Food for thought: Del Torro satisfies craving for Mexican dishes

ALABASTER &045;&045; As servers maneuver around the crowded Mexican restaurant shouting &8220;hot plates&8221; and heavy conversation of the chatty lunch crowd fills the room, a quiet Asian woman rests in the front of the restaurant with one leg crossed knitting something that is starting to resemble a shirt.

Amy Chang will be the first to tell you she&8217;s not your typical Mexican restaurant owner.

&8220;We are Chinese people running a Mexican restaurant,&8221; said Chang who has lived in the United States for 30 years now.

Asian or not, Chang, who co-owns Del Toro Mexican Restaurant with family friend Chung Siow, knows good Mexican food and has successfully packed people into her restaurant since 1992.

ATMOSPHERE

Only one word comes to mind for Del Toro: bustling.

Since the restaurant has been in business for nearly 15 years, everyone knows it, and everyone comes here to eat.

With so many customers filling the restaurant, it&8217;s easy to overlook the little details that Chang and her family have put into Del Toro, such as a giant mural of a Mexican scene that surrounds guests on all four walls.

But it&8217;s easy to see some of the Mexican flare with &8220;CORONA&8221; banners criss-crossing the ceiling or the bright lights that color the bar at the back of the restaurant.

Even with all that, the people are what make the atmosphere of Del Toro. The loud voices of conversation and the deep, hearty laughs make this restaurant feel like a fun, albeit noisy, gathering of friends.

MENU

Though Del Toro is always busy the servers are used to the quick-paced environment and can handle a full restaurant, so don&8217;t expect to wait on your food for hours. It gets there quick and is still piping hot.

However, because customers pack the restaurant for lunch and dinner, expect to wait for a table. But once you&8217;re seated, the servers will be shouting &8220;hot plate&8221; at you in no time.

In fact, most of the servers have been there for at least five years and have been known to become so well-acquainted with the regulars that they bring out their favorite drinks before the customers even order it.

It is this type of service and care that makes Del Toro feel like a real family restaurant to all those who eat there.

SERVICE

As part of the upscale dining experience, waiters and waitresses are polite and well-trained. They know the menu well and are willing to offer ordering suggestions to the weary guest.

The staff is dedicated to making your lunch or dinner not just a meal, but a dining experience.

FIND IT

478 U.S. Highway 119

Alabaster, Ala. 35007

664-9949

Hours:

Lunch

Mon.-Fri. 11 a.m.-2 p.m.

Sat. &045;&045; Sun.

11:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m.

Dinner

Mon. &045;&045; Thur. and Sun.

5-9 p.m.

Fri. &045;&045; Sat. 5-10 p.m