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“Great lunch spot”
Review of El Carbonero

El Carbonero
Ranked #8 of 53 Restaurants in Lorton
Price range: $1 - $34
Cuisines: Mexican, Latin, Salvadoran, South American, Central American
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Families with children
Dining options: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Accepts American Express, Accepts Discover, Accepts Mastercard, Accepts Visa, Delivery, Free Wifi, Parking Available, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Takeout, Television, Waitstaff, Wine and Beer
Arlington, Virginia
Level Contributor
26 reviews
14 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
“Great lunch spot”
Reviewed August 16, 2014

After kayaking in Pohick Bay and found El Carbonero is rated #1 on Trip Advisor. Despite having few good choices, we enthusiastically endorse the #1 rating. Excellent family run restaurant. You can see mom and dad in the kitchen. Pupusas were light and the tamales were great. We worried a bit about service as a party of seven arrived before us and ordered a lot of food. But, ours came out fast. This is a real bargain restaurant.

  • Visited August 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
5 Thank Char B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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29 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    20
    6
    1
    1
    1
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
TAOS
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“One of my favorites!”
Reviewed August 15, 2014

I love this place. Delicious, large portions, and very decently priced. I usually order the Parillado el Carbonero for two, which can easily feed 3-4 people. Other favorites are the sopa de mondongo, the zucchini pupusas, and the Tex Mex is pretty good, too. Very friendly, family owned and operated establishment. I can't say enough good things about the Galdamez family and fantastic food here. They also deliver to Fort Belvoir, which is a major plus.

  • Visited August 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
4 Thank EDA E
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ElCarboner0, Owner at El Carbonero, responded to this review, September 1, 2015
Eda,

Always great to see you and thank you for loving us like you do!
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Fairfax, Virginia
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“A Salvadoran and Tex/Mex Oasis in Lorton”
Reviewed June 21, 2014

My wife and I had seen this restaurant recommended on TripAdvisor. There is a TripAdvisor sticker on the front door and we overhead another family -- who were traveling through town -- say they'd come in based on TripAdvisor reviews.

Service was extraordinary friendly and accommodating. The restaurant is very nicely decorated. We ate in, so I have no opinion on carryout.

Our appetizer was a Pupusa Loroco Con Queso. Loroco is a Central American flower used in pupusas from that area. It was the best I've ever tasted. As is traditional, the dish came with a slightly spicy vinegary shredded cabbage, served in a separate dish.

We also shared a Combination #3: a Mexican tamale, an enchilada, and a cheese-stuffed poblano pepper. The enchilada is supposed to be chicken or beef, but they accommodated us by serving a cheese enchilada. All three items were very well prepared, served hot, and very tasty. The refried beans were not thick,and it was a nice change from the belly-busting ones I've had elsewhere. The Spanish rice was good, but unremarkable.

We definitely will return to try other items on the menu. I'd like to try some of the Central American beverages; and we'll try to pop in for a nice breakfast. (They open Mon.-Fri. at 7:00 a.m., ans Sat.-Sun. at 9:00 a.m.)

  • Visited June 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
5 Thank greatstoneface2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
6 reviews
5 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Hiden gem”
Reviewed May 13, 2014 via mobile

New in area, husband drive a different route to explore the area and noticed the sign "Salvadorian Tex-Mex". He was in El Salvador last year and loved the papusas.
I didn't want to eat there because I an NOT a fan, AT ALL, of tex-mex but I love him, so we went.
Best choice I've made since we've been here.
Staff pleasant, food delish and place was clean.
Would you believe we didn't have the papusas?
But we do plan on going back regularly. Can't wait to try them, other really people seem to.
Anyway, my final words on this restaurant: Don't judge a menu by it's cover. (Get it, I said menu instead of book. Because it's funny.)

  • Visited May 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
6 Thank Momnica
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lorton, Virginia
Level Contributor
10 reviews
9 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Pupusas are crazy good!”
Reviewed May 5, 2014

This place probably has the best tasting pupusas I have had in a restaurant in a LONG time. We actually order them ahead of time and cook them ourselves at home for our family. Everything is made from scratch and you certainly can taste it. Finally, a great addition to our area!! PS...let them know you if you don't like a lot of spice because the cabbage that comes with it does have chili peppers in it. They have removed it for us, though.

  • Visited May 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
3 Thank ayildirim19
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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