Passing by this spot on the Gulf Freeway feeder during daylight hours, one might think little of the El Rodeo sign unassumingly hanging in the corner of a big-box strip center. Come Friday and Saturday nights, though, El Rodeo's doors are the portal into a swirling sea of Norteño culture. (Saturdays the masses are moved via DJ, but Friday nights are all band-driven.) Not only does the massive dancehall reach its 1,600-person capacity, but also multiple adjacent parking lots are brimming with cars and trucks. While the crowd reaches critical proportions, El Rodeo's six giant bars will sate your thirst no matter how many belt buckles you are competing against. What's more, a taco truck posted outside makes a perfect late-night noshing solution when last call comes around.
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