The rodeo: Forest Lakes Mex stakes claim on Main

Its name means "the Rodeo," but El Jaripeo kicked up precious little dust when it quietly unveiled a new look in October for the Main Street building last known as 12th Street Taphouse. It turns out that this expansion-minded Mexican restaurant is the brainchild of five owners, including Jovel Mencia, who we encountered prepping for the Sunday dinner crowd.

"I spent 16 years with Outback Steakhouse," says Mencia, whose brother– another of the five owners– is a 20-year veteran of Mexican restaurants. They opened the first El Jaripeo in Forest Lakes in 2010.

Both places feature a festive menu, emphasizing the classics of south-of-the-border cuisine– plus jumbo margaritas made with fresh lime juice and a secret house recipe. A sign in the Main Street restaurant (state liquor law keeps the venue from touting drink discounts) indicates the jumbos sell for $7.95 but go on special for $5.50.


We've gone to the Forest Lakes location for years--their food is great! Can't wait to check out the Main Street location.

Always nice to see a new advertiser thanked by having an article written about them.

"Forest Lakes Mex stakes claim on Main"

Headline is faintly reminiscent of Winchell or old show biz headlines (Billboard ?). Not that there is anything wrong with that.

Not Billboard. Variety. My bad.

Good food at a good price up at Forest Lakes. However, the margaritas come out of a machine and, even at $5.50, are overpriced for what you get.