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“Best Mexican Restaurant in the Rio Grande Valley” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Pepe's Mexican Restaurant

Pepe's Mexican Restaurant
117 S 77 Sunshine Strip, Harlingen, TX 78550-7337
956-423-3663
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Ranked #3 of 147 Restaurants in Harlingen
Cuisines: Mexican
Restaurant details
Sulphur Springs, Texas
Contributor
17 reviews 17 reviews
11 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
“Best Mexican Restaurant in the Rio Grande Valley”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 31, 2011

We live in the RGV and eat at Pepe's all the time. The Valley is not the place to come for fine dining. The most worrisome issue is the incidence of food poisoning and lack of general cleanliness of the great majority of food establishments. They even have a local TV station that has a weekly "Dirty Dining, What's Not on the Menu" segment and give out stickers to places that do not have any issues when they are inspected.
Pepe's fulfills the best in our opinion of Mexican restaurants in the RGV, where you can find Mexican restaurants on almost every corner.
Pepe's is a local eatery. It is not fancy. There is no blaring mariachi music. When we have out of town guests and they want something different then the usual Tacos and Enchilada's this is where we go. Tuesday night is a buffet, and it is very crowded. The waiters have been there for years and are very good. I read the few negative reports and don't understand. We have always felt the service was excellent and attentive.
What to eat: Fajitas (included in the Joe's Especial, what my Husband usually orders), Bistec Ranchero (beef with fresh chopped chilies, tomatoes, onions and cilantro- my personal favorite), Carne Gusada (chunks of beef in a spicy brown sauce- my husbands other personal favorite), Chicken Mole. Soups: both the Caldo des Res (beef and vegetable), and the Menudo are good. The refried beans and the charo beans are made fresh daily. The chips are hand made and served as fast as you eat them. The salsa is hand made but only mediocre. None of the food is overly spicy or hot.
Note on fajitas. These are Traditional, not sirloin steak fajitas, so they are served as one very thin piece of skirt steak which you cut up on your own. They are not tender or thick like sirloin that you find in places like Chili's.
What to skip: Taco's. The shells are premade like you get at a fast food joint, as are the corn tortillas used in the chalupas (called tostadas in some parts of the country). They also use ground beef in both which I don't like. I also skip the cheese enchiladas, though the chicken mole enchiladas are good.
I think if a person goes to Pepe's and orders what I suggested they will enjoy it and have a good meal.

  • Visited October 2011
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
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54 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    28
    17
    5
    2
    2
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
McAllen, TX
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
“LOVE this place”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 12, 2011

Grew up in Harlingen, eating Pepe's all my life. I moved to McAllen, but I still go back just to enjoy this great food!

  • Visited September 2011
    • 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.
Harlingen, Texas
Contributor
18 reviews 18 reviews
13 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
“Best Mexican Food in Harlingen”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 22, 2011

I've eaten here for years and I'm convinced they serve the best Mexican Food North of the border. Not the best atmosphere for dinner but you will enjoy great food and cold beer. It gets pretty crowded at lunch, so go early. Service is the best.
Enjoy

  • Visited July 2011
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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Ft. Lauderdale
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
4 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
“Fajitas were a big disappointment”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed June 22, 2011

I grew up in Harlingen and on a recent trip back there a friend recommended Pepe's fajitas, saying they are delicious because of a special homemade marinade. Well, I had the "Joe's House Special" and the fajitas were thin, tough, and dry. Maybe a hint of lime juice but I didn't taste any sort of marinade. The cheese enchilada that came with it was unremarkable. On a positive note, the flan was some of the best I've had.

  • Visited June 2011
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
    • 2 of 5 stars Food
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1 review
“Always a great place”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 7, 2011 via mobile

One of the best places to have fajitas. The margaritas are excellent! You have to get there early because the line is always out the door on weeknights. A must stop for everyone.

    • 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
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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