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“Well, that's over now...” 2 of 5 stars
Review of El Monte Grill & Lounge

El Monte Grill & Lounge
1611 S. College Ave, Fort Collins, CO 80525
9703721869
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Ranked #47 of 465 restaurants in Fort Collins
Price range: $9 - $18
Cuisines: Mexican
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Romance, Bar scene, Large groups, Doing business, Local cuisine, Special occasions, Entertaining clients
Dining options: Breakfast/Brunch, Lunch, Dinner, Reservations, Late Night
Dining style: Casual Dining
Cross street: College and Prospect
Transit: Future development will have the Mason Street corridor at our back door. RTD bus stop with-in 3 blocks.
Fort Collins, CO
Top Contributor
103 reviews 103 reviews
61 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 44 cities Reviews in 44 cities
40 helpful votes 40 helpful votes
“Well, that's over now...”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed December 10, 2013

El Monte has quickly taken a turn for the worse. It really used to be something to look forward to, but now, the creativity in the food has vanished and the menu has devolved into the same mediocre, flavorless junk you can get everywhere else for a more reasonable price. They took the ribeye off the menu. I mean, it's as if they're trying to fail now.

The server was a touch absent minded, and the manager appeared to be doing nothing useful. The kitchen looked like it was barely in use, just pulling pre-made items out of warming trays like Chipotle...but with lots less flavor. The rice and beans were terrible, just barely seasoned. Tacos were bland, mahi torta was very dry with only hints of flavor, and the kids' food was just a joke.

That said, the bar is still in full swing, I still like the atmosphere, and they're not slacking on the guacamole. But I can do that stuff myself, so I think we're done here. The quality's just gone.

  • Visited December 2013
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
    • 2 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kate S, General Manager at El Monte Grill & Lounge, responded to this review, December 16, 2013
Dear Blakkat,

Thank you for your review and your honest feedback. We always hope to wow and impress you and it seems that we didn't do that for you when you were in here.

El Monte is such a unique restaurant and we hope that everything on our menu impresses you. We apologize that your favorite wasn't on it--but we do have steak and relleno every weekend as a special. What I can assure you of is that El Monte is 100% scratch made kitchen and we do not cook anything until it is ordered, we apologize if something mislead you.

Your feedback was shared to the team and we do hope to see you again. Please come in and ask for a manager and we'd be happy to talk about the menu with you and hopefully share our excitement for what we do with you.


Kate
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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108 reviews from our community

80% Recommend
    61
    27
    9
    8
    3
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Fort Collins, Colorado
2 reviews
“Great food, mixed drinks”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 29, 2013 credit card Amex Card Member Review

The food is wonderful and unique for this area. There is a great atmosphere (it is operated by the same owners as The Rio in town).

Visited October 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kate S, General Manager at El Monte Grill & Lounge, responded to this review, February 8, 2014
Thank you- we love to be different from anywhere else in Ft. Collins! We hope to see you again soon.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Barcelona, Spain
Contributor
17 reviews 17 reviews
11 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
“Attention to detail, please do it.”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 10, 2013

This is a creative outlet of the Rio Grande restaurant, so food is always creative and very tasty. We liked the very innovative guacamole with strawberries, delicious. Dined with group of 7 people on a Friday night, so it was busy, quite disorganized. The sound system needs a major overhaul as it is very scratchy and the restaurant is quite loud. Service staff must be all new, we had no fewer than 5 mistakes in the delivery of food, which kept being routed to various tables indiscriminately while it got cold on the plate. Drinks came very slowly. Overall it was acceptable, and is worth the effort and cost, need patience. Just number the tables and educate the wait staff on how to serve people properly, then you would have much better results.

  • Visited July 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 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.
Kate S, General Manager at El Monte Grill & Lounge, responded to this review, August 11, 2013
Dear JGA1333,

First off, thank you for choosing El Monte for your party! We value our customers opinions and we are having the stereo looked at to troubleshoot the sound problems. We will definitely have it fixed by your next visit!

