We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Nice steak in Nicaragua”
Review of Al Carbon

Al Carbon
Ranked #14 of 97 Restaurants in Leon
Certificate of Excellence
Cuisines: Central American
Dining options: Late Night, Reservations
Restaurant details
Dining options: Late Night, Reservations
Managua, Nicaragua
Level Contributor
129 reviews
106 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 54 helpful votes
“Nice steak in Nicaragua”
Reviewed October 19, 2012

Went to eat a late lunch at Al Carbon. As many readers know, dining between mealtimes can be precarious at best and disaster at worst. And while traveling sometimes one does not always want to eat on the traditional breakfast, lunch, dinner schedule. Upon arriving at Al Carbon, I was very pleased to be met by a very attentive and competent waitress, Angelica She explained their meat temperatures clearly and I my expectations. This may seem like a no-brainer but south of the US most like steak VERY well done until one gets into the south of South America. My steak, the puyaso, was two half inch slices of the same cut was very lean local meat. It had a good layer of flavorful fat bordering the sirloin, very nicely cut and grilled on the coals to a beautiful medium rare. The potato was also grilled to melt in mouth perfection and my Nicaraugan chorizo app was well worth trying. Reminded me a bit of some Thai sausages I have enjoyed. I highly recommend the espresso as well. Overall, it was an excellent experience in Leon.

  • Visited October 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
1 Thank roncon09
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

335 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Rating summary
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Norwegian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
Marietta, Georgia
Level Contributor
10 reviews
8 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“Better Steakhouse in Leon, but not best in Nicaragua”
Reviewed September 18, 2012

During our last night in Leon we decided to treat ourselves to a nice steak dinner. We weren't feeling like seafood, so that knocked out quite a few of the higher ranked restaurants (at least according to TripAdvisor). This was a nice steakhouse, but not as nice as one we tried in Granada.

We arrived fairly early for a Saturday night (probably 6:00pm) and we were one of the only few customers there that early. As others reported, it is an old colonial home (a huge one at that) that has a nice courtyard in the middle. We were seated as soon as we arrived and a server came by shortly thereafter. Her English was bad and my Spanish much better so we just opted to order everything in Spanish.

We decided to order an appetizer, the chorizo espanol (122 Cords) which consisted of a couple of small corn tortillas, 2 types of sausages (here we went with chorizo and Italian), and a side of fresh salsa. This was a tasty appetizer and despite the fact our meal was pretty large, it was nice to have a little something to get us started. We decided to have servicio completo with our meal, which I had to explain to the server. Maybe people don't get it at nicer restaurants? We got the 375mL Gran Reserva Flor de Cana (180 Cords) and 2 Bottles of Coca-cola (30 Cords * 2).

For dinner, I ordered the Filete de Minong (310 Cords - how it's spelled on their menu), while my wife had "Steak en salsa de ..." (235 Cords). I originally attempted to order my filet as medium rare, but our server told us, they really only cook them 3 ways. Rare, medium, or well-done. Strange...but again, this is Nicaragua and they may just do things a little different there.

I wasn't particularly fond of the service at this restaurant honestly. If they're attempting to be a "nice", "classier" restaurant, then they've got to get the basics down. Serve from the left, clear from the right. Again, maybe I'm westernizing my experience too much.

When our food came out, my filet was comprised of 2 medallions that were wrapped in bacon with some sort of mushroom or maybe even potato layer. Kind of strange as I kept thinking the bacon was under cooked, but it did add to the flavor of my meal as a whole. Turns out that they could cook my steak as medium rare, which ended up being a pleasant surprise. My meal also came with a side of roasted or maybe even grilled potatoes which were quite flavorful.

As a whole, I did enjoy my meal, but there were a few things amiss about this restaurant. It's like they wanted to be an upscale steakhouse, but there were lacking in some of the details. The value was great in that our entire meal (including tip) was $45.79 (or 1,052.70 Cords). Of course they basically use the exchange rate to their advantage every time, so pay in Cords if you can.

  • Visited September 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank Creebus
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Atlanta, Georgia
2 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed September 10, 2012

the staff was so fast and spoke English, which was a bonus! Also the Mar y Tierra was outstanding!@
Even the potatoes were better than I have ever tasted!

Visited September 2012
Thank RobinandJill
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Francisco, California
Level Contributor
20 reviews
17 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
“Great location, good food, service needs to improve”
Reviewed August 28, 2012

We had a really good meal for 10 at El Carbon. In the heart of the Historic city, the restaurant is located in a colonial house / convent turned into a restaurant naturally ventilated by the original patio in the middle of the dining area. Beautiful.
Most of us took meat a la plancha and the quality was there. Undeniably. Portions were generous and tasty. All the meal went well besides the service that could do with a little improvement. We were badly advised on the wine who, I guessed, suffered from the heat on its way from Argentina. They also took the bottle away without notice while there were still wine in the bottle. Plus other minor details.
Any way, a good experience and a good time. Drop by if you are in town visiting.

  • Visited August 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank DirectionRestaurant
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
76 reviews
45 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
“Best Spot in Town”
Reviewed August 11, 2012

Al Carbon is the best option in town these days, the restaurant has a beautiful garden seating area, nice decoration and the best thing the food. The food here is so good most dishes are on the Grill and you will definitely enjoy it.

Visited July 2012
Thank RodolfoNicaragua
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers who viewed Al Carbon also viewed

Leon, Leon Department
Leon, Leon Department
Leon, Leon Department
Leon, Leon Department
Leon, Leon Department

Been to Al Carbon? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing