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“this is my new mexican restaurant in Arlington” 4 of 5 bubbles
Review of El Paso Cafe

El Paso Cafe
Ranked #142 of 870 Restaurants in Arlington
Cuisines: Mexican, Southwestern, Latin, Spanish
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Dining on a budget, Families with children, Kids
Dining options: Lunch, Dinner, Full Bar, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Takeout, Television, Waitstaff, Wheelchair Accessible
Denton, Texas
Level Contributor
73 reviews
40 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
“this is my new mexican restaurant in Arlington”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 20, 2014

I've been here twice, and I'll keep coming back. Nice to have an authentic tex-mex taste. Both times my meals were delivered quickly, and were very tasty. I like my food a little spicier, but their level of spice probably appeals to a wider audience in the Northeast. It is busy, and the draft beer seems expensive, but the food is very reasonably priced. The restaurant is small, and decorated well; the mariachi band is a terrific bonus-- a little loud for such a small place, but outstanding musicians. I miss Texas!!

  • Visited January 2014
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank KDC0726
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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77 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    27
    40
    7
    2
    1
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Portuguese first
  • Any
English first
Arlington, Virginia
Level Contributor
185 reviews
169 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
“Festive and Fun”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 7, 2013

Colorful decorations and atmosphere with wait staff laughing and joking among themselves and enjoying glimpses of football on the flat screen. All this without dropping a beat regarding service. They look like they love their jobs and they are an asset to this restaurant. We came for an earlyish dinner thinking the parking lot may not accommodate us later. No worries, as there is additional parking in the back. The place was hopping, but we were able to easily converse during our meal. I’m giving the highest rating for the overall experience (atmosphere / food / service), but may be influenced by the fact that Don Pablo’s was the last Mexican restaurant I tried. So my memory of fast and processed was now contrasted with El Paso’s slower and fresh.
We ordered the Salmon dinner and the Pershing Plate. Here’s the food rundown:

* Warm tortilla chips tasted made in-house—not sure if they are / aren’t--and smoky salsa is addictive.

* Salmon was cooked perfectly – tequila lime sauce was fine, but the melt-in-your-mouth fish was a stand out.

* Side salad that comes with Salmon dish couldn’t have fresher iceberg, cukes, and tomatoes– ranch dressing tasted homemade but was bland. Stirring some salsa into the dressing livened up the salad.

* Chile relleno was bursting with flavor! The meat in the taco was seasoned (marinated?) perfectly and was the perfect cut of steak for a taco.

* Side dishes of rice and beans were hot and tasted on par with those of other decent Mexican restaurants.

* Lots of interesting bar drinks on the menu, but we did not try any.

  • Visited December 2013
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank Mary G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
57 reviews
42 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
“Good, but not great”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 19, 2013

The El Paso Cafe bills itself as a Mexican restaurant; it's not. The food is actually Central American. Having said that, the service is always good; the food is always fresh and well-prepared and the portions are fair-sized. Dining here is a nice, predictable experience; not stellar, but always good, for what it is.

  • Visited October 2013
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank Eric S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Arlington, Virginia
Level Contributor
171 reviews
65 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 123 helpful votes
“Great fajitas, but the music/band is too loud”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 7, 2013

This used to be a sleepy tanqueria with a reasonable priced menu with the standards for Mexican fare. Mariachis used to play one night a week. I guess they are trying to expand their market and so the menu is much larger now, prices have gone up, and they have tequilia tastings weekly. We were sad (for us, but happy for them) to see our neighborhood local go kind of corporate. They have live music most nights (at least the times we were there), but it is WAY too loud and detracts from the dining experience. The Fajitas are what to go here for. They used to be more generous in the past (before the reinvigoration) and one order could easily serve two. Now one person can handily consume an entire fajita order. We joke that this used to be George Bush's favorite Mexican (W's) because he actually came and ate here when he was president. The fajitas are great and the meat is tasty and comes on a sizzling metal plate.

  • Visited March 2013
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank barbara r
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Derby, Kansas
Level Contributor
70 reviews
40 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
“Down home Mexican Fare”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 28, 2013

El Paso Cafe is an institution in the Buckingham neighborhood. Just south of the Glebe/Pershing intersection, it is known for its authentic food and atmosphere. The wait staff is attentive and efficient, weaving between tables packed close together to accommodate the large parties that frequent the cafe, especially on weekends. I always get one of the soups, beef or chicken, full of corn on the cob, lettuce, yucca, other vegetables and whole pieces of chicken or large slabs of beef. Others prefer the fish tacos, or other excellent renditions of traditional Mexican fare. Although another reviewer complained about the music, I thoroughly enjoyed the great Mariachi band. They, too, are the real thing. Although they sound loud--trumpets, etc in a very small space--they are terrific and there is plenty of time between numbers to get in some normal-level conversation, and talk is not impossible even when they are playing. Another reviewer complained about the service, but our large group of 14 children and adults had excellent service on a very busy night on our recent visit. And I agree with "Soren Trips:" the margaritas are delicious.

  • Visited May 2013
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
1 Thank 3DQ
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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