El Marquez, Tonopah, NV

Tonopah is a sad, sad place. It used to a mining boom town. Now it is a place of empty store fronts, ramshackle houses and a couple of tawdry casinos. When we drive to St. George either through Reno or Yosemite, it is the only place to stop over night. Where to eat is always a problem. We’ve tried eating at the Ramada where we stay. First time, awful. Second time, we decided to eat breakfast for dinner. Maybe this would be safer. Still awful. We tried the Cozy Crab – fried seafood at formica tables with plastic glasses. Soft drinks only. The only things left are McDonald’s and El Marquez. So we eat at El Marquez, a Mexican restaurant. Granted, I am no Mexican food fan so my review may be biased.

We go in last night and there is a large party and this slowed things down. No one came to wait on us. Finally, a girl (who was 13 as we found out later when John ordered a second beer and nothing came) brought chips and salsa. No, not really salsa more like taco sauce. Thin and hot, no pieces of anything in it. Some time later, we were asked for our drink order. We each got a beer, bottle only no glass. We asked for water. Got one glass. Asked for water again, got a second glass. Finally, the waitress took our order. John had two chicken enchiladas which come with rice and beans. I ordered shrimp with garlic sauce. John enjoyed his. (He reminds me of the opposite of the old Life cereal commercial, “Give it to Johnny he likes everything.”) My shrimp came on top of lettuce with what I thought was hominey all over it. But no, it was large pieces of boiled garlic. There was no sauce. The shrimp were cooked okay and had black pepper on them. There was also the usual glop of rice and beans. I just didn’t get the concept.

My recommendation for dining in Tonopah? Pack a picnic supper.

John’s grade – C
Mary’s grade – D

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