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“Where the locals eat” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Monica's El Portal

Monica's El Portal
321 Rio Grande Blvd NW, Albuquerque, NM 87104 (West Old Town)
(505) 247-9625
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Ranked #57 of 1,398 Restaurants in Albuquerque
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Cuisines: Mexican, Southwestern
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Families with children, Local cuisine
Dining options: Breakfast, Reservations
Neighborhood: West Old Town
Norman, Oklahoma
Top Contributor
92 reviews 92 reviews
58 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 28 cities Reviews in 28 cities
186 helpful votes 186 helpful votes
“Where the locals eat”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 1, 2012

Monica's is excellent and authentic New Mexican food. All the neighborhood is in there at some time or other. Simple atmosphere, but really great food!

Visited August 2012
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94 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    45
    38
    6
    3
    2
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Arizona
Top Contributor
64 reviews 64 reviews
45 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 33 cities Reviews in 33 cities
28 helpful votes 28 helpful votes
“Unexpected Excellence”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 26, 2012

I am in my 50's and love authentic Mexican food. Love to cook it as well! Always looking for perfected cuisine... Hotel Albuquerque in Old Town is my favorite pit stop traveling from CO to AZ quite frequently. I consulted Trip Advisor for a top rated Mexican Restaurant for dinner this evening in Old Town. Hands down, Monica's had the best reviews. It was a few minutes walk from our hotel. I hesitated to go into the establishment because it was what some would refer to as "a hole in the wall". Also it was across a busy street, away from the beaten path. When we walked in, the place was small and the decor was old fashioned, but nice and clean. Not too many tables were occupied. I wanted a cold beer, it was on the menu, my husband and I decided to stay. 10 minutes after we were seated, my husband looked around and said, "Did all these people follow us in here?" the restaurant became busy at 6:15 on a Wednesday night.
The food was amazing! Best beef enchiladas, rice and beans I have had to date. For $9.00 I was served twice the amount of food I could possibly eat. The service was good too.
I don't think I will dine anywhere in old Town other than Monica's ever again.

  • Visited September 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 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.
philadelphia
Contributor
20 reviews 20 reviews
5 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
“Great Place!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 23, 2012

We went for lunch and had one of the best meals in New Mexico. The food was great and the staff could not be nicer. The prices were great too. This is a family owned restaurant along Rio Grand Avenue. They even wrapped up our leftovers to take home on the plane....

  • Visited September 2012
    • 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.
New Mexico
Top Contributor
67 reviews 67 reviews
40 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
48 helpful votes 48 helpful votes
“Down Home Place”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 19, 2012

I went for lunch 12-1 on a Friday. There was great parking. They have a patio but not sure if they really use it. It is in an old renovated house. It is nothing fancy and is very clean. My server, Juanita, was great. Very efficient. I hade the #6 cheese enchilada plate with red sauce ($7.95). The red sauce at this place is darker so be prepared for that. It was flavorful and not hot. The sopapillas are fantastic - so so good. The way the tables and chairs are set up accommodates the flow of people, even if they are crowded. You don't feel like someone is standing right over you or eating at your table. They also serve beer and wine. They also serve breakfast. When I was there working class people were having lunch. The location is right across from Albuquerque Old Town. It is much better to eat here with convenient parking, good prices and good food. Try this place; you'll like it!

  • Visited July 2012
    • 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.
Texas
Top Contributor
57 reviews 57 reviews
37 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 22 cities Reviews in 22 cities
65 helpful votes 65 helpful votes
“Good food, pleasant staff, family friendly!”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 19, 2012

Went here because we were in Old Town and had never tried this place. Have two toddlers with us in tow, we warned them over the phone (just wanted to be sure), and they pleasantly laughed and told us no problem. i had chile rellenos and being a previous New Mexican now in Texas it instantly reminded me of the great New Mexico flavors that I always miss.

They don't have a great beer selection though they have Negra Modelo which is close enough to what I like. Sopaipillas served with meal were great as expected.

Really no big negatives, just a good place to get New Mexican food at a decent price with a friendly staff.

  • Visited July 2012
    • 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.

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