This is a long winded, self-righteous look at El Rey’s ingredients!
Operating a restaraunt that is sustainable and adventurous can be difficult, especially if the restaurant is categorized as “Mexican”, as most people’s point of reference for Mexican food is cheap and greasy, fast and filling, Tex-Mex, Taco Bell and Taquería. When El Rey opened 11 years ago we tried to break those cultural stereotypes by offering Montgomery a unique Mexican-inspired menu that featured wholesome, locally sourced food and implemented healthy cooking techniques.
Sourcing quality, local and regional ingredients isn’t always easy, and it definitely isn’t cheap. We are proud of the farmers and suppliers that have made serving our food to you possible.
Here is a tedious list of what we use, where we get it and why you should care. Sorry if it is a bit too long and precious, but we couldn’t help ourselves.
Alabama Shrimp – wild caught in the Gulf of Mexico and shipped without antibiotics and little-to-zero preservatives. Most restaurants use Asian shrimp that are full of preservatives and antibiotics.
Alabama Catfish – farm raised in West Alabama and Mississippi without the antibiotics and preservatives found in Asian tilapia and catfish.
Springer Mountain Farm Chicken – from North Georgia, this chicken is raised on a vegetarian diet without hormones, antibiotics, or preservatives. You don’t want to know about other chicken. Trust us.
100% USA Angus Beef – Raised on a vegetarian diet of grass and corn and never treated with antibiotics, hormones or preservatives. We source our steak from a collective of small farms in the Mid-West. In the future we hope to find a source for affordable, all-natural Alabama beef.
Caw Caw Creek Pastured Pork – Emile DeFelice raises all-natural heritage breeds, and processess without preservatives in Columbia, South Carolina. Our twice a year Chorizo Dogs taste great because of his hard work. We also use his bacon for brunches.
Red Root Farms – Our farmer and beekeeper Gary Weil grows a variety of organic herbs and vegetables, including summer tomatoes, in Banks, Alabama. They also operate a CSA that drops off at El Rey weekly. Spring CSA starts soon.
Oakview Farms – greenhouse grown, pesticide-free romaine and butter lettuce from Wetumpka, near Jasmine Hill. Joe and Patty Lambrecht operarate a store and frequent local farmer’s markets in the spring and summer.
Wright’s Dairy – Family-run dairy producing non-homogenized milk, cream and cheese from Alexandria, Alabama. We use their products in our queso dip and desserts, including our famous Tres Leches Cake.
Prairie Place Produce – free-range eggs used in our desserts. You can find Prarie Place eggs at Healthwise Grocery on Atlanta Highway in Montgomery.
McEwan and Sons – organic stone-ground grits for our infrequent brunches, and free-range eggs.
Beer – El Rey was the first place in Montgomery to get Birmingham’s Good People Beer, and we have the city’s largest selection of regional beers from Avondale, Blue Pants, Straight To Ale, Yellowhammer, Cigar City, Wild Heaven, Yazoo, and Terrapin – many only available at El Rey and our sister bar, Leroy. These brewers are pioneers in our area. Watch how many local beers will be available in the next five years. It’s exciting!
Wine – most of our wine is from small producers who grow organically and/or biodynamical. We offer a small selection of affordable 375ml bottles, and are the only place in Alabama to offer wine on cask. No bottles, no corks, no cardboard, perfect temperature.
Coffee – We make coffee to order, and use only direct or fair trade coffee roasted by Counter Culture Coffee of Durham, NC and Handsome of Los Angeles, CA.
Thanks for understanding and supporting our mission. We listen to your comments and suggestions and hope you are always pleased. Without great customers we wouldn’t be here!