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“Local Place, Just What You Need” 4 of 5 stars
Review of El Paso Cafe

El Paso Cafe
4235 N Pershing Dr, Arlington, VA 22203-3202
703-243-9811
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Ranked #121 of 643 Restaurants in Arlington
Cuisines: Mexican, Spanish
Dining options: Lunch, Dinner, Reservations
Restaurant details
Dining options: Lunch, Dinner, Reservations
Arlington, VA
Top Contributor
99 reviews 99 reviews
51 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 28 cities Reviews in 28 cities
86 helpful votes 86 helpful votes
“Local Place, Just What You Need”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 10, 2013

This is a local spot with a small-town, small-place vibe to it. You'll like it. Servers friendly, professional & prompt. The drinks are good. It's noisy when busy, you'll have to speak with a raised voice so your dining companion can hear you, but it's not deafening like some places. Prices are about right for Arlington, not crazy Clarendon pricing. Parking is in their lot or across the street. Food: fajita was good, crispy shell beef tacos were excellent. Pork tamal app was very good. Chips & salsa, the salsa is very good.

Recommended.

  • Visited February 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
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48 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    14
    29
    4
    1
    0
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Portuguese first
  • Any
English first
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Top Contributor
96 reviews 96 reviews
52 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 39 cities Reviews in 39 cities
180 helpful votes 180 helpful votes
“Outstanding Tex-Mex”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 23, 2013

We've been to dozens of Tex-Mex and Mexican restaurants in the DC metro area. We love this food genre and it's definitely our preferred choice when dining out. We had heard positive reviews about El Paso Cafe from friends and co-workers. We had also heard that former President Bush (the 43rd) had visited El Paso Cafe multiple times while in Washington and said it was on par with best Tex-Mex restaurants in his native Texas.

We went to El Paso Cafe on an early Sunday afternoon in January. There were very few patrons, with only three tables occupied. The staff told us to sit anywhere we like. We chose a table with easy viewing of the two TV's on site. One TV had on the NFL playoffs, while the other had soccer on with FC Barcelona featuring Lionel Messi, so we were more than satisfied from that standpoint.

Our server came over promptly to take our order. We ordered veggie fajitas and fish tacos. Both dishes were outstanding! The fish was very tender and plentiful. The vegetables for the fajita were cooked to perfection. The rice was fantastic. I did find the black beans a tad too creamy/mushy, but that is minor. They still tasted very good as well. We also ordered a house margarita on the rocks which was tasty. The staff was very cordial and made us feel welcome. El Paso Cafe is great. We are already planning our next visit!

  • Visited January 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
5 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
“Consistently excellent food & service”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 10, 2012

I've been to this place with teachers for an afternoon happy hour, with clients for consulting dinners, with my family for celebrations and with my husband for date nights. The service is always "just enough" (not interrupting us, but always there when you need it) and even when my kids have been LOCO (not eating, overtired, spilled water) they help us to make the meal great. There is enough space between tables that you can really talk to your companions, and they make birthdays extra special. (Once they brought my friend dessert and tequila shooters). The food is great and I 2nd the pupusa vote-bean and cheese is the best. Margaritas are delicious and if they are pre-mixed, I can't tell. Last visit was apps & margs with a friend and we had a great time on a Saturday night. Great value. Close to 66 & 50.

  • Visited November 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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Arlington, Virginia
Top Contributor
377 reviews 377 reviews
256 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 65 cities Reviews in 65 cities
121 helpful votes 121 helpful votes
“Very authentic”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 15, 2012

Love the pupusas here and the chicken enchiladas. G. W. Bush ate here, and so they had to susped the chair he sat in off the ceiling because people kept trying to steal it. It's in the hood, but it's really good.

Visited November 2011
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Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida
Top Contributor
176 reviews 176 reviews
150 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 36 cities Reviews in 36 cities
313 helpful votes 313 helpful votes
“Befriended some displaced Texans and asked where they found the best Tex/Mex place in the area and they brought me here.”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 12, 2011

Service is spotty at times and heaven help you when they are really busy, but the food is worth it. You should try whatever you are in the mood for; the food is that good. I have been here many times and brought lots of friends... always enjoyed it. The Costillas (juicy rack of ribs) are to die for and one of my very favorites is the Carne Asada... Yum! But make sure that you save room for dessert... the Tres Leche cake is outrageous! My mistake is I love their chips and salsa so much I go through a basket before the food comes.

  • Visited February 2011
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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