Though Provecho Grill always seems to be busy, they seem to never run out of space for those hungry diners. Most, like myself don’t just stop by for mouthwatering dishes like pork carnitas, sizzling fajitas and Clams in Salsa Verde, we stop by for the welcoming feeling that Provecho Grill offers to all.
From the moment you walk in the door, the staff at Provecho is hospitable, accommodating and downright happy to see you. Diners are treated like family at Provecho, greeted with a smile and sometimes even a hug from Owner and Chef Rosie O’Connor, if she isn’t too busy in the kitchen, that is. Patrons feel more like they are walking into a beloved family member’s home rather than a restaurant in a Menifee strip mall.
A veritable genius in the kitchen, O’Connor uses her unique talents to serve up a cross section of Mexican food favorites designed to please any palate. From dishes infused with traditional favorites such as Chile, mole and crema sauce to vegetarian delights, this restaurant offers it all.
On the day I went, I opted, upon O’Connor’s recommendation, to try the pork carnitas. We took the time to catch up while I waited for my lunch, noshing on Provecho’s always delicious homemade chips and salsa. While there we talked about some of O’Conner’s specialty dishes for fall, including the Grilled Quail and Chilaquiles.
“It’s a grilled quail and it is cooked in Guajillo and Chile Colorado sauce topped with queso fresco and served with grilled squash & zucchini, black beans and rice,” O’Connor explained. “Right now, for fall dishes you think things that are local, quail, more heartiness at nighttime and that’s what I want to bring.”
Also returning is the Angry Orchard Pork Chop, complete with the Angry Orchard barbecue made on-site and served with mashed potatoes and grilled vegetables. For those with a sweet tooth, keep an eye out for the holiday favorite pumpkin pecan tart.
“It’s almost like comfort food that your Mexican mama would make,” O’Connor said. “Every weekend we bring in something as a new feature and people are asking me to add it to the menu.”
Visitors to Provecho are always in for a treat as O’Connor likes to constantly try new things.
“We try to change the menu every two to three months with the seasons,” she said, adding that in the fall and winter months she likes to feature soups, crabs, fish, mussels and clams.
After a short few minutes of conversation, my plate of carnitas arrived. I could barely contain myself as the scents of citrus and Mexican spices wafted through the air.
The hearty meal, complete with hot tortillas appealed to all my senses, the dish was artfully arranged on the plate, with O’Connor’s delectable rice and colorful Pico de Gallo, even the garnish looked good enough to eat.
Originating from the Michoacán region of Mexico, the pork – slow roasted and seasoned with citrus, then grilled with green peppers and onions – was bursting with full-bodied flavor and virtually melted in my mouth. The rice and beans, always a great combination with any Mexican dish, were pleasant and flavorful. The tortillas, supplied to O’Connor from the Temecula Tortilla Factory, were delightfully light and fresh.
The love and care O’Conner puts into each dish was evident as I enjoyed my meal with the award-winning chef.
While we savored our lunch, O’Connor told me that she still doesn’t use a walk-in cooler, so everything is made from scratch daily at Provecho.
“I don’t want a walk in,” she said. “There is a certain flavor that comes out with the fresh foods and I want that.”
O’Connor said everything that she makes was influenced by her father, who owns Guadalajara in Temecula, including the carnitas.
“He doesn’t make them that way at Gudalajara,” she said. “But, that is how he made them for us growing up.”
For those looking for a fun evening out, Provecho Grill also offers Tequila dinners and cooking classes on a variety of Mexican dishes. O’Connor recently held a class, aptly called Tamale and Cocktails, at the restaurant. The event drew a full-house as eager participants learned how to make some signature cocktails and how to roll tamales in corn husks.
“That’s another thing that people want more of, the cooking classes,” she said, adding that Tequila dinners are held quarterly.
To learn more about Provecho Grill or for a full schedule of events, including cooking classes or Tequila Dinners, visit www.provechogrill.com.
Provecho Grill is located at 26862 Cherry Hills Blvd. in Menifee and car be reached by calling (951) 246-3200. The restaurant is open Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., Fridays from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m., Sundays from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. and closed on Mondays.