El Camino Boca Raton restaurant outside view

Popular Mexican restaurant to open fourth location this one in Boca Raton

A Mexican restaurant that has proven wildly popular in three other Palm Beach County locations is bringing its made-from-scratch cuisine to Boca Raton. El Camino’s latest opening comes with an exclamation point: Stepping into the role of the restaurant’s new flagship location, it will be the largest of the four properties.

Set to open Dec. 15, this fourth El Camino, created and owned by Modern Restaurant Group, comes after established success first in Delray Beach, and then Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach.

Located on Town Center Road, the Boca Raton El Camino will be 10,000 square feet, roughly four times the size of the Delray restaurant.

The location is something of a homecoming for Modern in that its founders, Brian Albe, Brandon Belluscio and chef Anthony Pizzo all met in Boca Raton while working in the restaurant industry.

In addition to the nostalgia factor, they feel that they are hitting at a great time as Boca Raton is undergoing somewhat of a renaissance and transitioning from what was long-considered a retirement community to a younger, more vibrant demographic.

Francis Lake, vice president of operations for Modern Restaurant Group, said “ownership has done very well to have the foresight and be a step ahead.” He added that they opened the first El Camino in Delray Beach just as the area was taking off and that the Fort Lauderdale location has done better each year since opening five years ago.

The new eatery will be along the perimeter of the Town Center Mall in what is being dubbed “Midtown Boca.”

What to expect at El Camino restaurant in ‘Midtown Boca’

It is a standalone structure and the anchor of a new development called “Restaurant Row.”

In addition to size, Lake said the new restaurant will be the first to feature “large-format seating outside.” It will have approximately 80 seats that will be situated around a massive outdoor fireplace.

The outdoor area is in addition to seating for 200 inside. In total, depending on the table configuration, Lake said this El Camino will be able to accommodate up to 300 guests.

The Boca location will feature not one, but two happy hours. The first will run from 4 to 7 p.m. and then another kicks in from midnight to 2 a.m.

Though happy hours can be known for low-quality well drinks, this is not the case at El Camino.

This happy hours feature $3 tacos, $4 drafts and $6 margaritas.

A town that gave rise to the term “Boca Midnight,” an local industry phrase to say that everything closes early, Boca’s changing demographic means more late-night patrons and Modern hopes to capitalize on it.

In addition to late-night happy hours, El Camino will also have “In the Business” deals from 10 p.m. to midnight for customers who work in the restaurant business. This special will run seven nights a week and features 50% off of regular menu items and beverages (those patrons must show current pay stub).

Though the Boca Raton location will have the same core menu of beloved “Mexican Soul Food” served at the other three, they will also feature several dishes specific to the new restaurant.

A few these include new entrees like the red snapper ceviche veracruz, the El Camino chopped salad and the cochinita pibil taco.

These new offerings were developed after a research trip down Oaxaca, Mexico taken by chef Anthony Pizzo and several other members of the Modern team.

Though it may be bigger, the new location’s look will be El Camino at it’s finest. Like it’s three predecessors, the new restaurant will feature works by the brand’s signature muralist, Miami street artist Ruben Ubiera.

El Camino’s new flagship restaurant in Boca Raton

Where: 5377 Town Center Road, Boca Raton,
Hours: 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. seven days a week
Information: elcaminobocaraton.com

By:Eddie Ritz