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, Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Entertainment, Farm to Table, Fireplace, Full Bar, Gluten-free Menu, Happy Hour, Outdoor dining, Private Room, Takeout, View, Weekend Brunch, Wheelchair Access, Wine
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El Pinto Ratings and Reviews
The food at El Pinto is always good. The ...
The food at El Pinto is always good. The red chile was a little hotter than usual. The margaritas
were delicious and the service was excellent. Thank you Tara X. for taking such good care of us! If you sit outside on the lovely patio, be sure to bring your bug spray...
El Pinto has changed with a new menu. Th ...
El Pinto has changed with a new menu. They have dropped some of the old favorites. The table that is on my standing request is for out of traffic and the first table they offered us was right in the doorway to a main dining room. We rejected it and they did put us in a better table. I guess they dont read any opentable requests. The food is still mediocre at best..even after a menu upgrade(?) I suggest if you want Mexican food to look for other local favorites with a much smaller crowd.
Great place but , when you spend this ki ...
Great place but , when you spend this kind of money on dinner you should have table cloths and cloth napkins. I hope the new chef implements this. Our service was a little slow and when I said I had a reservation the greeter was a little confused as to what to do.
Great food. Needs some cloth. Give your servers less tables. And lose the cast iron patio furniture.
Sopapillas were dry and hard. Better o ...
Sopapillas were dry and hard. Better ones can be had a the low-rent Garcias. Service from Elijah was so slow that when we asked for some more chips and a margarita, they didn't come out until the same time as main course, despite my friend reminding the server. I might have had a second beer, but decided to see if he would ever offer one. He didn't. He said it was because he had a large table to cover nearby, so not his fault. I brought a friend for her birthday, and the poor service bothered her. I was embarrassed.
My out of town guest and I enjoyed a won ...
My out of town guest and I enjoyed a wonderful evening on the patio at El Pinto, surrounded by the little lights, the beautiful tress, bushes, and hanging plants, beneath the rustic vigas of the patio cover. At one point, a huge gust of wind blew a cloudburst in, which simply added to the charm of this uniquely New Mexican restaurant that has long been a culinary landmark in Albuquerque's North Valley. Our waitress served us delightfully with a perky energy that definitely fit our mood and the evening, and she very clearly explained some of our entree choices.
The food was tolerable, our waitress was ...
The food was tolerable, our waitress was friendly but the special that she told us about was not an entree but an appetizer. Then the salad that we ordered was served with our steak that wasn't cooked as ordered. The sopapillas were served with dinner, so cold by the time we ate them. I was trying to impress our Denver guests and it failed miserably.
My most recent visit really let me down. ...
My most recent visit really let me down. The waiter was very slow, such that our meal lasted ~30 minutes than it needed to. Observing other waiters working their tables, we saw other groups sitting down after us and leaving before us. The beer came out barely cool. We were never served sopapillas. We were delayed in eating the guacamole as we didn't have any chips. I had heard that the dry aged steak was the best steak in town. Sadly the dry aged steak I was served had too much fat and gristle such that it was really chewy. However, the margaritas were good.
The patio and the chili con queso is wha ...
The patio and the chili con queso is what I go for. We ran out of tostados and didn't get any until the queso had solidified. The first margarita was good, the second, completely different.
I ordered and enchilada with calabacitas in side (I've done it before and gotten it). This time-didn't get it, then everybody else was finished with their food when mine finally arrived...
The enchiladas are better and hot at other places. We go there out of tradition and because of the patio!
Although the service was ham-stringed by ...
Although the service was ham-stringed by an over-assigned wait staff, it was nevertheless given at an excellent level.
The food is literally pure New Mexican comfort food. I grew up in NM, and had to move away for work, but upon a visit home, we were randomly recommended El Pinto, and I absolutely loved it. It was the ultimate culmination of a weekend of Blake's, Weck's, Dion's, and this.
Get the fried green chile strips. They're way better than any calamari or bloomin' onion.
El Pinto is, and has always been, a beau ...
El Pinto is, and has always been, a beautiful place to go! In the spring, summer and fall, the outside area is absolutely beautiful and a great place to sit for drinks and/or meals. The summer can be pretty warm outside for lunch, but dinner time is generally OK -- typical high-desert warm! Food is good, service is generally good, and drinks are good.
We had a group of 14 people which includ ...
We had a group of 14 people which included Children ages 10 yrs and the youngest was 18 months. There were 5 children. Our waiter Matt (.blonde hair) was excellent. He patiently took our drink order, food order, and picked up dirty dishes. He was courteous always coming to the table w/a smile. The food was delicious and will return looking for Matt to be our server.
Great selection of New Mexico foods and ...
