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“Unique Fine Dining”

Garufa Argentinean Restaurant
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Ranked #158 of 1,610 Restaurants in El Paso
Price range: $30 - $30
Cuisines: Argentinean
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Restaurant details
Good for: Local cuisine
Dining options: Reservations
Dining style: Casual Dining
Cross street: S Festival Dr
Reviewed December 10, 2011

Our first visit to this new restaurant was for a holiday get-together with a group of friends from work. By the name, we thought this would be "another" El Paso Mexican-style restaurant. We were pleasantly surprised!

The cuisine is "Argentean", a nice departure from the host of good Mexican restaurants that dominate the dining scene in El Paso. The decor is fashionable, upscale and attractive, and a friendly bar greets you as you enter. There is a fair amount of seating on the main floor and another dining area upstairs in a 'loft' setting. A nice wine list includes mostly Argentina selections but enough choices to satisfy a wide variety of taste. The waitstaff was excellent, and hovered around our group taking orders and making sure water glasses were filled and baskets of bread were replaced promptly.

There is a nice variety of food choices (ala carte ordering), featuring Certified Angus beef, with choices of pasta, salmon and a few chicken dishes. The meals are prepared a bit "differently" than your usual steakhouse offerings, and the waiter provided an excellent description for each of our meals. Entrees range from around $20-$40, and you choose additional appetizers, salads, and side items seperately. The food was delicious and nicely presented on the plate. If the prices scare you, it is a nice restaurant for special occasions and will make a memorable impression.

They also have a live band on Mondays and Tuesdays, and you can make on-line reservations.

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1  Thank ZinFanatik
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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46 - 50 of 58 reviews

Reviewed October 21, 2011

We just got home from a family birthday dinner here. Our service was really great-very attentive. We went with our two sons and they were made to feel very welcome. Our food was really good, but was expensive for El Paso.

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Thank LexKymom50
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 13, 2011

I first went to Garufa Restaurant during a holiday meeting-meal for a local hospital. My initial impression was similar to the many positive remarks made by others here, generous portions of very tasty food. I have since been back six more times; each time the experience was less and less, to where I will never go back.
The most recent visit was last Monday night, for my son's 24th birthday. This was my son's first time to the restaurant and he ordered the Camaron pasta with sun dried tomatoes and shrimp in a cream sauce and a side of asparagus. The sauce seemed old and reheated, like school glue with absolutely no taste. The small-to-medium shrimp numbered a total of three and there were very few asparagus.
The large tenderloin that I ordered was very good, much better than the very tough large ribeye that I had had on my previous visit.
The reason that I will never go back has to do with the very poor service that gets worse with each visit. They have a number of middle-aged-to-elderly waiters that seem to have suffered strokes, are deaf and/or with markedly limited mental capacity. I can't tell you how many times they would just grab a half finished plate or partially filled beverage glass from in front of you without asking if your done, yet they will leave an empty plate laying on the table for most of the meal. Their younger waiters are much better, but alas, there are very few of them and they only seem to work on weekends and then the elders are also bumbling around so it is hit or miss even then.
On this latest visit, we had ordered drinks at the table and waited and waited for the waiter to come take our order. It was only after waving my arms furiously that he remembered that we were there and he came and took our order long after the drinks were finished. He never offered to refresh the drinks but I did order a bottle of wine from the very limited wine list that was promptly served. The waiter poured it into a filthy wine glass for me to taste, and I told him so. Rather than to apologize and get a new glass, he held it up to the light and squinted at it as though I was lying to him. After I assured him that I am not a liar, he went and got another wine glass that was filled with streaks and towel lint, but at least it did not have dark specks of filth like the prior glass. He then waved a quarter-filled bottle of sparkling water and asked if I wanted another bottle. I told him yes, after we finish the one he had in his hand. He then walked away with the partially-filled bottle to get another!
The wine bottle sat empty shortly after the appetizers were delivered; the servers never knew this because they never served anything except the first glass. I had hoped to be able to get another bottle delivered in time for the steaks, but they had servers delivering the food and once again, the waiter was nowhere to be found. Finally, 30 minutes after the wine bottle was empty, I saw him across the room I waived him down and motioned that we need another bottle. Fifteen minutes later a gentleman came by to ask how things were, and I complained that we were still waiting on a bottle of wine and that my steak was nearly finished. My steak was finished off by the time the waiter came bumbling up with an arm full of wine bottles telling me that they did not have my wine, but that I could have any one of the lesser wines that he had in his arms for the same price as the one I ordered.
By this time I asked for the manager and the gentleman that I had complained to approached the table wearing a nametag that said "supervisor" and started speaking Spanish to me rather than the English that we had previously conversed in. Since I don't speak Spanish, I asked him to speak English. He apologized for the poor wait service and comp'd the dessert that no one was in the mood to eat. During dessert I noted the supervisor laughing and joking with his elderly waiters, although I don't think it was about us, it seemed to be inappropriate to fraternize with waiters that should have been fired long ago. On the way out of the restaurant, some of the waiters partially blocked the doorway as they smoked their cigarettes.
On a side note, besides having a very limited wine list and no one that is even close to being a sommelier, they charge four time the retail price for wines. This would fly in a nice restaurant in a large city, but seems excessive for a place with very poor quality service in a town like El Paso.
BTW, don't go wearing anything that you don't want stinking of onions for the next week.

4  Thank radworkers
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 3 weeks ago via mobile
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 20, 2016 via mobile
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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