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Greenland’s El Camino Real


August 13, 2010 by wcobserver

By Dawn “who dat” Sallas

As the days grow hotter and the leaves and grass dwindle into what ole timers call the “dog days of summer” we at the Observer are still searching for the next restaurant that we can feature in our weekly dining guide.  Which is what brings us to the “EL Camino Real” at 201 Main Street/Bus Hwy. 71 in Greenland.

On this particular day, the Observer crew and I did not let the road construction taking place north of Greenland stop us from sharing some authentic Mexican cuisine. Upon entering El Camino’s we were instantly greeted by unique Mexican décor and enticing Mexican aromas. The menu is filled with a plethora of different items that are reasonably priced, which fits my pocketbook just nicely in this day and time.  After we placed our order with the lovely Alajandr and started our daily conversations, I couldn’t stop noticing the sign outside and why this establishment was called “El Camino Real.”  Not being well versed in the Spanish language I had no clue what the establishment’s name “really” meant.

My contemplations were refreshingly interrupted by Alajandr bringing our  taco’s, tantalizing tamales, and chile relleno served with refried beans and Spanish rice.  I might add that if you prefer a little heat for your taste pallet  request a serving of their homemade hot sauce. It adds just the right “kick” to a taco or enchilada. Browsing through the menu I noticed Chuy’s Famous Fish Cut, which consists of a Red Snapper filet seasoned with Chuy’s own blended seasoning and grilled to perfection. I was told that it is the talk of the town.

That evening as I was gathering my information to write the article I dove into a little investigation of what El Camino Real meant, more for my own curiosity than the article I suppose.  Several searches brought me to the same conclusion, cue the drum roll please, the El Camino Real translates into “the royal road.”  I found this very fascinating given that the establishment is located directly on Hwy 71.  That is authentic in itself in that Hwy 71 was once the main North/South passage connecting Interstate 40 to Northwest Arkansas before Interstate 540 was constructed.

Overall the service was impeccable and the simple diner surroundings are well worth the drive to Greenland for an Authentic Mexican lunch or dinner.  El Camino is owned by Jose Mariscal and open Monday thru Saturday from 10:30a.m. to 8 p.m. and Sundays from 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Call 479-575-0446  Tell them the Observer sent you.



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