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“Pretty face, barren soul.” 2 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 #245 of 597 Restaurants in Alexandria
Price range: $20 - $35
Cuisines: Mexican, Southwestern
Good for: Families with children
Restaurant details
Good for: Families with children
Alexandria, VA
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
14 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
“Pretty face, barren soul.”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed January 14, 2010

I took my 88-year-old mother here for a weekday lunch, and a taste of "home." (She's a veteran of many a taqueria, after decades in southern Arizona.) Usually, when she visits, I take her over to some little place in "Chirilagua" or Del Ray on Mount Vernon Avenue. But we had never tried Don Pablo's -- and the prospect of easier parking and a shorter walk to the front door appealed to us.

Inside, the restaurant was brighter (compared to our usual Mount Vernon Ave haunts), attractively decorated, and with more space around the tables, as well. Service was friendly and prompt, and the delivered dishes were hot and attractive.

It's just that the food was . . . terrible. An overall gelatinous, viscous (even rubbery) quality to everything. Frijoles were soupy, presented in little bowls (minus a needed spoon). Rice was dry and dull. Cheese chile rellenos arrived without a cheese interior--but coated in a heavy sponge of batter. The tamale seemed more like a molded (and unseasoned) cornflour aspic. Mom indulged in a margarita, served up in in a tall tumbler, and tasting mostly of high fructose corn syrup.

It wouldn't rank among our worst restaurant experiences--but certainly, among our worst Mexican food.

    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 1 of 5 stars Food
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32 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    5
    9
    12
    4
    2
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
A TripAdvisor reviewer on Facebook
“I love Don Pablo's.”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 28, 2008

I love Don Pablo's.

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This review is the subjective opinion of an individual contributor and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
alexandria
Top Contributor
57 reviews 57 reviews
53 restaurant reviews
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
“loud noisy chain restaurant with huge margaritas and hot fajitas. Good for a crowd or fun.”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed January 15, 2008

loud noisy chain restaurant with huge margaritas and hot fajitas. Good for a crowd or fun.

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This review is the subjective opinion of an individual contributor and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor reviewer on Facebook
“if you're at Potomac Yards and are jonesin' for Mexican and don't want to leave the parking lot, go here.”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 6, 2008

if you're at Potomac Yards and are jonesin' for Mexican and don't want to leave the parking lot, go here.

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This review is the subjective opinion of an individual contributor and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
United States
Senior Contributor
47 reviews 47 reviews
47 restaurant reviews
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
“An average, albeit crowded, chain Mexican restaurant. Get the cheese dip with your chips.”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed December 20, 2007

An average, albeit crowded, chain Mexican restaurant. Get the cheese dip with your chips.

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This review is the subjective opinion of an individual contributor and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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