Also, service is incredibly important to us here at El Monte, your opinion was shared to the management team and we are working very diligently at improving our training for those delivering food and beverage and those serving.

We thank you for choosing us and appreciate your time in giving us your opinion.

We hope to see you again soon!


Kate
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Fort Collins, Colorado
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“A dissappointment”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed August 9, 2013

We have been going to El Monte for the past 3 1/2 yrs, however tonight it definitely did not meet up to the quality of service and respect we have become acquainted with. We came for happy hour, many of the staff are familiar with us and we ordered our usual Esteban, however substituted vodka for gin. We also enjoyed the guacamole, which as usual was excellent. When we received our bill we were charged for full price on every item. When I questioned the bartender about the cost, she replied "I told you about this last week when you were here with your girlfriends". Neither myself, nor my husband have been there since May...we've been traveling and haven't had a chance. She then sent the manager who bluntly stated "there are no substitutions on the happy hour menu". Well...they did change the price of the guacamole to happy hour, however charged us full price for our drinks. I found the manager very cold, avoiding eye contact and rude. I suppose that all good things change...but sorry to see our old stomping grounds taken over by thoughtless, demeaning staff.

  • Visited August 2013
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kate S, General Manager at El Monte Grill & Lounge, responded to this review, August 11, 2013
Dear Brigdavis,

I'd like to apologize on behalf of our management team for coming across as cold or out of touch. We love our guests and encourage feedback for what our happy hour menu could feature. We stick to our happy hour menu in hopes of showcasing some of our favorites, however we did not communicate that message to you and we sincerely apologize.
We take your feedback very seriously and will strive to communicate our message better to our valued guests that come to El Monte.

We hope to see you again--If you have any questions please feel free to call the restaurant.

Thank you!


Kate
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Vancouver, Canada
Top Contributor
91 reviews 91 reviews
49 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 32 cities Reviews in 32 cities
30 helpful votes 30 helpful votes
“We were very impressed with the quality of the food and excellent service”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 21, 2013

We went to El Monte as a family (two grandparents, a five year old and her mom and dad.) We went about 4:30 pm just after they opened and it was happy hour. We had a number of really delicious drink specials, beer and straight tequila. (They do not skimp on the booze.) All of our dishes were wonderful, especially the pork tenderloin. Mashed potatoes have a touch of what I think is mild green chili sauce and they were lovely. The make your own avocado was delicious and served with light, non greasy, and very tasty corn chips. You are given mini flour tortillas with 2 kinds of salsa for no charge when you are first seated which is a great touch. I don't understand why anyone would complain about the cost of some of the dinners. You would pay more for the same quality and amount of food in another restaurant. This is excellent food that happens to be Mexican.( Actually there are many inexpensive offerings on the menu as well. I wanted to try everything!) You get no refried beans here. The beans are a mix, mildly seasoned and seem to be made from the dried state because they have a good texture. We shared 2 desserts the chili chocolate and grilled corn cake...both very, very nice. Last but not least was the service. Our waiter was excellent. He was knowledgeable, helpful, friendly and patient with all our questions and gave suggestions of what to try. You could tell he was proud of the restaurant the the food he served and that he likes it himself. I will really look forward to going back. I am still thinking about some of the food.

  • Visited July 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 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.
Kate S, General Manager at El Monte Grill & Lounge, responded to this review, August 13, 2013
Dear Tonichestnutantosha,

We are thrilled to know you had a great time at El Monte. It sounds like you had a chance to try a few of our favorites from the food and bar menu and we are glad you enjoyed them as much as we do. El Monte strives to deliver quality in our food and beverage and we love the feedback about how we're doing!

We do our best to put thought into all of our food and beverage and I'm so happy to hear that your server took the time to make it enjoyable for you and your family.

We hope to see you soon and wow you again! Next time you come, please feel free to introduce yourself.

Thank you!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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