El Agave Mexican Restaurant in Fairmont, Minnesota

by foodhoe on January 11, 2008

62 Downtown Plaza, Fairmont, MN | 507-235-8835

Our trip revolved around hanging out with Mr. K’s parents Don and Harriett in Fairmont, which is a lively town of eleven thousand that is built around a chain of five lakes, all of which are used extensively for recreational boating and fishing when weather permits. We only went out for dinner once while we were out in Fairmont, which boasts more than a few sit-down restaurants including at least a couple of Chinese buffets and two Mexican restaurants. We went to El Agave, which seemed to be very popular, despite having drab utilitarian decor.

The posted special was the three item combination plate for $6.75. For dinner? Aha, the downside of the combination plate is that you only can choose between cheese, chicken or ground beef for the filling. I found that out while asking first for carnitas, al pastor or carne asada for my taco, which by default is served in a hard shell. I wanted a soft taco and it came wrapped in tinfoil, concealing a limp flour tortilla. Is that a taco or a mini burrito? Anyways, I had a combination plate with a Chile Relleno that had a nice bit of heat in the pepper, a cheese enchilada that was covered with a savory red chile sauce, and a chicken soft taco. Strangely, this combination plate came only had rice.

Here is a closeup of the Chile Relleno oozing cheese.

The chicken taco was filled with big chunks of tender meat, cheese and slices of iceberg lettuce but it did feel like a small burrito.

Mr. K had the Enchiladas Verdes that came with neither rice nor beans, so he got side dish of refried beans that he shared with me.

Don had a One Taco, Once Enchilada and a Beef Burrito combination that came with neither rice nor beans.

M had the One Enchilada, One Burrito and Chalupa combination plate that also did not include rice and beans. The chalupa looked like a tostada and I’ve never seen them outside of Taco Bell.

Harriett went with the Taco Salad

We all split a Fried Ice Cream that came in a fried flour tortilla shell, I like fried stuff on fried stuff…

It also had a liberal dose of whipped cream drizzled with chocolate syrup….

The interior had high ceilings with minimal decoration, but the bar in the back was a bright beacon of neon signs.

The food was pretty darn good, and came in very big portions especially when you consider the price. I was surprised to note that the menu lists 30 various combinations, which is very ambitious and flexible. Yes indeed, there be good Mexican food in downtown Fairmont, Minnesota.

{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

rowena January 11, 2008 at 11:16 am

I’d kill for a Chile Relleno right now. Seemingly made hundreds of them when I used to toil away at a small mexican takeout.

Thanks again for the fine virtual meal…I’m all smiles now!


foodhoe January 11, 2008 at 11:16 pm

Rowena, ya know I’m craving Mexican food too… Wow, working at a small Mexican takeout place must have given you some very useful cooking skills!


criminal car June 14, 2008 at 8:52 am

I don’t know if your complaning when you said that they didn’t come with rice or beans. It’s kinda like you expected it.
They gave you huggeee portions and you wanted more?


foodhoe June 14, 2008 at 10:40 am

criminal car, of course I’m complaining! I mean, I was in the middle of america, the land of supersize me and I’m just used to being served rice and beans with my tacos, enchiladas and what have you. In a sit down family restaurant of this caliber, you don’t expect the dinner plates to be ala carte…


your mom June 14, 2008 at 1:48 pm

el agave is one of the best mexican restraunts i’ve ever been to.
wether they serve you beans or rice.


sof dogg June 23, 2008 at 7:49 am

El Agave is one of my absolute favorite Minnesota restaurants. I’ve often made the trip to Fairmont (or the Austin location) simply for the chance to have their amazing Chori Pollo. There are a few places in St.Paul/Minneapolis that serve the dish, but no one else comes close. If you ever head back there, try that. It comes with rice AND beans! (I’m guessing you found that the rice and beans at El Agave aren’t really very good, anyway. IMHO, at least.) Also get some of the cheese dip to go with your chips and salsa. It’s worth the uncharacteristically exorbitant price ($2.65 for a small bowl).

foodhoe, don’t you always expect combination platters to be ala carte? Because it’s already a combo, as opposed to an actual dinner offering. Maybe it’s just me.


foodhoe June 23, 2008 at 8:56 am

lol I love that I’m still getting comments on this post! I know that last comment is not from my Mom, because like me, she is a high volume eating machine…
sof dogg, I probably will be out visiting the in-laws on another trip and I will remember to check out the chori pollo – is that short for chorizo and chicken? I agree that the rice and beans weren’t the best ever, I’m just used to them coming with every single combination plate I’ve had growing up in California and I’ve lived in both so-cal and no-cal (that’s a lot of years and a lot of combination plates, let me tell you!) They complete the plate and I feel naked without the comfort of some cheesy refried beans and rice to scoop up the sauce with.


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