El Toro’s a cool addition to The Anderson

The cocktails at the very hip The Anderson bar along NE 79 St., have always been creative and delicious and their food’s pretty stellar too. Now thanks to new owner Ken Lyon, a fixture in Miami’s food scene since his days on Lincoln Road and also at Wynwood Yard, there’s a whole new way to enjoy The Anderson.

He’s completely transformed the exterior and created a welcoming bar named El Toro . The place is virtually unrecognizable from its former incarnation. They’re slinging cocktails and serving up guacamole, tacos, elote and all the Mexican favorites, and doing it well.

Naturally, margaritas and Mexican-inspired cocktails dominate the menu. Many feature tequila and mezcal mixed with ingredients like hibiscus tea, passion and grapefruit juice plus lovely garnishes like a hibiscus rim and dehydrated citrus segments.

The chips with homemade guacamole made simply of smashed avocado, shallot, serrano, cilantro and key limes was quite were difficult to stop eating. Why would you when the creamy guac is this good.

The fresh small blue corn tortillas for the tacos come filled with a variety of proteins including grilled Keys shrimp, crispy fried salt cod, griddled DUB bacon or beef chuck roll that’s marinated 24 hours, beer-stewed chicken or pork shoulder confit. Mole, crema slaw, grilled and pickled red onions and various salsas and aiolis figure prominently as taco toppings.

Aside from tacos sample their grilled octopus with charred red onion or ceviche y tostada a tortilla lined with smashed avocado and topped with fresh local fish tossed in lime, chilis, red onion, cilantro and pickled watermelon.

Vegans and vegetarians will love the curried cauliflower taco with caramelized onions, roasted pumpkin, toasted pumpkin seeds and wilted greens topped with salsa verde and cilantro or black bean puree with avocado crema, a fried quail egg, fresh cheese and grated tomatto. For dessert, treat yourself to churros or a cool Mexican paleta for dessert.

El Toro Taco Bar at The Anderson, 709 NE 79 St., 786.401.6330

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