As “The Roving Wino,” I have had the pleasure of sampling some of the finest food and beverages at a variety of eateries. Recently I was recruited by Taste of Temecula to visit local establishments and do what I do best – eat & drink.
My first assignment was to join their bi-weekly Meet-Up Lunch held at The Bank. Located in the heart of Old Town Temecula, this Mexican Restaurant and Bar is right in the middle of what is considered the hot spot of the Temecula Valley. For instance, the city of Temecula is hosting Western Days this weekend along with a Chile Cook Off along the main drag where The Bank is located. Later in the summer there will be Hot Summer Nights and many of the street corners will have bands playing to make for a fun family venue.
The Bank was one of the first buildings to use concrete construction. Built in 1914, it served as, you guessed it, “a bank” until 1943. Today the vault is actually used as another part of the dining area. The present owners took over four years ago and turned a faltering restaurant into what is now – a local favorite. They feature Street Tacos on Tuesdays for only $1.50 and Reggae Music on Wednesdays. Saturday & Sunday they offer Mexican and American breakfasts all day long. (And may I recommend their killer Bloody Marys.)
We all had a great variety of specials to choose from for only $7.95, which lead to the big decision…..what to pair it with? The choices were abundant but this “wino” decided to break away from my signature beverage and try a Margarita. They have a full bar and I was in the mood for a good “Maggie.” I prefer mine on the rocks with salt around the rim. I was not disappointed and was presented promptly with a fabulous Margarita. I had chosen the Cheese Enchilada and Chile Relleno and was pleasantly surprised with both. I haven’t had a decent Chile Relleno in a long time and this was better than just decent.
Their dinner menu is amazing and I’m sure you will find your favorite South of the Border meal amongst the items offered. Besides the interior dining area, patrons have the option of a large outside patio and bar as well. In addition, they also offer a private banquet room and bar that is aptly called “Above the Bank” as it’s located on the second floor.
My first ToT Lunch Meet-Up was a pleasant one and I must say that the bank was an ideal venue to meet and make new friends. It was a small, intimate group this week (about 20 people) which made it easier to get to know the ToT Meet-Up attendees. A lot of fun and laughter ensued, interspersed with establishing business connections. It looks like I’m hooked as I already know what I will now be doing every other week. I am a little apprehensive of the video Lisa Vigliotti was taking about throughout lunch. Can anyone say “BLACK MAIL?”
If you ever find yourself in Old Town Temecula and crave Mexican food and a good beverage, saunter on over to The Bank, you won’t be disappointed.
28645 Old Town Front Street
Temecula, CA 92590