El Rodeo Mexican Cuisine and Tequila Bar28 W. Allegheny Ave., Towson, (410) 830-2390, elrodeotowson.com
Though El Rodeo is not above painting campy sayings such as "It's Beer:30" on colorful mini surfboards, Towson's take on Mexican cuisine offers up a largely sophisticated-casual atmosphere with minimalist décor. A restaurant and tequila bar, El Rodeo provides 42 types of tequila, which are used to make tantalizing concoctions such as the Cozy Cadillac ($9). Mango is a fixture on both the drink and food menus-a welcome twist on traditional Mexican fare, and we chose to indulge in the Mango Sangria ($3) during "Towson's Best Happy Hour & Drink Special," along with the Southwest egg rolls ($5), and the pulled pork handcrafted burrito with green tomatillo sauce ($11). Served in the giant American portions we've come to expect and cherish, the pork was juicy and tender while the tomatillo sauce added a strong, savory-sweet flavor. For a Wednesday night with a small crowd, the service was lagging, but partial blame can be given to our out-of-sight-out-of-mind bar seating; as we recall, the table service was much more efficient. However, if you're sitting at the bar, "DJ Fox," the bartender who also moonlights as a disc jockey, may just give you a 15 percent college discount.