About El Pinto

10500 4th St NW
Albuquerque, NM 87114
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In town for Balloon Fiesta? Visit iconic El Pinto which is the spot to be during Fiesta. Although reservation times maybe full, we limit them to allow for walk in guests. While you wait, enjoy green chile roasting fresh outside, free music nightly, local artists to visit with, a beautiful nightly fire, and amazing margaritas!

Nestled in the ancient cottonwoods, 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. 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.

Dining Style:
Casual Dining

Cuisines:
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.

Cross Street:
Alameda Blvd NW

Dress Code:
Casual Dress

Price Range:
$30 and under

Payment Options
AMEX, Carte Blanche, Diners Club, Discover, MasterCard, Visa

Phone Number:
(505) 898-1771

Website:
http://www.elpinto.com/

Parking Details:
Ample parking available on site for individuals and tour buses.

Executive Chef:
Marc Quiñones

Additional:
Banquet, Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Entertainment, Fireplace, Full Bar, Gluten-free Menu, Happy Hour, Outdoor dining, Private Room, View, Weekend Brunch, Wheelchair Access, Wine

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El Pinto Ratings and Reviews

5
4
3
2
1

4.2

Overall Rating

based on recent ratings
food

4.1

service

4.1

ambience

4.5

value

3.8

noise

Moderate

87% would recommend it to a friend

Loved For

Outdoor Dining
New Mexico
Most Booked
New Mexico
Best Ambiance
Albuquerque
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Most Booked
Albuquerque
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Great for Outdoor Dining (95)
Special Occasion (81)
Authentic (76)
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Good for Groups (73)
Local Ingredients (62)
Worth the Drive (57)
Historic (57)
Good for a Date (55)
Casual (51)
Romantic (43)
Good for Birthdays (42)
Neighborhood Gem (41)
Fun (40)
Great for Lunch (38)
Family Style (38)
Good for Anniversaries (38)
Fireplace (35)
Scenic View (34)
Kid-friendly (34)
Spicy (34)
Fit for Foodies (28)
Comfort Food (27)
Sunday Lunch (27)
Creative Cuisine (23)
Cozy (22)
Business Meals (21)
Live Music (16)
Handcrafted Cocktails (14)
Great for Brunch (14)
Good Vegetarian Options (14)
Bar Seating (13)
Private Room (11)
Quiet Conversation (11)
Hot Spot (10)
Happy Hour (9)
Vibrant Bar Scene (9)
Seasonal (9)
Organic (8)
Healthy (8)
Outstanding Value (8)
Tapas (7)
Pre/post Theatre (7)
Great Beer (7)
Notable Wine List (7)
People Watching (6)
Wood Oven (6)
Late-night Find (5)
Disabled Access (5)
Tasting Menu (5)
Gluten Free Options (5)
Modern Decor (3)
Molecular Gastronomy (2)
Vegan (2)
Waterfront (2)
Afternoon Tea (2)
Quick Bite (2)
Afternoon Coffee (1)
Paleo Friendly (1)
Open Kitchen (1)
Dancing (1)
Live Sports (1)
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789 reviews
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The food was absolutely amazing. We were ...

vip
 (Orange County)·Dined 4 days ago

The food was absolutely amazing. We were looking for traditional southwestern style food in a historic setting and El Pinto fit the bill. The chips were the best I have ever tasted and the chile carne was fabulous. We will be back!

Tags: Sunday Lunch, Quiet Conversation, Historic, Local Ingredients, Great for Brunch, Fireplace
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

We were a large party of 13 and I made t ...

 
 (New Mexico)·Dined 6 days ago

We were a large party of 13 and I made the reservation through OpenTable. I thought the location they put us in was good because it was somewhat isolated and allowed us to be able to chat with each other. What I was not happy about was that they stuck round tables together, making for a very awkward arrangement of chairs and it was somewhat crowded at the tables. One in our party asked for an additional table to spread us out, which resulted in people being too far from each other to socialize. They have plenty of rectangular tables and that would have made much more sense for such a large party. I had even written in my reservation special instructions that 2 tables near each other (i.e. splitting the group) would be acceptable. I wish I had insisted on them moving us to more appropriate tables.

Other than that, the food was good and abundant. I think it's a bit pricey for the type of food, but it was tasty and well done. Our wait person was outstanding and handled special requests well.

Tags: Authentic, Neighborhood Gem
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food4
ambience3
service4
value3

Very disappointed. Food normally ok-not ...

