Oh, man. Los Arcos Steak & Lobster (the cocktail lounge and package store is next door) was an unexpected treat. I don't know what happened with the other reviewer, but the service here was excellent to the point of almost being over-attentive, and the atmosphere was very local and warm.
Being from Texas and eating a lot of steak while growing up at home, I rarely order steaks at restaurants. If I do, it's usually overseas at the best steakhouses in Chile, Italy, or even Lithuania. So when I bit into the medium-rare charbroiled Filet Monte Vista, the way it just melted in my mouth made me exclaim that I've never had a steak this good in the US, period. It had to be local beef. It was equivalent to the best I've had overseas.
Topped with a green chile (of course) and Mornay sauce, the filet's flavor was not at all overpowered. The predominant flavor was sweet, succulent beef that was brought out with an amazing charbroiled smokiness. The amount of cheesy Mornay sauce and spicy local green chiles was just perfect, without smothering or drowning out the filet at all. It was the perfect thickness, temperature, and again, melt-in-your-mouth texture.
The Filet Monte Vista ($39.98) came with a choice of soup or salad (we opted for the green chile corn chowder, also absolutely delicious) and starch (baked potato). We also had two perfectly strong margaritas on the rocks with salt and shared an appetizer of fried jalapenos -- raw (not pickled), sliced, battered, and fried like fried okra. Sometimes jalapenos taste more like bell peppers to me, especially when I get them in South Florida...but these were definitely hot and super spicy. The ranch dipping sauce helped cool down our taste buds...a little bit. I was able to eat about a third of the large portion.
Yes, Los Arcos is the most expensive restaurant in TorC, but it's worth it. Besides, there was plenty of food in their portions to share an entree and an appetizer and still be (overly) full. Everyone else was taking doggie bags home.
In lieu of dessert, the boy got the "Mexican coffee", spiked with tequila. I tasted it, and we both agreed that it was rich and yummy. They make remarkably good coffee.
Los Arcos has been around for over 30 years, and locals recommended this place and an Italian (yawn) restaurant in town. How does it compare to US steakhouses like Ruth's Chris or Smith & Wollensky's? The boyfriend said Los Arcos was better. So there you have it, as good as the steaks I've had at the best places overseas, and better than the steaks he's had at upscale US steakhouses. Plus, it's casual, and you can wear whatever you want -- after all, it's Truth or Consequences.