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“fun, funky mexican in Brunswick Maine” 4 of 5 stars
Review of El Camino Restaurant

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El Camino Restaurant
15 Cushing St, Brunswick, ME 04011-1819
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Ranked #28 of 81 Restaurants in Brunswick
Cuisines: Mexican
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Bar scene
Dining options: Dinner
Jacksonville, Florida
5 reviews 5 reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“fun, funky mexican in Brunswick Maine”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 20, 2012

El Camino sits in what looks like a residential neighborhood a little off the beaten path, but is worth the short side trip. It has great atmosphere and the food was fresh, imaginative and local. I had the pork chorizo and sweet potato tacos, which were very good. The restaurant was full of locals (always a good sign) and the selection of daily specials was long and inventive. For people who like to go beyond cookie cutter restaurants, El Camino is a great choice.

Visited September 2012
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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80 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
13 reviews 13 reviews
10 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
“Never again”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed July 29, 2012

Our youngest daughter was married last weekend, and we had many of her new husband's family stay the week after to see Maine. Every night was a new eating adventure, with so many restaurant choices in Brunswick. We had great meals at Sea Dog, Ni Da Thai, and dessert twice at Gelato Fiasco. To try something different I suggested Mexican, and thought of El Camino as a "neighborhood" restaurant. We had a group of 14, and from the time we entered we felt unwelcome and as though we were bothering them with our business. The waitress was perturbed at putting our tables together, and adding one more so we wouldn't be "squeezed" together, and the menu spelled out in a footnote that for groups there could be no separate checks, and there would be a 20% gratuity surcharge. That must be a necessity to get a tip, because the staff and service certainly did not deserve it.

With some of our visitors from Southern California they were used to "authentic" Mexican and this did not compare. One even remarked that the had never been in a Mexican restaurant that did not put tortilla chips and salsa on the table for an appetizer. El Camino did not. The rest of the meal was mediocre at best, spoiled partly by the atmosphere.

If you are looking for Mexican in Brunswick there is Pedro O Haras on Maine St or Pancho Villas on Pleasant St. But don't look for a good meal or atmosphere at El Camino!

  • Visited July 2012
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
    • 1 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Venice, Florida
Top Contributor
74 reviews 74 reviews
46 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 23 cities Reviews in 23 cities
61 helpful votes 61 helpful votes
“Good food, Bad man”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 17, 2012

Took a group of 14 eductated, very happy well behaved people to El Camino. Host (short man in glasses) was mean from the moment we arrived. So unfriendly, in fact, that I asked him pointedly if he wanted us to take our money elsewhere. They don't take reservations, and he was upset that we wanted to sit near each other, that we hoped for a plan. We were seated in the front room and a few more of our friends trickled in and pulled up chairs to the table which sent the small mean man into an even angrier frenzy. One of our people went up to him afterward and thanked him for accomodating us - our last try to be nice - and the man screamed at him in front of all the other customers saying it was "unbelievable" that extra people showed up and that "it would never happen again." Our group spent over $700. The waitresses and bartender were great, service was great, food was great. Overheard someone else in town talking about his negative experience with the host, so it makes you wonder what his problem is, and why he is representing this otherwise nice place.

  • Visited July 2012
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
North Carolina
18 reviews 18 reviews
10 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 15, 2012

This place is in a residential neighborhood, and is full of locals. All of their menu items are locally sourced, their salsa is made of fire-roasted tomatoes and served with homemade chips. I had fish tacos served with nicely seasoned black beans and rice. Cute interior and great service to boot!

Visited July 2012
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
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Brunswick, Maine
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
6 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
“RUDE and dismissive. Diners should seek elsewhere.”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed July 9, 2012

Went on an early Saturday evening (5:45ish). Walked in (just 2 of us) and peeked around the corner to see several empty tables. This, combined with the fact that the parking lot was nearly empty AND that they don't take reservations would lead one to believe that getting seated would be quick, right? El wrongo!! Joe "not-so-cool" (you and everyone who works there or visited there knows who you are) flops by and says "it'll be a 20 minute wait, you want to sit at the bar?" I turn to my friend to discuss and, no exaggeration, not five seconds pass before Joe NSC says in a VERY rude and dismissive manner "let me know" and flops away. My friend and I wanted to simply discuss the idea of sitting at the bar or waiting elsewhere (outside, in the foyer, etc.). Instead we said Adiós and headed elsewhere, specifically Poncho Villa. Poncho Villa has GREAT food and NO attitude. So, if you are looking for over-priced "sort-of" Mexican food served with a healthy dose of attitude, go see Joe NSC at el camino. If not, then you should hit the road. Coincidentally, as I understand the name, el camino translates to "the road" in English. For this el camino, it means "hit the road" because this restaurant fancies itself too hip and cool to be polite to potential patrons. Now I know why your parking lot and many of your tables were empty. If I have turned just one reader from patronizing this place, I have done my service. Thank you for reading.

Was this review helpful? Yes 3
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