 
 (New Mexico)·Dined 6 days ago

Very disappointed. Food normally ok-not great, but ok. This time rice was under cooked. Two Enchilada plates and taco plate not good. Bland and not tasty even though requested hot chile. Ala cart order had measly enchilada on it. Nothing to make it appealing like a sprig of lettuce or tomato. Same with side order of under cooked rice. Waitress Nina, wanted to chat too much and read off Sunday brunch menu even though we were having dinner and didn't ask about brunch menu. She said the cook was new. We say cook has a lot to learn. It will be a long time before going back especially since prices are high for Mexican food.

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food1
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The waiter staff was very slow, and forg ...

 
 (Dallas)·Dined on November 27, 2016

The waiter staff was very slow, and forgetful. The menu was extremely overpriced for the portions and quality of food. The most disappointing part is we drove all the way from a Airport Hotel to El Pinto because we were told they had the best New Mexican food only to find out this was not the case.

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food2
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Huge huge huge place. Kinda interesting ...

 
 (Nashville)·Dined on November 26, 2016

Huge huge huge place. Kinda interesting. Very busy. Food good

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food4
ambience4
service5

A longtime favorite revisited. A bit pr ...

 
 (New Mexico)·Dined on November 26, 2016

A longtime favorite revisited. A bit pricey New Mexican gem with terrific environment ambience, great service and rather fine food. Have been enjoying this classic restaurant for more than four decades.

Tags: Fireplace, Bar Seating, Local Ingredients, Spicy, Late-night Find, Historic, Authentic, Romantic
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food5
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service5
value4

Hostess gave our table away cause she th ...

 
 (New Mexico)·Dined on November 26, 2016

Hostess gave our table away cause she thought they were the reservation for 5 when actually they were a walk in. Luckily another table was available. ordered a Caso burger with white bun, brought wheat, didn't send back afraid food would get spit on.

Tags: Creative Cuisine, Casual
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food2
ambience4
service2
value4

We have been here before on our last vis ...

 
 (New England)·Dined on November 24, 2016

We have been here before on our last visit to Albuquerque and definitely wanted to return. The setting is wonderful, the food superb, and the service friendly and very competent. For those of us who are not native to the area, you need to understand how spicy the dishes are: ask your server.

Great place!!

Tags: Casual, Worth the Drive, Special Occasion, Good for a Date, Fireplace, Spicy, Authentic
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food5
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Overpriced with no extras i.e. Guacamole ...

 
 (Phoenix)·Dined on November 20, 2016

Overpriced with no extras i.e. Guacamole, sour cream or sopapilla wirh meals.

Tags: Fireplace, Local Ingredients, Good for Groups, Great for Outdoor Dining, Historic
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food3
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Where to start, reservation made a week ...

 
 (New Mexico)·Dined on November 20, 2016

Where to start, reservation made a week in advance asked for more of a private table for 2, ended up next to a table of 15 with 6 kids running around and noisy, could have put us anywhere but there, no planning, next table was wobbly took waiter forever to do anything about it then still not quite right, meal rice was undercooked and hard, could have got a better meal as take out from Little Anitas and for less. Never Again!!!

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food2
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Excellent food and great service! Love t ...

 
 (New Mexico)·Dined on November 20, 2016

Excellent food and great service! Love the ambiance!

Tags: Pre/post Theatre, Good for Anniversaries, Romantic, Scenic View
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food5
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Our family has been going to El Pinto fo ...

 
 (New Mexico)·Dined on November 20, 2016

Our family has been going to El Pinto for over 20 years. We always enjoy ourselves love bringing out of town guests for authentic Mexican meals. We have had good meals and bad meals,but we still return. I will say it will be awhile before we return because the food was not up to par. I ordered a single beef enchilada with the mild red chile sauce and a fried egg on top. The red chile sauce was quite good, just a hint of a bite however, the meat in the enchilada did not taste like beef. It looked like cooked beef but had a grainy texture and hardly any flavor. Not very appetizing. My husband had the huevos rancheros and commented they was quite forgettable.

I chose wine insead of a margarita for my beverage. The point grigio was not very good either. Very disappointed, but we will go back eventually.

Tags: Quick Bite, Family Style, Good for Groups, Great for Lunch
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food3
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We had a table party of 16. They brought ...

 
 (New Mexico)·Dined on November 19, 2016

We had a table party of 16. They brought out some of the food was cold. The service was great!

