PEORIA — The mom-and-pop Mexican restaurant scene in Peoria continues to grow, particularly in older areas of the city.
Over the weekend, a new Mexican restaurant opened. A Mexican bakery also expanded into other types of food.
El Habanero is the new restaurant, located at 823 NE Jefferson Ave. It's at Jefferson Avenue and Morgan Street.
The restaurant opened Friday, according to an employee. A visit Saturday night revealed the place to be packed.
Many of the usual suspects are on the El Habanero menu — burritos, enchiladas, tacos, etc. More unusual might be menudo, a beef tripe stew, and pozole verde, a stew with hominy and pork.
Also on Friday, El Gordo Mexican Bakery, 841 W. Main St., began to offer a full food menu.
The bakery opened earlier this year in a strip mall near Bradley University. It's added an open-air grill next to the front door.
El Gordo offers seven varieties of tacos and tortas, burritos and quesadillas, among other items.
Also on the menu is a whole charbroiled chicken as well as bolillos, a baked bread similar to a baguette. At El Gordo they can be stuffed with steak, chorizo, cheese and jalapenos.