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Stephenville’s hidden gem: El Corral Restaurant dishes up authentic Mexican food and unique cocktails in new bar. 

You will need a siesta after you drink one.


Some people call it Stephenville’s hidden gem, a quaint eatery located inside a nondescript building on East Washington Street.


But step inside El Corral Restaurant and the world transforms into a vivid display of color, scents, and well, happiness

El Corral first opened as a market in 2021 and transformed into a restaurant last year, serving an impressive array of authentic Mexican food.


Owners Santos and Carolina Medrano and their business partner Juan Flores are now celebrating the recent addition of a full-service bar.


I stopped by the restaurant on Tuesday and could not believe how much it had changed since the last time I was there.

I sampled a couple of the dishes including the grande burrito (don’t try to eat it alone) and a customer favorite - the El Corral special - a large plate filled with shrimp, beef, chicken, onion, tomato and zucchini served over a bed of rice and queso.


Of course, it’s impossible to enjoy great Mexican food without a margarita.


Lucky for me, Juan was behind the bar that day and whipped up some of the most festive, beautifully-crafted cocktails I have ever seen.

The Siesta is a fancy two-tiered creation that includes a delicious (and very large) strawberry margarita with a second layer (in a separate glass) of mangonada.

The cocktail is topped with a Coronarita, tamarindo straw and small bottle of Jose Cuervo.


(You’ll want to enjoy this with a friend.)


The bar also serves other specialty cocktails like whisky sour, Mexican martinis, Micheladas with shrimp, sangria and a variety of inventive margs along with wine and beer (you can even get a bucket).


Bring some friends or a date (it is almost Valentine’s Day) and enjoy breakfast, lunch or dinner at this amazing place.


El Corral is open seven days a week.

Its weekend menu includes dishes you won’t find anywhere else like menudo and lamb and beef barbacoa.


Then stick around and wander through the market where you will find everything from Mexican candy and pinatas to authentic ceramic.


“We are like a Mexican Cracker Barrel,” Carolina joked.


By the way, the owners are super friendly. You will love them!


The bar is open until 10-ish on Friday and Saturday nights.


Catering is also available.





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