Tags: Special Occasion
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The food was good but not for the price ...

 
 (Chicago)·Dined on November 19, 2016

The food was good but not for the price point. We had eaten at other restaurants with food just as delicious but better value. It's a huge place and we felt we were seated in a back room with little atmosphere. Somewhat disappointing. Would not suggest this place to friends, too many other options on the area.

Tags: Spicy
1 person found this review helpful.
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food4
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value3

Great atmosphere and good food. Waiter ...

vip
 (Dallas)·Dined on November 18, 2016

Great atmosphere and good food. Waiter was very accommodating!

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food4
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It was so loud we could barely hear one ...

 
 (New Mexico)·Dined on November 17, 2016

It was so loud we could barely hear one another. The margaritas were amazing. The waiter was great, you could tell he really enjoyed working there.

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food3
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We have eaten there over many years. Wha ...

 
 (New Mexico)·Dined on November 12, 2016

We have eaten there over many years. What happened to the good food? I ordered pork enchiladas. Pork was gristly, chili had zero heat! Very blah! Will not return!! Chopped green chili with tacos was dry as though sitting out for hours. Tacqitos were old, again, chili bland. Only good thing about our four meals was the guac and chips and salsa.

1 person found this review helpful.
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food1
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We are frequent diners to El Pinto. Thi ...

 
 (New Mexico)·Dined on November 11, 2016

We are frequent diners to El Pinto. This was a special occasion as my son was home from Kuwait; however, his sister had no idea. I made our reservation and then called and spoke with John, who was gracious and worked with us to hide my son for the surprise. When we arrived at El Pinto, the staff was expecting us and knew right where to hide him. They were all great and the surprise went off great with a lot of staff watching. :)

Tags: Local Ingredients, Great for Outdoor Dining, Kid-friendly, Authentic
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food5
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This is an authentic New Mexican restaur ...

 
 (New Mexico)·Dined on November 10, 2016

This is an authentic New Mexican restaurant. Delicious food to show your visiting friends what makes New Mexican cuisine unique and exquisite. Great for family gatherings or friends get together!

Tags: Local Ingredients, Authentic, Neighborhood Gem
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food5
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We were there for my husbands birthday. ...

 
 (New Mexico)·Dined on November 6, 2016

We were there for my husbands birthday. I reserved online for a party of nine. The tables were round and small. Some of the tables had three table setting to a table. Very Small. We were put in the bar area and several tables were joined together. It appeared to be a great situation however there was no lighting. The menu was outrageously priced for the quality of the food. I don't mind paying for my food if it is good. $17 for a bean burrito with rice. That is down right wrong. I loved the ambiance and thats it. Nine of us left disappointed in the food and the service. I wish I could have given you a better review. I have been there for a matanza and it was great.

1 person found this review helpful.
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food1
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Reservation system is really kludgy and ...

 
 (New Mexico)·Dined on November 6, 2016

Reservation system is really kludgy and could not revise number of guests neither online nor on phone. The host agreed and said they also suffer with it. We were relegated to the chilly patio despite having had reservations and many open tables were still open indoors. Waiter messed up food order. Do not recommend the sangria.

Tags: Historic, Good for Groups
1 person found this review helpful.
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food3
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We both order ribs. They did not have m ...

 
 (Phoenix)·Dined on November 6, 2016

We both order ribs. They did not have much meat on them and the sauce was so heavy you could not taste the meat.

Tags: Handcrafted Cocktails
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We had to organize a quick family gather ...

vip
 (Austin)·Dined on November 5, 2016

We had to organize a quick family gathering 0f 30 following a funeral. El Pinto staff worked with us and was able to reserve a quiet back room with great ambience. The food was excellent as always and the staff very attentive. It remains the best place in Albuquerque for those special occasions.

Tags: Family Style, Comfort Food, Private Room, Fireplace, Fun
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food4
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The food was really outstanding. The ma ...

 
 (New Mexico)·Dined on November 5, 2016

The food was really outstanding. The margaritas were the best I have had in quite a while. Our server, R. Guutierrez was terrific. He was attentive, helpful, and efficient. He really made the visit a great experience.

Tags: Wood Oven, Fit for Foodies, Happy Hour, Fun, Authentic
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food5
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My brother was in town visiting from St. ...

