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“Best Mexican food in Gallup” 5 of 5 stars
Review of El Metate Tamale Factory

El Metate Tamale Factory
610 W Mesa Ave, Gallup, NM
505-722-7000
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Ranked #2 of 92 Restaurants in Gallup
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Cuisines: Mexican
Restaurant details
Albuquerque, New Mexico
Top Contributor
186 reviews 186 reviews
131 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 60 cities Reviews in 60 cities
116 helpful votes 116 helpful votes
“Best Mexican food in Gallup”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 24, 2012

The food here makes navigating the maze of residential streets worthwhile. I features some of the best tamales I have ever had. And the rest of their menu isn't too shabby either. So, for people passing through like us, find it on your GPS and be prepared for some of the best Mexican fare in New Mexico or elswhere.

  • Visited June 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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77 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    52
    15
    5
    1
    4
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Queen Creek, Arizona
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
19 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
“Hidden treasure hole in the wall. Worth the stop”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 5, 2012 via mobile

Followed the great advice of tripadvisor to find this hidden treasure. Great food and real Mexican coke & Fanta I ordered two different tamales & an enchilada. Everything was awesome!!! When I arrived a local policeman was picking up dinner for the office.
I call that a A1 reccomendation.

    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 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.
Phoenix, Arizona
Top Contributor
131 reviews 131 reviews
97 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 46 cities Reviews in 46 cities
68 helpful votes 68 helpful votes
“Fabulous authentic New Mexican food!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 24, 2012

My wife and I were traveling across I-40 and passing through Gallup, NM around lunch time and were trying to decide on a place to stop for lunch. We started looking at available restaurants on our phones and were hoping to find something besides fast food. We looked at Tripadvisor and found a few reviews for this restaurant and then went to Yelp! and found more reviews and hands down this was the place to go. A lot of people talked about not letting the outside appearance of the place scare you off but I guess they weren't from the Southwest since we had no issues with the appearance.

Anyways, we stopped in around 2pm so we were the only people in there (we were on AZ time and it was 1pm for us) and had missed the lunch crowd. We were provided home made chips and salsa of which both were very good. Other reviewers have stated that the salsa is "hot" but then again I guess it is what you are used to. The salsa is a green salsa and I'm pretty sure it is Jalapeno based. Good flavor and just enough heat to give it a kick. For the main course, I had the sampler plate which had a beef tamale, enchilada, and chile relleno. My wife had the green chile chicken sopapilla and everything was outstanding. The tamales were light and fluffy and the red chile sauce was authentic red chile sauce and not anything out of a can. Everything else was fabulous as well. My wife grew up in Southern New Mexico and said that this was some of the best New Mexican food that she has ever had. The service was very good and the owners were very polite and thankful to have our business.

I did ask the owner about their operating hours and they said they are usually open until 8 or 9 pm but are closed on Sundays. I will definitely be recommending El Metate to others and to my business partners as well who travel the I-40 corridor quite often.

Finally, the restaurant is located in a residential area but is not hard to find and is close to I-40. There is parking in the back and if you have a larger vehicle then park on the street. We hope you enjoy our visit as much as we did.

  • Visited September 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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Herndon, Virginia
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“The surprise food highlight of our Southwest tour”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 19, 2012

Having lived in New Mexico and Arizona for years, I was excited about bringing my East Coast family all around to experience the food I loved first hand. We hit a bunch of top restaurants and local favorites from Austin to Flagstaff and this restaurant was the surprise unanimous choice for favorite meal.

It was only because a change of schedule left us with Gallup as our only dinner option one evening that we even lucked out on this. A quick TripAdvisor search while we were approaching Gallup on I-40 brought this up and the other reviews had us prepared for the residential setting.

The woman who greeted us (we were the only ones there) was very friendly and she did all the cooking while her brother took over as waiter. It's as close as you can get to having a traditional home cooked meal hosted by someone who truly knows how to make each dish memorable. Describing each item would take too much space, but there were five of us and each ordered something different and each of us loved what we had (as well as what we sampled from each other!).

In talking with the brother, it seems that the restaurant has been there for quite a while but his sister (I wish I could tell you their names) took it over a little over a year ago. I can't tell you what it was like before, but what it is right now is pretty special.

  • Visited July 2012
    • 5 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.
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
“Great southwestern cuisine and a very welcoming and friendly staff.”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 14, 2012

The sopapillas stuffed with chicken were delicious. We got one with spicy red sauce and one with mild green sauce. The homemade chips with green salsa were also noteworthy.

The owner is warm and inviting. Of interest to foodies: the Naked Chef and Emerill have both visited his restaurant.

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

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