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“I really, REALLY wanted to like this place”
Review of El Sombrero

El Sombrero
Ranked #18 of 70 Restaurants in Palmetto
Cuisines: Mexican
Restaurant details
Bradenton, Florida
Level 6 Contributor
310 reviews
255 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 91 helpful votes
“I really, REALLY wanted to like this place”
Reviewed December 11, 2012

We got seated quickly, got our waters and chips and salsa quickly as well. Prices looked good, the place was spacious, well lit, well air conditioned, with smiling and pleasant service. Chips were average, salsa was runny, but with nice chunks of onion and tomato. So far so good. The menu looked authentic, so I ordered my old standby, Tacos Mexicanos. I even tried to speak Spanish, which is my test of the staff, to see where they stand between the eye rolling and annoyance and smile and graciousness on the other side, as they hear a clear non speaker attempt Spanish (I know just enough to order a meal in a restaurant, and with good accent too). Although our water and chips were not replenished, we were OK with this, small oversight. Food came out and looked good... until I bit into my tacos. I immediately got a heavy piece of fat (I got barbacoa tacos, my fiance got a steak taco) and had to discard it. Upon further inspection of my tacos, I had to discard 50% + of the meat, which was just very poor quality. I eventually just emptied the last taco and made my own rice and bean taco (rice and beans were good).

So.... very dissapointing, but a nice place with potential. Just have to use better meat, that is all. I guess the prices and the location (Palmetto) should have probably warned me a little, but, all in all, I really wanted to like this place, for a number of reasons, but I just cannot give it more than two stars. Not as bad as El Adobe in Sarasota (no restaurant is), but still not worth a second visit, unless your lunch order is Tecate and chips and salsa. Too bad.

  • Visited December 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank Mali_Urke
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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108 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Florida
Level 3 Contributor
16 reviews
15 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“All of our friends ask to return here when they visit.”
Reviewed November 1, 2012 via mobile

The service could be improved, but the food is very good, and good sized portions. I always go home with leftovers.

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank AntiemFlorida
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
new york city
Level 5 Contributor
62 reviews
27 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
“A Taste of Mexico”
Reviewed September 9, 2012

El Sombrero looks like a warehouse on the outside. But don't let it fool you. When you walk in you feel as though you are are in a Mexican village. Colorful wooden tables, Mexican decor surrounds, and friendly wait staff are extremely helpful. This is the most authentic Mexican restaurant in the area and has great prices to boot! Weekday specials can't be beat. Monday night is enchilada night at $1 each plus $1 margaritas. Tuesday night is taco night with tacos $1 each and two for one beer.....and on it goes with different specials each night (and good guacamole). Easy to get to from Bradenton and even Sarasota. It's not easy to get good ethnic food in the area (at least based on New Yorker's tastes) - but El Sombrero offers a great Mexican meal.

  • Visited September 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank giselle s
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Florida
Level 5 Contributor
85 reviews
76 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
“An uplifting place with yummy food!”
Reviewed August 30, 2012 via mobile

I have a favorite Mexican Restaurant in town, but it was my Birthday and my daughter insisted we go to El Sombreros because they had Margaritas for $2 and she knows I like them. The place is bright and cheery and clean and the margaritas are excellent! I ordered the beef fajitas. There was so
Much that I had 2 there then had to ask for a couple extra tortillas to take home otherwise the leftover beef would have been too much for the lone tortilla I had left from my dinner. If you like spice, order the Mexican Beef fajitas instead of the regular, they throw in
extra jalepenos in the mix The green salsa is mouthwatering and oh so spicy. You have to ask for it as they only bring red to the table. If I had to find something negative to say I would say the salsa wasn't my favorite. My daughter got the enchiladas and loved them! Our waitress was excellent and friendly. I will definitely be back!

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
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    • Food
Helpful?
Thank SpillThWine
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Clearwater, Florida
Level 3 Contributor
15 reviews
8 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“Good Food, Okay Service”
Reviewed August 3, 2012

My parents and I have been to this restaurant many times, and the food is always good. There are good portions and we always take leftovers home. The service could improve, but everything else went pretty well.

  • Visited July 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank JASTRAVEL7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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