offered For Chattanooga Area Children And Families

Local Registered Dietitians and Subway restaurants in the Chattanooga area will be helping families learn about nutritious food choices during several free food workshops, hosted at local city libraries in the Chattanooga area. The free food workshops will cover basic nutrition information and include a hands-on sub making activity and free lunch. Children will receive a take-home ... (click for more)

Man Killed, Passenger Seriously Injured; Driver Of Other Vehicle Hurt In Accident On Suck Creek Road Saturday Morning

One person was killed and two others injured in a head-on crash on Suck Creek Road on Saturday morning. The accident at 8:45 a.m. at the 2100 block of Suck Creek Road involved a Kia Sedona mini-van and a Hyundai Elantra. Preliminary results indicate that the Hyundai Elantra was traveling southbound on Suck Creek Road and, while negotiating a curve, ... (click for more)

A Jury For 2nd Time Convicts Randall Reed Of Murdering 70-Year-Old Woman In 2011

A jury for the second time has convicted Randall Reed of first-degree murder in the 2011 death of 70-year-old Jane Stokes in East Ridge. The verdict was returned in the courtroom of Judge Tom Greenholtz’s on Friday. The earlier verdict had been thrown out by an appeals court. Reed testified in his own behalf. The victim was murdered in her home during a robbery in 2011. ... (click for more)

Just Recuse Yourself

Pam Fleenor, have you ever heard the terms “conflict of interest” or “appearance of impropriety”? It’s a foregone conclusion that Robin Smith will be victorious in Chancellor Fleenor’s courtroom. Here’s another term you may want to re-examine, recuse yourself.   Rusty Munger (click for more)

Not My University: Why I’m Not Okay With Mike Pence Coming To Lee University - And Response (6)

As a student of Lee University, who is well-aware of the Lee administration’s more conservative stance in politics, I am upset about Mike Pence visiting the university and being welcomed on our campus. Although I respect that Pence is in a position of authority as our nation’s Vice President, and that he likewise deserves the right to hold his own opinions in regards to the issues ... (click for more)