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“Lovely meal”
Review of El Parador Cafe

El Parador Cafe
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Ranked #1,243 of 13,823 Restaurants in New York City
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $30 - $80
Cuisines: Mexican, Contemporary
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Romantic, Special occasions, Business meetings
Dining options: Late Night, Dinner, Reservations
Dining style: Casual Elegant
Neighborhood: Midtown
Cross street: Between 1st and 2nd Avenues
Transit: 6 train to Park Avenue/33rd Street, the M34 & M16 1st Avenue buses, and the 3rd Avenue bus.
Oslo, Norway
Level 2 Contributor
9 reviews
6 restaurant reviews
“Lovely meal”
Reviewed July 12, 2012

We had a lovely meal here. The food was fresh and excellent, especially the Guacamole and the quesadillas were very, very good. The people working there were also very nice. This is a restaurant we would recommend to all lovers of mexican food.

  • Visited July 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Carine M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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165 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    77
    71
    12
    4
    1
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • Danish first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
Washington, DC
Level 3 Contributor
15 reviews
4 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
“OK but overrated”
Reviewed July 10, 2012

I agree with the prior review -- this restaurant is over-rated. Some dishes are very good, but others are just OK or not very good at all. Guac was excellent. Salsa was disappointing. Some dishes were WAYYY too salty. We got flour tortillas (corn wasn't offered as an option -- another disappointment). Service was very professional but indifferent and very slow. Atmosphere is morose -- much, much too dark.

It is much more "authentic" than chain Mexican restaurants. But "authentic" doesn't always mean "excellent". It was OK, but with so many superior restaurants in Murray Hill, we won't be back.

  • Visited July 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank DCHane
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Juan, Puerto Rico
Level 5 Contributor
72 reviews
46 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 50 helpful votes
“Surprised by the rave reviews, as we didn't find it special”
Reviewed April 4, 2012

We went for lunch and the food was pretty good, but I expected a lot more after reading some of the reviews here and in Zagat. I didn't care for the salsa because of the heavy dose of cinnamon added and the yellow fin ceviche was fresh but the coconut didn't enhance the dish, but rather like the cinnamon in the salsa, detracted from it in my opinion. The fish tacos (mahi/dorado) were good and very fresh. The tortillas were corn. I found the side salsa served with the tacos a bit too tart and acidic. My husband had grilled yellow fin for the main course and really enjoyed it. The rice and beans were a bit boring with the rice a bit too soft and the beans under seasoned. The margaritas were good and the service was excellent. I expected traditional Mexican, but I guess everyone is looking to fuse eclectic ingredients to attract patrons looking for something different. I prefer traditional Mexican.

  • Visited April 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank KendritayPie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Massachusetts
Level 4 Contributor
33 reviews
12 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
“You will leave with a smile on your face”
Reviewed March 5, 2012

I'm bookmarking this restaurant because I want to be sure to return. It was everything I hoped it would be: excellent food, charming and attentive service, and a lovely atmosphere. We celebrated my daughter's birthday there, though we chose not to make any note of it at dinner, but I hoped it would be special, and it was. We ordered a guacamole to share which was fresh and a beautiful, chunky consistency. The complimentary salsa was slightly warm to enhance its flavor. My daughters had fish tacos, and raved about them; I had the chicken fajita, and every bite was flavorful, including the refried beans, which I now know don't have to be dull--these were delicious. We had a pitcher of sangria mixed with just the right amount of fruit juices. For dessert, a flan that was light and airy while still being rich and satisfying. The maitre d' and servers were attentive and answered our questions happily. Their motto, which I'm convinced rings true, is "the answer is yes, what's your question?" -- we felt welcomed, pampered, and well fed. A delightful meal that set a tone for a happy evening.

  • Visited March 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank margalo399
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sarasota, Florida
Level 6 Contributor
241 reviews
174 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 193 helpful votes
“Quality Mexican has been around seemingly forever --with good reason.”
Reviewed February 12, 2012

There must be a reason why a restaurant such as El Parador has been prospering for years and years, located as it is in an infrequently transited part of Manhattan, near where 34th Street peters out into the East River. Yes, there is a reason: El Parador's congenial staff serves reliably first-rate Mexican dishes in an atmosphere that is neither stuffy nor boisterous. You won't find chimichangas, burritos or other such Tex/Cal-Mex food here but expertly prepared appetizers and main courses. Especially worthy of mention are the shrimp, fish or "carnitas" tacos, all freshly made and wrapped in satiny crepe-like flour tacos (what else?), all chorizo plates, the fish specials of the day, the "aguachile" (ceviche) appetizer and the "cerdo picante" (Spicy pork chop). And then there's an extraordinary selection of tequilas --blancos, reposados, anejos... you name it-- which enjoyed either neat or in a cocktail can turn this forlorn block of Manhattan into Fiesta Central. A great place to enjoy a great time. I'd give the place full marks were it not for (a) the hard-backed Mexican hacienda-style chairs (try and snag a booth) in the main room, and (b) a rather bland guacamole and salsa that seem tio make too many concessions to the spice-averse.

  • Visited February 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank kaibab1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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