Wow, I am so disappointed that I went to El Norteno on my one and only night in Albuquerque. I am 100% confident that there are much better Mexican restaurants in the area (Taco Bell being one of them). I made an account with TripAdvisor just to write this review.
We were surprised to visit this restaurant on a Saturday and find only one other couple in the restaurant (this should have been a tip-off). We started by ordering drinks, a beer and a strawberry margarita. The margarita is served in a WARM glass (gross) that felt like it had just been taken out of the dishwasher. It also tasted like there was no alcohol in it whatsoever-I'm still not convinced I wasn't served some kind of children's strawberry juice. We were later charged $6 for the margarita and it was listed on the recipe as a "Wine Margarita". Hmmm... I don't remember ordering wine.
With this drink, the chips and salsa arrive. The chips tasted so stale I was afraid consuming them may indeed chip my teeth. They were tasteless, flavorless, cold, and hard as a rock. The salsa was too spicy to consume, and I love spice.
The real kicker for the evening came when we ordered our favorite, Con queso dip, as an appetizer. I honestly think this was a block of Jack Cheese stuck in a bowl and microwaved for 10 minutes. It arrived at our table in one enormous piece, dripping off the plate with orange grease and fat. When we tried it, we needed a knife. Is that normal for a dip? I think not.
As stated in the title, we then got to see a police have an altercation with a man across the street and then get into a police chase by car. This should tell you the type of neighborhood we were in.
We then ordered the shrimp tacos to split. They arrived as three mini tacos with processed shrimp in them and tomatoes. Since I do not like tomatoes, I was not pleased. The worst part of the evening came when we tried the refried beans that came with the tacos. The beans near the top where tasteless at best. The beans that were actually touching the plate relieved that someone had not cleaned the plate very well, as there was a distinct taste of another food under them. At that point, we were beyond disgusted and left the restaurant, citing THIS as our worst date and the official worst restaurant in America. I have never had a worse meal.
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