Great selection of New Mexico foods and a huge selection of tequilla's. Opportunity to customize a margarita or to use the house variety. Nice outside patio seating. Plenty of take home selections of salsa, both red and green chili variety, hot to mild.
We came across this resturant on a one n ...
We came across this resturant on a one nights stopover. We were on a cross country road and camping trip through 14 states. We enjoyed the food & service so much that on our return trip we went back for another great meal. It didn't disappoint.
The service and the food was good. Price ...
The service and the food was good. Prices are always higher there-that's ok because of the location and the ambiance. I do not like having to make reservations on the computer. I would much rather be able to call. I tried calling and they told me it had to be done via computer.
A Cousin's gathering in a long-loved pla ...
A Cousin's gathering in a long-loved place could be the title of this review. we had such fun ordering, gabbing and eating. El Pinto has ben a family favorite for decades, so it was to introduce younger family members to the tastes and ambiance there. some offerings have changed over the years, but nobody was disappointed.
We sometimes had to wait for a drink, or a napkin, because it was so busy, but the stuff always came, the food was good, and no one hovered so we ate leisurely and had the best time!
I was not really looking forward to frie ...
I was not really looking forward to friends' birthday celebration because a dinner here two months ago was disappointing. The food at that time lacked flavor and was also very dry. I was pleasantly surprised when our food came out this time because not only did it look good it tasted good!
The prices are higher than I prefer. At least $4 more per plate than I like to pay.
Our food wasn't as good as it has been i ...
Our food wasn't as good as it has been in the past. I ordered the same combo plate I have in the past and when it came out, it appeared it had been sitting for a while. Plus the waiter brought both green and red sauce for my enchilada, which means there was none on it. It had been prepared without any, which wasn't anything I requested. One of my sons had stuffed sopaipillas and the top of one of his was burnt. My daughter's rice on her green chicken enchilada plate was not edible. We had to wait too long for our food, approximately thirty minutes. Probably what made this visit most unsatisfactory were the four to five kids running throughout the entire outdoor patio area where we were eating. Their parents were at the other far end of the patio and it seemed as if they sent them to play elsewhere. I stopped them when they were running behind my side of the table on one of the many times, and asked them to go play somewhere else but it accomplished nothing. I then went and asked a woman in charge of seating inside the restaurant to do something about them. She pointed directly at the kids I was referring to and asked if it was them and I said yes. She said she'd go talk to them. I don't know how the wait staff was able to do their jobs due to these kids..they should've been made to stop running around when they started not when I finally went and asked someone to address the issue. Ours was a large party of nine people, celebrating my son's college graduation, so our bill was well over $200! I don't expect to have to deal with kids running around In a restaurant like this..would've been different if it was McDonald's but I've never even had that experience there. Food was not what we've experienced in the past but didn't want to have to wait another thirty minutes for them to remake it. Will think twice before returning to el pinto again.
I requested El Pinto for my birthday cau ...
I requested El Pinto for my birthday cause I had never been there. I was accompanied by all Mexicanos/Nuevo Mejicanos & had been told that the food was not very good.....but the ambiance was wonderful, so we went.
Our table outside was beautiful. (I didn't realize the place was so huge). Faye, our waitperson was wonderful & gave us a little history of El Pinto & how everything was made in house & how the eggs & many of the veggies were home grown there. And so we ordered....among my friends were a vegitarian & she was happy w/the choices. My husband & I did the lunch buffet since neither of us had been there & this would give us an overall taste.
I/we found the buffet very genericly flavored, not Mexican nor New Mexican, made for a bland palate. No one else at the table raved more than to say it was OK.
I chose El Pinto because I love their green chile salsa but was disappointed with the food.
I brought 15 colleagues who were in town ...
I brought 15 colleagues who were in town for a conference to El Pinto, for the food, ambiance, and because Chris Dracup was performing acoustic guitar. Everyone raved about the evening. The patio was a beautiful setting, food drinks were delicious, Chris' music was the perfect touch, and our server was did a fabulous job. It was a lovely introduction to Albuquerque for the out of towners. I recommended El Pinto to another group from our conference, and they came the next night with a large party. (The only slight snag was the rude hostess who said we were 1/2 an hour late, and gave our table away. I showed her our Open Table reservation (we were on time), and the staff quickly got another table ready. The rest of your staff more than made up for it. Thank you.)
We were taking friends out for dinner an ...
We were taking friends out for dinner and we enjoyed El Pinto. The service was great, my friends wanted to sample the green chili and the server was sweet.The food was excellent and our server brougfht extra green chi.li for my burrito. My husband was the only one to finish his dinner, the rest of us needed carry home boxes! i want to return soon.
Waitress was absolutely awful but the fo ...
Waitress was absolutely awful but the food and atmosphere were great. Took three times to get the check right and actually sampled the bottled water off of the table next to us to "see what the fuss was all about".
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