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ON THE MENU COLUMN El Gallo Taqueria opens at Barlow Plaza

Mexican food lovers have another option in Rochester with last week's opening of El Gallo Taqueria, whose name loosely translates as The Rooster Restaurant.

The locally owned El Gallo Taqueria (pronounced "el guy-oh tah-kah-ria) occupies the Barlow Plaza spot next to Century 21 that formerly housed Baja Sol, a Mexican fast-food chain that recently closed after a little more than a year and a half in business.

El Gallo Taqueria's authentic-sounding menu includes carne asada tacos, or tacos with charbroiled steak; barbecue pork tortas, or Mexican sandwiches; chicken tamales; and pastel de tres leches, or three-milk cake. Menu items fall mainly in the $5-$9 range.

Hours are 10 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. daily. El Gallo Taqueria is located at 1141 Sixth St. N.W. and can be reached at 289-4623.

Viola Creamery still on the market

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Viola Creamery Steakhouse remains closed as we enter the dog days of summer, and the future of the historic building where the restaurant is located remains unclear.

Viola Creamery hasn't opened since November, when the restaurant prematurely closed for the season. Owner Terri Rucker has said she was close to selling the restaurant this spring, but the deal fell through.

In an e-mail last week, Rucker cited "legal implications" for not being able to comment in detail about the status of Viola Creamery Steakhouse.

"I just can't comment on it except to say that it is for sale," Rucker wrote.

Viola Creamery Steakhouse opened in 2002 in a former creamery building in Viola Township, which is eight-and-a-half miles east of Century High School in Rochester.

Robeks to become Kari-O's

Jeff Orth of Rochester is still working out some details, but he already has a name for his new business in downtown Rochester, Kari-O's, and a target opening date, Sept. 1.

Kari-O's will replace a smoothie and juice bar in the Kahler/Marriott subway, Robeks, which Orth expects will close on Aug. 31.

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Orth said he plans to serve around two-thirds of the smoothies Robeks offers but will receive his ingredients from other suppliers. He said he's going to slowly introduce food offerings at first to get an idea of what works, but he plans to eventually serve soups, salads and sandwiches over the lunch hour in addition to other items.

The name Kari-O's comes from the nickname of Orth's 19-year-old daughter, Kari. Orth said Kari has a gift for cooking, but she's in college now and won't be involved in Kari-O's at this time.

On the Menu is a weekly report of restaurant news. If you have news, tips, or questions, call 285-7712 or send e-mail to mrussell@postbulletin.com.

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