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“Very good, one of the best in this area.”

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Pachanga Cocina Mexicana
Ranked #25 of 170 Restaurants in Ellicott City
Cuisines: Mexican
Restaurant details
Reviewed September 12, 2012

The food, Mexican, was very good to excellent. The service was very good. I can find no fault with this restaurant at all. We were seated on the restaurant side but the bar side of the place looked packed and hopping.
In another review, the parking was criticized. This is ridiculous. There is not an inordinate amount of parking but there's plenty.

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Thank John P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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49 - 53 of 61 reviews

Reviewed August 15, 2012

We wanted to try something other than our usual favorite local Mexican restaurant (El Azteca) and so ventured out on a Sunday evening to Pachanga. We were almost universally disappointed with the combination of decor, service and especially the food.

The decor. It was adequate, but a bit dull, dark and drab. And it struck us as strange that we were met by our hostess in the small vestibule as soon as we walked in, rather than inside the main body of the restaurant. This solution worked OK because the weather was fine and there was not a real crowd on hand, but I don't think this "hostess in the vestibule" would work in the event of bad weather or any kind of a crowd.

The service. In a word - overattentive. We had not only our waitress, but also the person who helped carry the food to the table ask us how our food was on several occasions. That's just intrusive, although perhaps they asked repeatedly because we answered "OK" instead of "good" or "great".

The food and drink (the most important part). I ordered a Golden Margerita from a menu of very expensive Margeritas (most were $10) and found it to be wanting. It was supposed to have been made with premium Tequila, but did not taste like it - or maybe it was the sour mix that they added. I also asked for a Margerita without a straw (why would you want one with this drink), but instead they brought me one with a straw and without salt, so I sent it back to get it right.

The food was generally poor. Other than the chips and salsa (adequate), our entrees left a lot to be desired. I had the "frutas del mar" dish which consisted of fish, scallops and shrimp, but all of these were overcooked and the fish tasted as if it had been in the freezer way too long, rather than being "fresh" as advertised. The dish further suffered from being drowned in an overly heavy red sauce. It was a challenge to find the scallops and shrimp buried in the sea of oniony sauce.

The other members of my party of 4 were equally unhappy with their meals, which included shimp "a la diablo", a burrito and chile rellenos.

This is one of the rare occasions when I left a tip of less than 20% (wait staff needs to make a living too), and we likely won't be back.

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Thank Amchja
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 10, 2012

I have been to Pachanga many times and the food is always good and plentiful. They do have coupons in the local paper but you need to read them. They offer some special just about every weeknight. There are other Mexican restaurants in the area and this one has been the most consistent. The place is clean and the service quick.
I love their fajitas (my wife got it this time while I had a combination plate) Pachanga is nothing fancy--just plain and simple and there are a lot of young families in there every time we go--this last time was no exception. My only complaint is the parking lot--it is terrible and can be hard to navigate when the other businesses next door are in session.

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Thank travelsplenty21042
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 3, 2012

power outage
scanned the coupons listed in local magazine.
Pachanga - buy one entree, get one free
right? well not quite
small print - limit ten dollars
I went to the restaurant
Entrees started around $15.
i ordered fajitas ($16, i know a bit pricey, but hey i had coupon)
wife ordered dinner (fajita) salad. for $12
i saw waitress while we were eating
told her i had a coupon
she said dinner salad not an entree.
so basically i spent 30 bucks for salad and an entree
the temperature was not comfortable
food was on par with other mexican restaurants in the area. Nothing special at all
p.s. lesson learned ===> take a leaf from chinese buffet -- they advertise buy one, second one half price.

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Thank rick a
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 28, 2012

In search of authentic and good mexican food in Howard County, my husband & I decided to try Pachanga in Ellicott City. We ate there on a Thursday night. Despite it not being crowded when we arrived, we waited to be seated by two confused staff members. When we were seated, the hostess was miffed when we asked to sit in one of the empty booths instead of the table she took us to that was in the entrance way near the center of the room. When our waiter came to take our drink order, I ordered a glass of Kendall Jackson Chardonnay ($8.95 per glass) and my husband asked which Sam Adams beer they had and the waiter replied "Ultra". Knowing there is no such type of Sam Adams beer and believing the waiter was confused, my husband asked for just the Sam Adams. The Sam Adams was Boston Lager, no Ultra as expected since this doesn't exist. Okay, so anyone can get confused on beers. We then order our food. My husband ordered the Texas Chimichanga (beef and chicken) and it was half price Chimichanga night. I ordered two steak soft tacos. We recieved the complimentary bowl of chips and salsa. The chips were not fresh. When the salsa was gone our waiter asked if we wanted more salsa - we said yes but it never arrived. The Texas Chimichanga was filled with ground beef and some chicken all of which was bland and tasteless. My soft tacos were filled with ground beef that reminded me of Taco Bell, no steak. Also the tacos were suppose to come with sour cream and guacamole - no sign of them. I asked the waiter if these tacos were steak and he said "no beef." He said something like most people order steak but really want beef. Really? What? I really know the difference and know I ordered steak not ground beef which was listed on their menu as "Soft Taco's - Steak or Chicken." The waiter offered to swap out my meal but I had already eaten one taco and didn't want to eat a whole second dinner. He offered to bring me one steak taco which I accepted and didn't eat the second ground beef taco. The steak soft taco had chopped steak cubes with lettuce and cheese. No pico de gallo, no sour cream, no guacamole - just dry steak with lettuce and cheese. To top this meal off I swear I don't think my $8.95 wine was Kendall Jackson ( I drink wine and know what Kendall Jackson tastes like which is why I am willing to pay so much for one glass of wine). At the end of the meal the waiter asked us if we wanted dessert. We said no. He said it was "free dessert night." I had bad feelings about this and we just said no. The check did not show a discount for the "Chimichanga" despite it being "Chimichanga Night." In sum, we just should've gone to Chipolte for mexican food and saved about $30.00.

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Thank HauntedTraveler100
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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