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“Carlos is the consummate guide to this fabulous cuisine!” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of El Metate Tamale Factory

El Metate Tamale Factory
Ranked #14 of 99 Restaurants in Gallup
Cuisines: Mexican, Southwestern
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Kids, Families with children, Dining on a budget
Dining options: Dinner, Lunch, Seating, Takeout, Waitstaff
Canberra, Australia
Level Contributor
11 reviews
6 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Carlos is the consummate guide to this fabulous cuisine!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 13, 2012 via mobile

We are a family from Australia on a 40 day trip to the USA. We wanted an authentic Mexican food experience.
Tonight's dinner was one of my most highly anticipated in the trip: El Metate Tamale Factory.
I really wanted us to have an authentic Mexican dining experience and after scouring Yelp and Tripadvisor; El Metate Tamale Factory fit the bill.
It is certainly not on the restaurant strip; tucked away in what seemed to be a quiet, maybe-suburban street. It was dark when we pulled in. Very dark.
It didn't take us too long to locate the restaurant. Inside, I loved the walls with bold snakes and other Mexican-themed objects painted in warm vibrant colors.
Very quickly our menus arrived with a baffling array of items from which to choose, most of which I was not familiar with.
Our host, Carlos came out and took command of the situation. He explained the menu, found out what our tastes were and gently steered our thoughts to match the more authentic dishes.
While we waited, two plates of the best corn chips with a tangy jalapeño( I think) coriander( cilantro) dipping sauce. Hot, but amazing! The plates were whisked away and replaced with fresh ones after we nibbled our way through them.
Along with the sides we purchased, Carlos brought us out a sample of a drink I cannot remember the name of: milk, rice and cinnamon. It was so refreshing with the ice and it was smooth, so I don't know if maybe the rice had been blended.
Carlos' love for his cuisine was certainly infectious. Guess who has eaten there? Jamie Oliver! He showed us the newspaper article. Certainly puts this place even more on the map!
Our dishes came out quickly and every last one was cooked perfectly. My mouth was on fire but my taste buds were weeping with joy.
If you are not super familiar with this cuisine or the maze of names, make sure you ask your excellent host Carlos and he and his wife will not disappoint you. They know their food and will guide u gently through and make it an unforgettable taste experience!
Carlos, feel free to contact us when you are on Australia next month- if we are back in the country. Email us on mamachameleon@hotmail.com

    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank Michelle T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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121 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    71
    27
    13
    2
    8
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
dune acres indiana
Level Contributor
67 reviews
40 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
“Don't Pass This By”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 15, 2012

While this tiny, family run eatery is in a residential neighborhood, it's not that hard to find. But, man was it good eating. The green salsa was superbl, a bit on the acidic side but nice and spicy. Chips are from the tortillas that are made in-house daily.

The owners are a husband and wife - she cooks and he serves. Carlos was a warm and friendly host who instantly made us feel welcome. I ordered the carnitas, but they were not available so, at Carlos's suggestion, I tried the pork they use for enchiladas and tacos. It was tender, richly flavorful and well spiced. Perfection on a plate. My wife was thrilled to find tongue on the menu and made two tongue tacos disappear as if by magic. Truly a wonderful dining experience. Don't pass it by.

  • Visited October 2012
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank jayclay1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New Mexico
Level Contributor
232 reviews
171 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 129 helpful votes
“Best Mexican food in Gallup”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 24, 2012

The food here makes navigating the maze of residential streets worthwhile. I features some of the best tamales I have ever had. And the rest of their menu isn't too shabby either. So, for people passing through like us, find it on your GPS and be prepared for some of the best Mexican fare in New Mexico or elswhere.

  • Visited June 2012
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank SWVagabond
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Queen Creek, Arizona
Level Contributor
25 reviews
22 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“Hidden treasure hole in the wall. Worth the stop”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 4, 2012 via mobile

Followed the great advice of tripadvisor to find this hidden treasure. Great food and real Mexican coke & Fanta I ordered two different tamales & an enchilada. Everything was awesome!!! When I arrived a local policeman was picking up dinner for the office.
I call that a A1 reccomendation.

    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank Cariocacoug
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Payson, Arizona
Level Contributor
221 reviews
153 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 102 helpful votes
“Fabulous authentic New Mexican food!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 24, 2012

My wife and I were traveling across I-40 and passing through Gallup, NM around lunch time and were trying to decide on a place to stop for lunch. We started looking at available restaurants on our phones and were hoping to find something besides fast food. We looked at Tripadvisor and found a few reviews for this restaurant and then went to Yelp! and found more reviews and hands down this was the place to go. A lot of people talked about not letting the outside appearance of the place scare you off but I guess they weren't from the Southwest since we had no issues with the appearance.

Anyways, we stopped in around 2pm so we were the only people in there (we were on AZ time and it was 1pm for us) and had missed the lunch crowd. We were provided home made chips and salsa of which both were very good. Other reviewers have stated that the salsa is "hot" but then again I guess it is what you are used to. The salsa is a green salsa and I'm pretty sure it is Jalapeno based. Good flavor and just enough heat to give it a kick. For the main course, I had the sampler plate which had a beef tamale, enchilada, and chile relleno. My wife had the green chile chicken sopapilla and everything was outstanding. The tamales were light and fluffy and the red chile sauce was authentic red chile sauce and not anything out of a can. Everything else was fabulous as well. My wife grew up in Southern New Mexico and said that this was some of the best New Mexican food that she has ever had. The service was very good and the owners were very polite and thankful to have our business.

I did ask the owner about their operating hours and they said they are usually open until 8 or 9 pm but are closed on Sundays. I will definitely be recommending El Metate to others and to my business partners as well who travel the I-40 corridor quite often.

Finally, the restaurant is located in a residential area but is not hard to find and is close to I-40. There is parking in the back and if you have a larger vehicle then park on the street. We hope you enjoy our visit as much as we did.

  • Visited September 2012
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank Southwest_Gaucho
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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