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“Back to its roots”
Review of El Chorro

El Chorro
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Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $21 - $50
Cuisines: American
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Bar scene
Dining options: Lunch, Breakfast, Dinner, Late Night, Reservations
Dining style: Casual Elegant
Cross street: 56th Street & Lincoln Drive
Reviewed May 9, 2014

My wife and I met at El Chorros in 1987. Over the years, we entertained many friends there
including clients, congressmen, business leaders, fashion experts, and many interesting individuals. It is unique among America's restaurants and dining underneath Camelback Mountain is spectacular. We moved to the East Coast and were gone for about 10 years, Upon our return it had both closed and reopened. On our first visit, we were big disappointed as the food was mediocre and the charm was gone. Even the sticky buns were only poor renditions of their former self. Then about a year ago, I began taking some of my East Coast and West Coast business associates there. I was pleasantly surprised as both the charm and the food were in recovery mode and my guests were enchanted. This week was my wife's Birthday and because it carries so much significance for us, we dined at El Chorros, It was an incredible evening as the restaurant that we have loved for so many years was back to its roots. The evening was perfect, the hostess charming, the drinks just right, the service impeccable,
the sticky buns the best ever, the chicken livers crisp, and the food exquisite. If you have not been to El Chorros recently, go immediately. My Rhode Island attorney considers it his all time favorite restaurant, as there is a charm that is so very special to itself. El Chorros is an Arizona treasure.

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Thank malcolm m
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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391 - 395 of 605 reviews

Reviewed May 3, 2014 via mobile

We attended a rehearsal dinner for about 70 people on An outdoor patio. The facility was spectacular. Inviting Outdoor fire pits and fire places with adirondack chairs surrounded the patio area with the dining tables for conversations before and after dinner. Strung overhead Lighting supplemented landscape lighting and down lights on the building. It was a perfect outdoor setting for sunset and evening dining.

Southwestern Food was served as a multi course buffet. Very nice, and very satisfying. Sticky buns were brought to the tables. But upon learning the price I was appalled. The overall service level and wait staff was not on par with the rest of the facility nor the excessive price for a beans, rice and tacos buffet. The package offered beer, wine, and margaritas. Upon arrival, staff briefly circulated with trays of drinks then disappeared. It then became self service at a convenient and inviting but sporadically manned bar. There was one part- time bartender who had other duties elsewhere in the restaurant. So you would have to wait to get another drink until they saw a few people waiting and the bar tender came back.

The buffet line was nicely arranged and managed. But shortly after everyone got a plate and the presentation was underway, the wait staff began aggressively clearing tables. Glasses, flatware, half eaten meals, even napkins of those at the bar or bathroom where hastily bussed away. And while the buffet remained open and staffed, a second pass or trip for other items wasn't possible because your flatware and utensils were gone and none were on the buffet line. A dessert bar was put out under the shelter of the main lodge sometime during the meal but you didn't know it was there. None of the wait staff who were quietly and briskly pulling away plates and flatware ever offered coffee, water refills, or pointed out the availability of dessert. It was as if they wanted you to leave soon after being given a plate on the buffet line so they could go home.

It was a wonderful event because of the outstanding facility and a nice array of southwestern theme buffet food. But the staff focus on quick table clearing and the lack of a full time bartender and no table side wine replenishment for toasting after dinner were major detractors for such a high price event.

I'd recommend that anyone wanting to have a group event -- even a single big table in the restaurant--be very detailed in contracting for the event to ensure a minimally acceptable level of service and staffing.

2  Thank LakeGastonRetired
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 23, 2014

Business dinner for group of 23, outside dining was perfect! Beautiful Arizona night, clear sky, nice private area ... perfect surroudings. The service was first class. Food was quite nice, served family style so we could sample multiple dishes.

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Thank Sanford733
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 17, 2014

We have been to this restaurant many times over the years but only twice since they remodelled 4 or 5 years ago. Tonight we came in just for the happy hour and as always thoroughly enjoyed it. The patio with misters is cool and comfortable, the drinks great (Camelback IPA, and a couple of the happy hour specials) and the fish tacos were the best we have eaten for the many places we have ordered them. The free buffet was a disappointment but still seemed to have its followers. Go here for the ambiance and the history of the location.

Thank Cam_and_Laura
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 11, 2014

This restaurant has an amazing ambiance. It could be great for almost any occasion. The food was wonderful. Everyone at the table enjoyed their entrees (short rib, fish special, chicken). The appetizers were also great (beet salad, burrata).
The only issue was that the server seemed a little pissy, but it wasn't anything that bothered us too much.
I would definitely go back.

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

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