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“Great fajitas, but the music/band is too loud” 4 of 5 stars
Review of El Paso Cafe

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El Paso Cafe
4235 N Pershing Dr, Arlington, VA 22203-3202
703-243-9811
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Ranked #56 of 675 restaurants in Arlington
Cuisines: Mexican
Restaurant details
Arlington, Virginia
Top Contributor
67 reviews 67 reviews
26 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 24 cities Reviews in 24 cities
50 helpful votes 50 helpful votes
“Great fajitas, but the music/band is too loud”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 7, 2013

This used to be a sleepy tanqueria with a reasonable priced menu with the standards for Mexican fare. Mariachis used to play one night a week. I guess they are trying to expand their market and so the menu is much larger now, prices have gone up, and they have tequilia tastings weekly. We were sad (for us, but happy for them) to see our neighborhood local go kind of corporate. They have live music most nights (at least the times we were there), but it is WAY too loud and detracts from the dining experience. The Fajitas are what to go here for. They used to be more generous in the past (before the reinvigoration) and one order could easily serve two. Now one person can handily consume an entire fajita order. We joke that this used to be George Bush's favorite Mexican (W's) because he actually came and ate here when he was president. The fajitas are great and the meat is tasty and comes on a sizzling metal plate.

  • Visited March 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
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37 reviews from our community

94% Recommend
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    2
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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Portuguese first
  • Any
English first
Derby, Kansas
Senior Contributor
43 reviews 43 reviews
26 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
“Down home Mexican Fare”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 28, 2013

El Paso Cafe is an institution in the Buckingham neighborhood. Just south of the Glebe/Pershing intersection, it is known for its authentic food and atmosphere. The wait staff is attentive and efficient, weaving between tables packed close together to accommodate the large parties that frequent the cafe, especially on weekends. I always get one of the soups, beef or chicken, full of corn on the cob, lettuce, yucca, other vegetables and whole pieces of chicken or large slabs of beef. Others prefer the fish tacos, or other excellent renditions of traditional Mexican fare. Although another reviewer complained about the music, I thoroughly enjoyed the great Mariachi band. They, too, are the real thing. Although they sound loud--trumpets, etc in a very small space--they are terrific and there is plenty of time between numbers to get in some normal-level conversation, and talk is not impossible even when they are playing. Another reviewer complained about the service, but our large group of 14 children and adults had excellent service on a very busy night on our recent visit. And I agree with "Soren Trips:" the margaritas are delicious.

  • Visited May 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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Atlanta, Georgia
Top Contributor
122 reviews 122 reviews
68 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 60 cities Reviews in 60 cities
30 helpful votes 30 helpful votes
“Decent food and service”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 26, 2013

We went on a weeknight, wasn't very crowded. Our food came out quickly and it was hot. Our waiter was okay, we had to ask for refills, silverware, etc. I prefer to go elsewhere.

  • Visited May 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Food
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Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
10 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Awesome restaurant but NOT when the mariachi band is playing!”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 24, 2013 via mobile

This is the BEST Tex-Mex n Virginia but I dont enjoy dining with the band playing. We've called in the past to double check but didn't this visit. Lesson learned! Please go to this establishment but know you may not be able to have a conversation
This restaurant gets all 5s without the band

  • Visited May 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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Scotland
Senior Contributor
30 reviews 30 reviews
19 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
29 helpful votes 29 helpful votes
“Best Margaritas in the East”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 8, 2013

The food is very good, the atmosphere friendly but it's the margaritas that keep us going back time and again. El Paso has a pretty standard menu and always produces excellent quality dishes in portions large enough that we've never needed dessert. The drinks menu isn't huge but everything we've tried has been excellent, from the draught beers to the magnificent margaritas.

Best Mexican I know in Virginia.

  • Visited March 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.

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