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“Fresh and Flavorful”
Review of Tonali

Tonali
Ranked #91 of 771 Restaurants in Durham
Price range: $0 - $30
Cuisines: Mexican
Dining options: Reservations
Restaurant details
Dining options: Reservations
Chapel Hill, North Carolina
Level 6 Contributor
194 reviews
141 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 106 helpful votes
“Fresh and Flavorful”
Reviewed March 24, 2014

Four of us visited for our first time after reading reviews. The restaurant is in a strip mall and is not a place to go for a special occasion. However, if you want freshly made food served steaming hot and full of flavor - this is the place. It certainly is not Tex-Mex as we enjoyed a chicken dish, paella, fish tacos, chili rellano and carnitas. The only criticism at the table was that the red sauce on the rellano was more like a plain tomato sauce. The service was exceptional and the Chef/owner took our order personally explaining how he prepared some of the dishes. Price was a little high but, the freshness of the food makes it worth the tariff. We will return as we really liked the food and that night's menu had other items we would like to try.

  • Visited March 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank BuckyandChris
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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103 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    67
    25
    4
    4
    3
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Durham, North Carolina
Level 3 Contributor
15 reviews
10 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Neighborhood Mexican”
Reviewed February 9, 2014

The menu is relatively small compared to what some patrons may be used to. However, the selections are unique, varied and the selections our table had were all delicious. Between two couples, we ordered two green salads which were shared. We then order the NYstrip, a lamb dish, skirt steak and a paella dish. All were delicious! They have wine, beer and margaritas.

Visited February 2014
Helpful?
Thank Mojo708
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Charlotte, North Carolina
Level 3 Contributor
19 reviews
9 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Probably the best Mexican I've had”
Reviewed February 5, 2014 via mobile

Went there while visiting the area with my wife. We decided on the place thanks to the excellent reviews on here and glad we did. Don't expect your typical Mexican order by the numbers. This gourmet food prepared with great care. A bit more expensive than typical as well, but well worth it. We were served by the very nice and helpful owner's wife. Ambience is the only down side here. Hope this place becomes the hit it should be and they're able to upgrade to a nicer place.

Helpful?
1 Thank Wolfpacker96
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level 6 Contributor
108 reviews
64 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 43 helpful votes
“Promising Good Food”
Reviewed January 13, 2014

I went to this restaurant after reading the great reviews. I agree--the atmosphere isn't particularly impressive compared to the obvious work that goes into the food. Menu wasn't as limited as I expect: there were about 12 different entrees, with vegetarian choices too. I ordered empanadas as an appetizer and a chili relleno poblano pepper. I thought it was very flavorful and good, but I do think it was missing that extra something that makes you go "wow." Perhaps because they use a lot of local ingredients then eating there in the spring when more things are in season would be a better idea. $60 for appetizer, dessert, poblano, lamb dish, and 1 beer and not including tip

  • Visited January 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Sam44586
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Durham, United States
Level 4 Contributor
29 reviews
15 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“Hidden treasure in a rising food town”
Reviewed December 7, 2013

We had a wonderful meal there tonight, a party of 10 so we tried a good fraction of the available entrees (small menu depending on available ingredients), and everyone enjoyed what they got. With a drink, entree and desert (!) the tab was $30 including a well-deserved tip.

  • Visited December 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Richard R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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