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Jose Madriz’s parents are still turning out El Charro’s award-winning enchilada sauce, and those ultrathin just-fried chips are still made from housemade tortillas (watch out: a basket goes quickly). But now, the full bar and festive-yet-relaxed ambience at Madriz’s new location has turned a family operation into a modern Livermore standout. (Just look for the 13-foot-tall iron horse statue.) The restaurant, triple the size of the First Street original, features smoked pork chops for carnivores, chile rellenos for vegetarians, and killer enchiladas for anyone (the beef filling is worth cheating on any diet). Still skeptical? The El Charro margarita, made with agave nectar, could very well be the best drink in town. Lunch and dinner Tues.–Sun.
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