Dinner at El Rodeo (Moses Lake, WA)

Eastern Washington has many Mexican restaurants, even in the small towns of the Palouse. One could say that here they are as ubiquitous as pizza, hamburger and Chinese restaurants. After a day of driving over halfway across the state, hiking and marveling at Missoula Flood remnants, we wanted margaritas, so that meant Mexican food.

Yelpers seemed to like El Rodeo a lot, so we headed over there.

First off, the margaritas. Generously portioned, there are three kinds to choose from: regular, gold and platinum, distinguished from each other by the quality of the tequila. The platinum also has Grand Marnier in the mix, which the others don’t. I’ve gotten to appreciate margaritas on the rocks instead of blended, still my wife’s preference.


The menu is essentially Tex-Mex. But the chef’s specials are entirely seafood-based, incorporating shrimp, scallops, octopus, and scallops in various combinations. Also on the menu was a dish I really went head-over-heels over in Orick, molcajete. What made this entrée special in that small California redwoods town was the killer broth and the fact that it was served in a molcajete, the way it is traditionally served. Very cool. El Rodeo’s broth was certainly no slouch, even winning over my wife’s praises, but it seemed that La Hacienda’s version was more complex, tasting more of roasted chiles. Here the stew was served with shrimp, beef and chicken, along with mushrooms, red bell peppers, onion, Monterey jack cheese, slices of avocado and garnished with cilantro. Overall, a tasty dish but failing to generate the wow factor.


Enchilada suiza was equally good with an appealing dairy-based tomatillo sauce. The rice was tender, moist and flavorful, unlike many restaurants’ versions that tend to be drier or too mushy. Refried beans were cooked in vegetable oil.

Enchilada suiza
Enchilada suiza

Serving sizes are monstrous, so we left behind quite a bit of the rice and beans.

El Rodeo Mexican Restaurant
1075 West Broadway Avenue
Moses Lake, WA 98837

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