El Merendero epitomizes casual snacking and brunching on family-style Mexican Food. This long-time Downtown Pomona restaurant has been a favorite for generations. The name to me from the Spanish indicates you sort of casually 'meander' inside and get what you need, Sonoran-style, to make it through the stretch of the day between brunch and supper.
The Merendero includes one of the most famous and best-stocked Mexican panaderias, or bakery, between East L.A. and Tucson. Its OK to bring your delicious pastries from the bakery to your table before ordering your meal. Parking is usually adequate. The staff is really friendly and the same family has operated El Marendero for decades. The restrooms are clean. Its also adjacent to Pomona's intriguing Antique Row of interesting shops. Merendero's food is served briskly, despite the casual atmosphere. My ceviche tostada was perfect with an entire juicy, sliced lime on the side served with perfect, fluffy rice and plenty of tossed greens. There are many Mexican beers to choose from. All dishes are reasonably priced.
Bottom line: Its sure worth it to avoid freeways sometimes and you can do so in Downtown Pomona and stop in at one of the community's favorite restaurants. Careful, it can be crowded… and It didn't get such a high TripAdvisor ranking for nothing! I highly recommend El Merendero.
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