About El Pinto
Nestled in the ancient cottonwoods in the North Valley of Abq, El Pinto was founded with eight tables in 1962. Twin brothers John and Jim Thomas carry on the family tradition and have expanded El Pinto into the quintessential "Spot" for healthy and fresh made New Mexican cuisine. Come experience an authentic Taste of New Mexico.
Freshness is throughout El Pinto with the cuisine made from scratch each morning. El Pinto uses chile from Hatch, NM that is fire-roasted and hand-peeled, new beans from southern CO, healthy sunflower oil when making chips and frying, Celtic sea salt for seasoning, and numerous local organic ingredients when in season.
A vermiculture project on site processes food scraps creating a nutrient rich "tea." The bokashi composting project processes 600 lbs of food waste weekly. The “tea” and compost are combined with effective microorganisms for a herbicide and pesticide free fertilizer for El Pinto chile fields and organic growing.
Mexican / Southwestern, Mexican
Hours of Operation:
Lunch: Monday - Saturday: 11:00am - 5:00pm.
Dinner: Sunday - Thursday: 5:00pm - 9:00pm, Friday - Saturday: 5:00pm - 10:00pm.
Sunday Brunch: 10:30am - 2:00pm.
Alameda Blvd NW
$30 and under
AMEX, Carte Blanche, Diners Club, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
Ample parking available on site for individuals and tour buses.
Banquet/Private Rooms, Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Entertainment, Farm to Table, Fireplace, Full Bar, Gluten-free Menu, Happy Hour, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Private Room, Takeout, View, Weekend Brunch, Wheelchair Access, Wine
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El Pinto Ratings and Reviews
The grounds and atmosphere were wonderfu ...
The grounds and atmosphere were wonderful. The Margaritas were great. The food was overpriced and the portions small. The kids meals had more food than the $19.00 combo. The Chili Rellanos were the worse I ever ate. Sorry. I think you need to rethink your prices vs portions. Our waiter was very pleasant. My son did complain about the size of his plate, but nothing become of it.
It was very nice. The food was, honestly ...
It was very nice. The food was, honestly, ok. Not outstanding by any means but not offensive. Just good. But the place is, I think, beautiful. Old Mexican charm. Big covered outdoor spaces, nice background bands, just really comfortable.
The food was very good--as usual. Howev ...
The food was very good--as usual. However, we were seated on the West-side patio - next to a vibrant kids birthday party which was quite frankly annoying after more than an hour of noise. Then the mosquitoes came out and completely ate us up which cut our evening and dinner short. Mosquitoes are a fact of life in the valley areas this time of year--but some simple prevention like bug maps or citronella candles would help.
Everything was good, ate on one of the p ...
Everything was good, ate on one of the patios. Mosquitos were bad this particular evening for some reason. Prices are a little higher than they should be as compared to the quality of the food. Certainly would take visitors from out of state for dinner as long as they were buying! Nice place!
Charming as always; however, the food v ...
Charming as always; however, the food very poor in presentation and taste. Rellenos looked as if a truck had run over them; tamales had very little filling and the masa wrapping was so dry it was almost like eating pure corn meal - even the outer corn husks were dry! Not a good introduction of a European visitor to NM food. Most disappointing.
I have tried to reach someone regarding ...
I have tried to reach someone regarding a billing issue. My wife's credit card was billed twice. The first card was declined but it seems that it was actually billed so when the second card was charged she was actually charged twice. Please contact me at (480) 528-5462 to get this resolved.
Didn't get requested table. We asked fo ...
Didn't get requested table. We asked for indoor, quiet table and were first led to outside table, then to a room with two large, loud parties. We were eventually given a quiet table, however.
The Chile Relleno was mediocre, mostly batter and dry. Flat cheese enchiladas were were meager for the high price. Food wasn't hot. Overall, a beautiful setting, but the food was disappointing, especially given the high prices.
Sincerely friendly and attentive service ...
Sincerely friendly and attentive service, fabulous ambience, great food. Dined at El Pinto 2 nites in a row during a 4-nite mini-vacay.
Beautiful vine covered pergolas outdoors, with blooming trees and plants around the various patio areas. Very relaxed, very romantic, very convivial.
Food is wonderful. Some favorites:
Red Chile Ribs, marinated overnight and then 'breaded' with chopped red chiles. Truly fall-off the bone tender, and spicy without being hot.
Carne Adovado, shredded pork mainates in Adovado sauce and slow cooked. Reminded me of Carne Guisado, bot mutch thicker sauce, more red chile, spicy, with some hotness. Mix with the potatos, rice, or beans to adjust heat to taste.
Calabcitas - various squash, sliced steamed and lightly grilled. Great side dish.
Levante dessert - very similar to Italian Tiramisu, with El Pinto's special touch, very divine. Large servings - plan to split it 3 ways (said the the man who regularly devours large servings - lol).
The food was the most basic version of N ...
The food was the most basic version of New Mexican cuisine imaginable. Cheap corn taco shells, barely seasoned meat and every dish drowning in lettuce. Very disappointing especially when you consider the ludicrous prices. Margaritas are sugary and watered down. Overall huge ripoff. Will not be returning or recommending El Pinto to anyone.
After attending a wedding at El Pinto I ...
After attending a wedding at El Pinto I tried twice to make reservation with no spots available. I was tickled when it worked this time as I hosted dear friend. It was grrrrrreat! Thank you for a great place, food and ambiance. I will be back with other friends 😍😍😍😍😍
Food was great but only saw my waitress ...
Food was great but only saw my waitress at ordering, delivery of food and for the check. My drink ran dry half way through the meal. Also, for the price of the meal I shouldn't half left still feeling hungry. It's not that I eat a lot but I thought that the portions were quite small for an $18 plate. More in line with what I would expect at $8-$10.
