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“Don't understand the hype”

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Pepe & Chela's Mexican Restauraunt
Ranked #186 of 371 Restaurants in Topeka
Cuisines: Mexican
Good for: Bar scene, Business meetings
Restaurant details
Good for: Bar scene, Business meetings
Reviewed January 12, 2012

Topekans rave about Pepe & Chela's because it's an institution, but this review is from an unbiased person who didn't grow up here. The food is awful. There are many better Mexican restaurants in Topeka. Try one of them and skip this one. Unless you're into tradition.

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1  Thank MsGrasslands
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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38 - 42 of 50 reviews

Reviewed October 9, 2011

My husband and I went for the first time and ate wonderful, authentic Mexican food. We loved it!

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Thank b4osage
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 13, 2011

The food here is at best average I was not impressed with anything me or my friends had to eat here. The service was friendly but a little slow in a very loud dinning area where the tables are crowded in to a small area. I don`t think I will ever go back here. There are to many good Mexican restaurants in the area to eat at other than this one.

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1  Thank cedarballs
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 28, 2010

I swear Topekans love bad food, I dont get why this place stays open. Boring bland food. Too many other good places. Note it doesnt rate high compared to other mexi places.

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3  Thank Jeff H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 13, 2009

My wife is from Mexico, and I live in Houston. My mother-in-law is a great cook, and maybe I'm spoiled by great Mexican food. This is like a local version of a Chi-Chis. Its not far from downtown Topeka, and the parking lot is a little awkward to get in and out of (traffic is no problem, just strange parking lot).

Upon entering, I was shocked to find the one Mexican restaurant in the US without a Mexican in the building. The bartender: gringa. The host: gringo. Waitress: maybe Asian. Not sure who was working in the kitchen, but it was unlikely to be a Mexican.

The salsa was probably fresh, but with limited cilantro, and overly pureed. It was passable, and may have been canned. I asked for hot sauce and the best they could round up was Tabasco. No one knew what a chelada or michelada was.

I ordered Camarones á la Mojo de Ajo (Shrimp in a butter/garlic scami sort of sauce) with veggies. The shrimp weren't bad, but they weren't good either. The portion was good sized. It also came with (what appeared to be store bought) flour tortillas. The veggies were mushy, probably frozen, and definitely overcooked, then drowned in butter.

Service was marginal at best.

Their frozen margaritas appeared to be popular with the locals, although they appeared small, and if they were like the food, probably not worth the price.

Don't waste your time here if you are looking for authentic Mexican food. If you like Chi-Chis sort of Mexican, you may be satisfied with Pepe and Chela's.

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1  Thank ThePlatinumOne
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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