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“Possibly the best Mexican Restaurant there is” 5 of 5 stars
Review of El Charro - Ventana

El Charro - Ventana
6910 East Sunrise Drive, (520) 514-1922, Tucson, AZ 85750-0830 (Formerly El Charro)
(520) 615-1818
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Ranked #91 of 1,702 Restaurants in Tucson
Cuisines: Mexican
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Restaurant details
Good for: Families with children
Dining options: Breakfast/Brunch, Reservations, Late Night
Edmonton, Alberta
Senior Contributor
43 reviews 43 reviews
23 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 22 cities Reviews in 22 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
“Possibly the best Mexican Restaurant there is”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 25, 2013

We met a man in Sedona, who when we told him we were going to Tucson said we HAD to eat at El Charro. Our time in Tucson was brief, but we had lunch in El Charro the day we left and it was excellent.
We were in a hurry as we had to get on the road back to Phoenix to catch a plane. The greeter seated us on a porch (our preference) and said he would send a waiter out right away. After waiting a couple of minutes I thought I had best tell him we were in a hurry. I walked into the restaurant and saw a many who might have been the manager (or owner?) and said we needed get our food quickly. He was extremely helpful, both in getting our food quickly and telling us how to get on the freeway the fastest (there is a lot of construction in downtown Tucson at the moment).
I had combination #4 (Enchilada del Mar, Soft Shrimp Taco & Green Corn Tamal) and it was the best Mexican food I have eaten. I especially liked the soft shrimp taco.
This restaurant has been listed in all the major US food magazines and featured in the food sections of many US major dailies, and apparently this is the restaurant where the chimichanga was born.
It was started by Tia Monica Flin and has been in the same family since 1922.

As I said the service was great, but had I not gone looking for someone to tell then we were in a hurry I don't know how long it would have taken, as the waiter who was 'going to be right there' never did show up. Maybe he discovered we were already being served, or maybe the other fellow never sent anyone.
Overall though, I highly recommend this restaurant if you want great food in a funky old Mexico setting.

  • Visited April 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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181 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
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    3
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Any
English first
Portland
Top Contributor
213 reviews 213 reviews
121 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 81 cities Reviews in 81 cities
88 helpful votes 88 helpful votes
“Somewhat disappointing”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 24, 2013

El Charro is heralds as the original, authentic Mexican restaurant in Tucson. I went to one of the newer outlets, up near Sabino Canyon. Their happy hour was thrifty, and the chicken elegante crisp was very, very good. It's like a cross between a quesadilla and a pizza. But when we ordered dinner, things went a bit downhill. The servings are ample, but the flavors weren't anything to write home about. The place was packed, so maybe this is what passes for top-notch Mexican fare in Tucson, but I would go back ... unless it was happy hour.

  • Visited March 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sonoita, Arizona
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
“Dinner”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 18, 2013

This is the fourth time my wife and I have eaten at the El Charro on Sunrise. Absolutely the best Mexican food in town.

Visited April 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Top Contributor
105 reviews 105 reviews
63 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 44 cities Reviews in 44 cities
56 helpful votes 56 helpful votes
“Normally can't be beat!”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 14, 2013

Usually my favorite Mexican restaurant in Tucson. maybe had an off day. service was still great, retried beans not hot enough nor flavorful. ice a little pasty. Tamales were good, seafood enchilada acceptable. I would definitely recommend it based on many years of great eating there!

  • Visited April 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Food
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Tucson, Arizona
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
5 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“Bad service, bad food, lots of gnats”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed April 12, 2013

Went to the Oracle Rd location with a friend. We had a 'living social' coupon and quickly we were given a different menu and he took the original menus from us. We wanted to order off the original menus and just not use the coupon but the server didn't return for at least 5minutes. Service was the worst I have had in Tucson yet. Rude and food was just okay. There are other great Mexican Restaurants to try in Tucson first.

Visited April 2013
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