The trio behind two wildly successful downtown Delray restaurants—Cut 432 and Park Tavern—will later this year open El Camino Mexican Soul Food & Tequila Bar just a few steps off Atlantic Avenue on Northeast 2nd Avenue.
Brian Albe, Brandon Belluscio and Anthony Pizzo have taken over the 1939-vintage former garage and are converting into a spacious indoor-outdoor restaurant that they hope will be the Mexican eatery that many Delray diners say they want but other local restaurateurs just can’t seem to provide (or keep open longer than the half-life of bacteria).
The space itself will embrace both industrial and rustic elements, keeping the original 28-foot barrel ceiling crisscrossed with iron trusses, resealing and polishing the cracked concrete floor and adding whitewashed brick walls, bar faced with reclaimed lumber, copper lamps, an open kitchen and “graffiti” art.
Pizzo says his menu, still in the very tentative stages, is “inspired by the culture and heritage of Mexico,” and will stay true to the essential nature of Mexican cuisine while taking some inventive liberties, using as much local and organic product as possible, and lightening up dishes when appropriate.
What that could mean in your mouth are such classically oriented preparations as chicken tamales, carne asada burrito and fajitas, along with more contemporary dishes like Korean-style short rib tacos, spit-roasted duck quesadillas and Mexican rice bowls featuring everything from lobster and chipotle to smoked pork shoulder with avocado and cheese.
The beverage program, overseen by Albe, will offer more than 200 different tequilas with a focus on small artisan producers, plus an array of Mexican and local craft beers, mescals and, of course, margaritas. Stay tuned for details as the debut date gets closer.