This past Father’s Day weekend was a scorcher! We headed to the park to get some early play time in for the boys. After an hour of enthusiastic play, my guys started to get really hungry. Despite a few tense moments of trying convince my oldest that it time to leave, we all excitedly hopped in the car to head off to our next destination. On special days we like to hunt for new and exciting places to eat. This day was especially hot, so we needed to discover a place with cold sweet treats and savory summer eats.
My husband suggested a little shop in Urbana called El Oasis that sells ice cream, paletas, delicious tortas and much more. A torta is a Mexican sandwich and a paleta is a Mexican popsicle that’s created using either milk or fresh fruit. Some also have generous chunks of fresh fruit in them. I always wanted to try a torta, and my oldest loved the idea of popsicles, so it was a win-win. We took a short drive down the road and turned into a little tucked away strip mall. Although they have a sign it’s a little tough to spot, but it’s totally worth the hunt.
We walked through the front door and were immediately greeted by two smiling faces ready to help us. The atmosphere is bright and joyful. The walls and booths are painted vivid shades of yellow, orange and green. The light pouring in through the windows floods the place with cheerfulness.
Hubby and the boys scanned the array of ice creams and paletas, as I checked out the torta menu. My oldest got a bubble gum flavored paleta, my husband got a 2 scoops of ice cream, rum raisin and tequila and I choose a toasted turkey torta with everything on it. I requested half house-made Aioli and half sour cream and they said no problem.
The boys got their sweet treats and went to find a table. After a short wait my turkey torta was ready and smelling heavenly. I don’t use that word lightly! They used turkey lunch meat piled with fresh tomatoes, crunchy lettuce, red onion, bright green avocado, panela cheese (Mexican cow’s milk cheese) and pickled jalapeno. I normally don’t get my sammies with everything on them, but I wanted to get the true torta experience. It was a truly delectable experience! As I bit into the warmth of the toasted bread I could immediately taste the saltiness and heat from the pickled jalapeno mixed with the coolness of the sour cream and fresh juicy tomatoes.The aioli and avocado together were rich and creamy. The mild flavor of the panela cheese added a perfect balance to all of the spicy richness. I will go all the way to Urbana on a busy day just to have this torta again for lunch. It was honestly that good!
My son described his paleta as being really bubble gumey, creamy and just like a popsicle. His precious little face was so full of happiness as he described it, “just like Mommy does in her articles”. The paleta had a vibrant sky blue color and came in a clear piece of thin plastic.
My husband loved his tequila and rum ice cream. I tried both and let me tell you, they pack a punch of flavor. There was no doubt that they used actual tequila in the tequila ice cream, and the rum ice cream was flecked with plump raisins and had a full-bodied rich rum flavor.
Once we ate every bite of our sweet and savory treats, we bid farewell to our hosts and headed out. On the ride home we talked excitedly about all of the scrumptious new things we’d tried. As a family we decided that El Oasis is one of our new favorite go-to lunch locations. It is a friendly, bright place with fresh ingredients and an exciting menu. The whole family is looking forward to our next visit!
Urbana, IL 61802
Hours: Monday-Saturday 11:30-9:00pm