Dining with Nancy: el Espolon

   

Cheers to great weather, another legislative week down, and old buddies! Sixteen years and at least that many pounds ago, I was sitting in a College of Agriculture Food & Natural Resources Student Council meeting by my then-buddy and now-Representative Bart Korman. Our conversation, in all likelihood, would have revolved around the next Ag Rho Poverty Party or GDI dance. Though, now we spend time chatting about politics, prevailing wage and other incredibly exciting topics. Despite what would have been a killer afternoon sitting and sipping at Les Bourgeois Vineyards in Rocheport (as we did years ago), Bart and I opted for a more responsible outing on a Jefferson City patio and set out for el Espolon.

Rep. Bart Korman sits outside of el Espolon last week enjoying his lunch special with Nancy. (Photo by Nancy Giddens)
Rep. Bart Korman sits outside of el Espolon last week enjoying his lunch special with Nancy. (Photo by Nancy Giddens)

We were on perfect legislative time – which is really late by most standards.  The place was nearly vacant as we were two hours late for lunch and two hours early for dinner, or “supper” as Bart would say. The place was ours and we had the pick of the patio…bring on the Corona Light and vitamin D! After salsa and queso were ordered, Bart and I settled in with the beef chimichanga daily special for him and Popeye’s chicken for me. Who needs wine and youth when you have sun, experience, and good food?

The Place

el Espolon is a restaurant chain with five locations including Jefferson City, Sedalia and Camdenton. We visited the newly constructed site at 450 Rock Hill Road due to its large patio. The eatery is open daily for lunch and dinner service with closing times varying between 9:30-10:30, depending on the day. The venue is large, can seat a sizeable crowd, and provides ample parking outside its doors. During more regular dining hours, the place becomes quite busy and can be loud. Though, Bart and I escaped all noise but our own.

The People

Several employees waited on Bart and me. Perhaps, such attentiveness is a bonus of eating lunch at an odd time. We didn’t wait long for our chips, queso, beverages or meals – all of which were tasty. Our servers were kind and helpful; though, our hostess who navigated us to the patio seemed displeased or annoyed with us. Oh well, it isn’t the first or last time I have or will irritate someone (I won’t speak for Bart).

The Product 

The menu features a wide variety of Mexican dishes from fajitas, burritos, and combinations dinners. Whether you desire beef, pork, shrimp, chicken or vegetarian entrees, there are several selections from which to choose. I chose Popeye’s chicken, which consists of grilled chicken breast topped with spinach, mushrooms and jack cheese and is served with rice and beans. Bart selected a chimichanga stuffed with beef and topped with cheese, lettuce, sour cream, guacamole, pico de gallo and served with rice and beans. For two hungry people, our choices were delivered quickly and the servings proved more than sufficient.

The Price

Lunch menu prices range from $4.25 – $7.50 depending on your selection. Dinner entrees hoover around $8-$10, with fajitas being more expensive. Additional pricing and product information may be accessed via the following link: www.elespolonrestaurants.com.

The Pizzazz

Broccoli. Yes, you read that right. While my company, sunrays, and reintroduction to Corona Light were all fantastic, you cannot forgo the broccoli. You will not find it on the menu, but el Espolon has it and they do it right. Try it out for yourself!