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“Nothing fancy or to brag about.” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Don Pablos, The Real Enchilada

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Don Pablos, The Real Enchilada
3525 Jefferson Davis Hwy., Alexandria, VA 22305
+1 703-548-4129
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Ranked #257 of 651 Restaurants in Alexandria
Price range: $20 - $35
Cuisines: Southwestern, Mexican
Good for: Families with children
Restaurant details
Good for: Families with children
Jacksonville, Florida
Top Contributor
96 reviews 96 reviews
50 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 36 cities Reviews in 36 cities
54 helpful votes 54 helpful votes
“Nothing fancy or to brag about.”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 29, 2012

Stopped in for a dinner for a show in DC, and probably won't be back. The staff for the most part was friendly, but the quality of food was a letdown. The chips and salsa were a disappointment. I have had store-brought salsa that was better. The main dishes we ordered were okay, nothing to brag about it.
The atmosphere was your typical chain restaurant feel, but the music that they were playing was way too loud. There was several times I couldn't even hear my wife talking and she was sitting directly across from me.

  • Visited July 2012
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
    • 2 of 5 stars Food
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26 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    4
    6
    12
    3
    1
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Alexandria, Virginia
Top Contributor
206 reviews 206 reviews
171 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 56 cities Reviews in 56 cities
73 helpful votes 73 helpful votes
“Pretty good Mexican for this area”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 20, 2012

After living years in New Mexico, I'm always on the lookout for a chile fix, which isn't always easy in this part of the world. The location here in Potomac Yard couldn't be more convenient, so I decided to try it, and in general I am pleased with the experience.

The chips and salsa were a letdown. Chips were room temperature and salsa was cold, as if it had just come out of a jar in the refrigerator. Warm chips and room temperature salsa are much more pleasing, especially when the salsa is freshly made (as this definitely wasn't). Oh well.

I tried the San Angelo plate -- chicken taco, pork tamal and chile relleno, along with a side of chile mashed potatoes. Flavors were generally good. The tamal and relleno were not freshly made, but passable. The relleno was better than what you usually find in this part, though the masa was still a bit heavy for my taste. The masa in the tamal was hard; it had been around for a while. Still and all, the meal was a nice change.

Service was good. The atmosphere is nice, noise level acceptable, tables not too crowded together, as is so often the case around here. Prices definitely reasonable. I think it's a keeper.

  • Visited February 2012
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Arlington, Virginia
Top Contributor
118 reviews 118 reviews
108 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 25 cities Reviews in 25 cities
43 helpful votes 43 helpful votes
“just ok”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 29, 2012

It was not the best food i have ever had but it wasnt bad. The services was good and the the atmosphere was pretty good.

  • Visited January 2012
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
14 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
“Better than Cocaine”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 30, 2011

Mr. Felix is the finest barman in the Washington area. Period. About on par with my personal barman Juan at the swim-up bar in Cancun on three cans of Red Bull.

  • Visited August 2011
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Food
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Minneapolis, Minnesota
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
14 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
“Unfriendly, surly staff. Over-rated.”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed May 3, 2011

I love Don Pablo's in Minnesota. Wonderful restaurants there with good prices, excellent food and drink, and friendly efficient wait staff.

I hate this Don Pablo's. I have an Habanero's club card, and every month I go to this restaurant, and I regret every visit. It's a horrible DC experience. It's not world-class, not touriist class, and definitley not like other Don Pablo's. Tonight I went there. There was no greeter at the door. I hung around the bar for ten minutes. The place was almost empty. No staffer, and three or four were wandering around or chatting, said hello to me. I finally talked to a busboy, who was friendly enough, but he really couldn't help me.

The TVs are tiny with no sound. Don't expect a real sports bar. In fact, don't expect anything good.

I go here because they do have a good tequila supply. They have top-shelf tequila's and good tequila beverages. But I'd rather go to a liquor store and buy a bottle of tequila there and drink it at home alone in the dark--it's a better experience than this restaurant.

If you want traditional surly DC service, then come here. But if you expect efficient friendly service, don't come here.

  • Visited May 2011
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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