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“Cortez Dining Horror” 1 of 5 stars
Review of El Burro Pancho

El Burro Pancho
125 E. Main St, Cortez, CO 81321
970-565-4633
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Ranked #4 of 59 Restaurants in Cortez
Cuisines: Mexican
Restaurant details
Salt Lake City, Utah
Contributor
18 reviews 18 reviews
5 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
24 helpful votes 24 helpful votes
“Cortez Dining Horror”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed August 1, 2013

My first experience with Mexican /Southwest food was in a small Montana town in 1968. Over the years I have smiled about that experience because the Mexican combination plate was a frozen TV dinner. We should have been so lucky to have had the meal at this establishment to be a fraction as palatable.

Based solely upon TripAdvisor reviews, we tried this establishment earlier this week and left wondering where the individuals that rated this place anything greater than poor had their meals? . My perception of the reviews is that only three prior reviews were honest. I presume the remainder are put up jobs to undermine an honest review process or the reviewers had just taken a strong hallucinogenic immediately before dining!

The enchiladas were filled with two pieces of (pork?) and what tasted like large frozen potato chunks. The tamale (for those with a good imagination) resembled a burned chili pepper and it was definitely not like any tamale previously encountered! The taco meat and burrito were covered with a tomato base sauce that resembled . . . well, I won't say what. In retrospect, it is difficult to determine which of the menu items was the worst. All were really disgustingly gross, unpalatable and unfortunately unforgettable. The fresh greens that are normally served with this type of food were cooked. The rice served with the meal came with a mixture of cooked carrots and anybody's guess of what else.

Good food starts with a quality ingredient. My perception is that the establishment is using low cost ingredients to maximize the bottom line margin. Since this is a tourist town, this may work for them because they may not have to rely on repeat customers.

In almost fifty years of extensive road travel and countless meals in restaurants, I have been unable to recall another dining experience that was as poor as this one, and I normally am able to quickly move on after a less than acceptable dining experience. Not so here.

The price per meal was not unreasonable for edible food, but I considered the price to be unacceptable for food that should never have been placed on a dish and served to the public.

Not wanting to be completely negative, I will say that the ice cubes in the water glasses were cold had acceptable flavoring.

Should one venture into this place, I strongly recommend that only ice be ordered,, after that, dine under the arches just up the way..

  • Visited July 2013
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
    • 1 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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153 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Any
English first
Bossier City, Louisiana
Senior Contributor
38 reviews 38 reviews
17 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
“A Rare Find”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 28, 2013

Cortez is a small, quiet town. Inquiring for a good place to eat while at a local filling station, there were two, local women, with very diverging opinions. We chose El Burro! A great find. I can attest to the goodness of Pollo Ajo (garlic chicken). The chicken was succulent with a tremendous aromatic sauce. Rice and beans accompanied as a plus (they come with most all choices). The chips and salsa were a plus. The salsa appears to be homemade and it has a bit of hot after it has left your palate. When in Cortez, I would definitely choose this restaurant again.

  • Visited July 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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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Salt Lake City, Utah
1 review
“The whole family loved it! Best Mexican Restaurant in Cortez!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 19, 2013

We spent a couple of days in Cortez while we visited Mesa Verde National Park. We tried a couple of different Mexican restaurants, and El Burro Pancho was by far the best! I had the Pancho Combo and my wife had the flautas and still can't stop talking about them. Anyone traveling through Cortez should definitely stop and try it out. The staff was extremely friendly and welcoming.

  • Visited June 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.
Phoenix, Arizona
Contributor
17 reviews 17 reviews
9 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
“Yummy!!!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 17, 2013

My husband wanted to hug the cook after our visit here! He keeps talking about their chicken tacos. I had a carne asada burrito which was yummy too.

We really loved their salsa. I always make my own salsa at home, and tried to copy theirs without success...we'd definitely come back if we find ourselves in Cortez.

Visited July 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Atlanta, Georgia
Top Contributor
81 reviews 81 reviews
37 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 50 cities Reviews in 50 cities
72 helpful votes 72 helpful votes
“Food here is delicious!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 14, 2013

We stopped here for lunch on our way from Monument Valley to Durango, and all three of us loved our food. My beef enchilada had a sauce that was spicy, delicate, and just perfectly balanced with the beans and rice, and I ate everything on my plate. My husband and son did the same - the food was good enough to trump hunger levels. The waiter was also wonderful - he was attentive and helpful, but never pushy. If you're in Cortez, you should definitely stop here - along a highway filled with fast food chains, this is absolutely a stop worth making that you won't forget. Good value, too!

  • Visited July 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 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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