El El Frijoles Mexican Food, the brainchild of the husband-and-wife team of chef Michele Levesque and managing partner Michael Rossney, opened for business in May 2007. The restaurant is modeled after the many Taquerias that dot the San Francisco Bay Area landscape where the couple met.
The seemingly simple menu, including burritos, soft tacos, empanadas and quesadillas is pretty familiar to anyone who has ever walked the streets of San Francisco, Los Angeles or practically any town in the Southwest. The food that is served, however, is delightfully complex and interesting–more like what one might expect in a hip, urban eatery than from a take-out joint in a barn in the woods. The cuisine is a simple blending of traditional Mexican street food and Downeast Maine’s bounty of delicious, local ingredients. The food is spicy, in that it has bold, interesting flavors, but it’s not spicy hot until you visit the salsa bar and ladle on some of the fresh, house-made salsas or sample the collection of hot sauces from around the world.
Operating out of a converted barn behind the couples’ house, the restaurant is a bit of an anachronism, and is truly a unique dining experience on the Blue Hill Peninsula. While there are nine seats inside, the really interesting scene takes place outside where diners are seated at a mixture of open or covered picnic tables, a screened-in dining area, benches, rocks or even the gently sloping lawn. Summer evenings attract groups of families and there are often spontaneous kid’s soccer games that spring up near the sandbox or competitive badminton matches.