Eating Out Rockford: Emilio’s Family Cantina serves up pork, tequila to keep families happy

by Ron Kites | September 19, 2012 3:17 AM

Editor’s note: “Eating Out Rockford” is a bi-weekly feature on interesting places to dine & drink in Rockford.  Ron Kites is not a food professional, and his opinions are not reflective of those on the RKFDNews Team, or RKFDNews Inc.

[1]ROCKFORD, IL – Emilio’s Family Cantina has been a fixture on Rockford’s south side for almost 10 years, but owner Emilio Chupero said it hasn’t always been easy.

“The first few years we were open, it was very difficult.  The economy was bad, business was bad.  I didn’t even have enough to pay a full time staff; and a lot of the time, my family helped me out in the kitchen,” says Chupero.

That situation turned out to be a blessing in disguise, because by working with family, Emilio was able to learn the secret recipes that have been in his family for years.  “Molé, salsa oaxacana– these are things that I learned from my mother, from my grandmother,” and those are the things you should order.[2]

Most entree’s are served with rice and beans, and everything’s out of this world fantastic.  The taste of the chicken molé is very good.  The flavors in the green salsa are amazing.  Plus, you can’t leave without trying a “tequila flight.”

Emilio says, “We offer several tequila flights of differing prices, so that you can compare and contrast the different styles and flavors.  From Montezuma to the more exotic Jose Cuervo, we have a wide selection.”

“Plus, it helps when you’re working with family, to drink a lot of tequila,” Emilio added.


Yummy moment: When the server brings you extra tortilla chips.

Yucky moment:  Not enough napkins for greasy tortilla chips.

Emilio’s Family Cantina
2332 S. 7th St.
Rockford IL
Hours: Monday-Saturday, 2pm-11pm


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