Indoor seating was extremely loud due to one table of 10 that thought the entire restaurant was impressed with their conversation. Alcohol involved.
Beautiful setting but overpriced!
We loved so many things about our experi ...
We loved so many things about our experience!! We especially loved our server, Armando. What wasn't great was the patio - although beautiful - there was no light to see our menus or each other and the mosquito bugs were biting badly. So we had to move inside - but the food was great! Would definitely go back!
How 10 Best rates this spot #1 restauran ...
How 10 Best rates this spot #1 restaurant by the Ballon Fiest is beyond me. The food is mediocre, service horrible and the mosquitos were terrible. Pretty destination spot to eat chips and hot sauce and drink margaritas but that is it!
The occasion was so that a couple of ser ...
The occasion was so that a couple of serious dieters could forget about the fats and carbs for a few precious moments. We all loved it - including our service dog who was treated like royalty in the exclusive patio area complete with dog walk. We always love our time at El Pinto.
I made reservation week in advance arriv ...
I made reservation week in advance arrived on time asked to be seatedon patio waited tobeseated aprox 10min sat us inside asked to be seated patio told it would be another 30 min totally bummed area where we were seated way in the back not even a room really more like storage my party of 8 were all disappointed .
What a beautiful place to visit! The ser ...
What a beautiful place to visit! The service was wonderful, she seated us at a table indoors at our request, and when the boys change their mind we were seated outside promptly. The food was over-the-top; we have dined at a few other places since on our vacation in Albuquerque, and nothing else compares. We plan on going back before we leave!
We ate at the "Doggie patio" because one ...
We ate at the "Doggie patio" because one of our party had a dog. It was truly nice for them to accommodate us. Our waitress was really responsive which overcame her and the kitchen's deficiencies. I had probably some of the best ribs of my life - marinated in red chili. My wife had probably the worst Chili Releno of her life - tasted like a pancake. It was obviously a "mill" restaurant but if you ordered the right things, had great food. All and all a pleasant experience except for the mosquitos.
Wonderful time! Waitress orchestrated pr ...
Wonderful time! Waitress orchestrated preparation of special margaritas after listening to our specific tastes. Service was prompt and food was delicious. Our 18 month old grandson was able to walk around the outside dining venue with his mother without disturbing other diners. We would recommend the restaurant to anyone!
We like to take visitors or people new t ...
We like to take visitors or people new to the area since the ambiance and food are both so good. What I have noticed is that where "mild" food requests used to be delivered to the table as mild, recently it's much hotter, so now we have to check with guests to see if they can handle that. It would be better if they went back to offering truly mild options as that offers more flexibility to the diner.
I have not been to El pinto for at least ...
I have not been to El pinto for at least 20 years. The building and grounds are massive and beautiful. 6:30pm we're seated right away. I had pre-requested a patio table and they honored that. Our waiter immediately asked us if we wanted drinks & water- and we ordered guacamole. He brought them all back quickly along with some chips and delicious fresh salsa. Drinks were yummy, strong reasonably priced at 9.99 and the guacamole was delicious. Then, it took our waiter at least 20 mins. to come back to take our food order-and we were out of water, chips and salsa and the guacamole... We ordered the red chili pork ribs appetizer ($21)- the waiter said it would come out faster than the dinners. The ribs came out fast and they were good- a little dry and the portion wasn't as big as we thought it would be, but all was good. Our plates were starting to pile up on the table which were small patio style tables. It was another 15 mins. or so before anyone came to check on our water and table when a bus boy came out and took our dishes and reported to the waiter that we needed water. Shortly after that our meals came out. I got a combination plate for $18.99, the chile relleno was spongy and small, the chile con carne was delicious, and the rolled chicken taco was flat tasting and so-so. Beans were refried and OK and there was very little chile sauce on the items. My combo portion was a little more than half of what you get at other well-known new mexican restaurants in ABQ for $10-$13. My husband got the chicken Enchilada plate for the same price and he had the same comments about his food. Our friend ordered a side of a chile relleno and they brought it out without any chili sauce on it or on the side. That cost her about $4. As time went on our waiter was less and less attentive. We still tipped him 18% but we usually tip 20-25%. I really want to give this restaurant 2.5 stars I probably won't go back again. I love the jars of their green chili salsa in the store .
I was severely disappointed on this visi ...
I was severely disappointed on this visit to El Pinto. I will recommend that friends NOT go there until management changes. The reception staff was uncommunicative and rude. We were allowed to cool our heals despite a reservation for 4 (it turned out to be 5, so no dice). One of the worst greetings and seatings management I have ever experienced anywhere. The service was quite mediocre, and the food, once it arrived--was worse than mediocre. This iconic
ABQ restaurant should come to life or die. I will not go back for a long, long time. They are coasting on past laurels and on their so-called reputation. The experience spoiled our evening, on a special occasion.
El Pinto is one of our go-to venues when ...
El Pinto is one of our go-to venues when entertaining folks from out of town and it did not disappoint on this occasion. The premium margaritas are worth ordering. Our waitress was very peppy and enthusiastic without being obnoxious. Our MN friends were delighted with their entrees and the ambience of the place.
My husband and I go there every Thursday ...
My husband and I go there every Thursday nite. My hubby just loves your red chili ribs. We also enjoy your green chili chips and hour combination platter. We wish there were more local wines but the wine list is ok. The ambiance in the place is just mesmerizing and quite comfortable, puts you in the mood.
We also bring our friends to El Pinto. The service is awesome, keep up the good work Nathan in the west patio and Ron in the fiesta patio.
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