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Review of El Chico - CLOSED

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El Chico
Price range: $1 - $20
Cuisines: Mexican
Restaurant details
Reviewed January 29, 2013

I Love this restaurant!
Enjoy it every time! :) Great service, relaxing atmosphere and always clean.

Thank JRose061612
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviews (30)
Traveler rating
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2 - 6 of 30 reviews

Reviewed December 25, 2012

We were visiting the family in Columbia, SC and this place was recommended to us our the hotel staff as a fan-favorite. There were 7 of us for lunch (3pm) and I don't think they are really equipped to handle us. We got the queso and guacamole as an appetizer. Their salsa was good. We had a lot of it, along with the chips, because the food took forever to come out. Apparently they only had one cook in the back and it was the "new guy" (we were told). I ordered "Mama’s Favorite El Caballero" which includes an enchilada, burrito, and a chicken taco. The group also ordered fajitas, soup, and a variety of other things.

I have no major issues with the food - other than having to send back one of the fajitas because it was incorrect. I think we might try it again next time we make it back to the area. The server was okay but wasn't prepared for the extended delay in our food. She brought out the tortillas, cheese, lettuce etc about 20 minutes before the fajitas showed up (for the fajitas that we then had to send back). Because of the delay we then had to send back the fajitas so they could be warmed up again. Most of the meal went this way.

Ended up being about a two and a half hour lunch - much longer than we anticipated. I think the restaurant is worthy of a try. The food is good. The service just needs a bit of work especially the mid day crew.

I also have to point out that it is sad that we didn't learn anything about El Chico until we were walking out and I caught a view of the World's Largest Enchilada picture from the opening of an EL Chico restaurant in 1973. I think it would be worthwhile to know about the brand and/or chain in some form or fashion when eating here given that it is not a national chain.

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Thank Christopher G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 21, 2012

Guac made to order table side! Def try the Revolutionary Steak Tacos..YUM!

Thank KellyJo8650
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 14, 2012

I have been a frequent patron of this El Chico for over 14 years. Here is the breakdown:

Type of food - It CLEARLY states on the outdoor sign that it is Tex-mex and not authintic Mexican food, so those giving it bad ratings clearly cannot read.

Quality of food - I have never been disappointed in my food here. Although I tend to eat the same thing, I can always depend on it being fantastic each time I go. Over the 14 years that I have eaten here, I have dined with counttless others who have also enjoyed the food. I have never dined with anyone here who was not pleased with the food.

Service - This is where I think they deserve the most complaints. While they do have a few really great servers, overall you have about a 50% chance of getting one of these. While the lacking 50% are not all horrible, there are a few that really should find another form of income. I have been one of the people who waited 20 minutes for a beer to be delivered and had and empty tea glass for more than 10 minutes, but it was from the worst waitress that I have ever had there. She was nice, but not cut out for waitressing. On the other hand, I have had many more experiences with servers that were knowledgable, timely, and had overall great server skills.

Environment - Classic Mexican colors and decorations, 3 main seating areas, a large bar with adjacent seating off to the side, and a largte meeting area. They have several large screen tvs in the bar and meeting areas, so those who are interested in seeing something important can go to these areas, but those who are not interested do not have to look at it or listen to it. They have a frog fountain at the entrance, that all the little kids love.

For the kids - Little kids will enjoy the fountain, kids menu and coloring sheet and the free balloon.

Overall - Don't knock this resturant off your list just because some people had a bad experience. Take it from someone who has over 14 years of experienced dinning here - service is dependent upon the server. The food is good and worth the price. If you don't like the service, complain to the owner. I see him almost every time we go and he is always walking around and is very approachable.

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Thank SCmomof2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 7, 2012

I wasn't impressed at all with the food here. Mexican food is usually consists of fresh veggies and salsas, but you could tell this food was microwaved and canned. Not typical at all of other Mexican dishes, and for the prices I was very disappointed. The server was very helpful, that's the only reason I gave two stars.

    • Value
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Thank 12Barca17
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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