Franklin Countys First News

El Toro’s opens takeout, delivery location in Eastside Mall

Garnet Keim prepares some tacos for an order.

Garnet Keim prepares some tacos for an order.

Anne Holloway at El Toro's new takeout and delivery location in the Eastside Mall.

Anne Holloway at El Toro's new takeout and delivery location in the Eastside Mall.

FARMINGTON - Those hungry for more of El Toro’s cuisine can now find the Mexican hot spot nestled into the Eastside Mall of Farmington. After a busy summer of trucking around the western Maine area, the crew of El Toro will be hunkering down for the winter in their new, fully equipped kitchen, offering take-out and delivery to their recently established fan club.

“It’s hard to tell how the public perceives us,” co-founder Anne Holloway said. “We’re really in it all the time, running around, getting tomatoes from the farm for salsa, or making sure things are working right. It’s hard to see it from the outside.”

Holloway stands in the takeout window of their newest home--a tiny, wood-paneled hole in the wall outlined in chili pepper Christmas lights. The space is already overflowing with customers, despite it being only an hour after opening morning. The phone rings and it’s a big order- but nothing the husband/wife duo can’t handle.

Behind the wood-paneling is the shiny new kitchen, where El Toro is finally stretching out. Owner and self-declared “Master of Creations” Garnet Keim is slicing and dicing away, tortillas flying from grill to takeout boxes. He hands over a box of Adobo chicken tacos drizzled with a creamy, avocado-based sauce.

Keim is a native of Weld, graduating from Mt. Blue High School in 1995. He and Holloway met when they were both living in Seattle, Washington. It took several years of traveling the world, and a year of living in a “run down apartment on Munjoy Hill” in Portland, before the couple made the move back to Keim’s home town.

“Garnet started a business on Ebay selling snowmobile parts,” Holloway said. “There’s a huge market for snowmobile parts out there. Poor guy was out in the freezing cold, tearing the machines apart to ship the pieces all over the world. It’s a crazy story, but it all leads to El Toro,” she said.

With some funds to get started and a long-awaited dream of running a food truck, Keim began working on recipes and testing them out with friends and family. Items on the menu are all inspired by Keim and Holloway’s global gastronomical adventures; things like the Belize salsa--a habanero and carrot mixture adapted from “The Coconut Ladies” of Belize.

It took three years for the couple to get everything ready, from gutting and refurbishing a truck to establishing connections with local farms to source their ingredients. After their truck opening in May and long lines all summer, the business naturally fell into a more permanent location.

“The whole thing has just been this really great evolution,” Holloway said.

Takeout and delivery can be reached at 778-3888 on Tuesday-Sunday from 11 a.m.- 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. - 8 p.m. The Eastside Mall is located on the Farmington Falls Road.

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19 Responses »

  1. Where is the Eastside Mall in Farmington?

  2. It is off the Farmington Falls Road.

  3. So glad to hear that I can get my El Toro fix this winter.

  4. Kate, the Eastside Mall is across for the town dump rd. Black Bear graphics is there and Tumbledown brewery too. Great spot get together with Matt when they are open and Mexican food and good beer, can't go wrong.

  5. Fantastic food, great service, awesome people. This is THE place. Congratulations, guys. I'll be by again.

  6. Glad you'll be open all year. Loved the food from the truck. Can't wait to bring home take-out.

  7. Garnet, I'm so glad to hear that you have opened this place. The best to you and God Bless!

  8. Wishing the best of luck to you both. We need more of this type of business to town.. so much better than another auto parts store... good luck again...

  9. Does anyone know what the delivery radius is?

  10. Amanda, their Facebook page says 10 miles.

  11. great news,,happy they have delivery service,,

  12. WOOT! Love seeing the evolution of The Burrito Empire! (yay, small businesses!) :)

  13. I have seen the truck behind Gifford's a couple of times this summer. I have been hoping to get a chance to try the food. Now I have no excuse, its' practically next door. Congratulations and Good Luck!

  14. Review: DELICIOUS food that's healthy, prepared and served by polite, efficient staff. The man I spoke with even told me the total when I ordered, via phone, so I'd be "prepared when [I got] there."

    Let's keep giving these folks business! :)

  15. FINALLY... really good Mexican food! Hope these folks are here to stay.

  16. Super excited. I love the burrito bowls they are the perfect size for my son and I to share.