 
 (New Mexico)·Dined on November 4, 2016

My brother was in town visiting from St. Louis and wanted good, authentic Mexican food with sopapillas. He got all 3! We had a wonderful time and great food with excellent Margaritas! Also, Ryan was our waiter and he was outstanding! He took home over 20%! We can't describe his credentials, what a gentleman. He was just great. Thank you for such a memorable dinner with people that we love! My brother will never forget it, neither will we, thank you!

Jeff C.

Tags: Fireplace, Scenic View, Authentic, Worth the Drive, Neighborhood Gem, Romantic
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While visiting the area, my husband & we ...

 
 (New York Area)·Dined on October 31, 2016

While visiting the area, my husband & were very happy to have eaten at El Pinto. The place is large enough to be seated quickly & the various smaller rooms for seating provide a warm atmosphere. A perfect margaritas of start (a staple in NM restaurants), followed by great guacamole & enchiladas- we would definitely recommend it to others.

Tags: Quiet Conversation, Casual, Good for Groups, Family Style
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Having visited El Pinto during the last ...

 
 (New Mexico)·Dined on October 30, 2016

Having visited El Pinto during the last twenty years I have normally been very pleased. My visit 10/30, though, was a disappointment with seating in a large, vancant room inside as no outside seats were available in spite El Pinto has seating of 1,000 plus. The restaurant was not busy! Also the food was not up to usual El Pinto standards.

1 person found this review helpful.
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El Pinto has been better over the years. ...

 
 (New Mexico)·Dined on October 30, 2016

El Pinto has been better over the years. The last few times I've gone the service has degraded to just people doing there jobs to should find another career. The food tends to be consistently satisfying however the special red snapper the other night was nothing to write home about. The parking lot was packed but wasn't crowded inside. They had my reservation from OpenTable but it wasn't needed. We sat in the closed patio area which sucks at night. In fact, other than the bar area the seating I've had lately hasn't been comfortable. Bad table positions to wobbly tables. I'm not sure where there best tables are. You never get much out of the staff and they seldom feel like they trying to give you a good time.

Tags: Authentic
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The prices were on the high side for the ...

 
 (New Mexico)·Dined on October 30, 2016

The prices were on the high side for the amount of food received. The service was wonderful and our server was very nice. We go out if our way to stop here whenever in New Mexico, but may rethink that with the prices.

Tags: Creative Cuisine
1 person found this review helpful.
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Service and the food were great! Only c ...

 
 (New Mexico)·Dined on October 29, 2016

Service and the food were great! Only criticism would be that the room was a little bit dark especially after the sun went down.

Tags: Creative Cuisine, Pre/post Theatre, Fireplace, Historic
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food5
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Beautiful grounds, we went early to take ...

 
 (New Mexico)·Dined on October 29, 2016

Beautiful grounds, we went early to take pictures. The food and service were great, nice menu options and great steaks!

Tags: Great for Outdoor Dining, Spicy, Fit for Foodies, Scenic View, Disabled Access, Handcrafted Cocktails, Good for a Date, Good for Anniversaries, Romantic, Good Vegetarian Options, Special Occasion, Worth the Drive
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food4
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Great service for a change. Previous tim ...

 
 (New Mexico)·Dined on October 29, 2016

Great service for a change. Previous times it wasn't so good. But we had Kyra for our waitress this time and she was very good. Food was great and margarita pitcher was very good also. Going back on Friday!

Tags: Private Room, Fun, Handcrafted Cocktails, Comfort Food, Great for Outdoor Dining
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food5
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Table location was poorly lit and fairly ...

 
 (New Mexico)·Dined on October 29, 2016

Table location was poorly lit and fairly noisy also out of sight of server who was not very attentive. Location is scenic and ambience great for a mexican restaurant. Food was good.

Tags: Scenic View, Special Occasion
1 person found this review helpful.
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The place is huge, and I think there is ...

 
 (Seattle)·Dined on October 28, 2016

The place is huge, and I think there is less care with the food prep when trying to serve hundreds. Fails to live up to its history now, in terms of food, but the place is very nice.

Tags: Local Ingredients, Spicy, Good for Anniversaries, Historic, Good for Birthdays, Special Occasion
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food3
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There was an open door in our room and i ...

 
 (New Mexico)·Dined on October 28, 2016

There was an open door in our room and it was chilly where we were seated. our food was good. The chips with the chips and salsa were broken and not in good shape.

Tags: Casual
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They seated us right by the kitchen acce ...

 
 (New Mexico)·Dined on October 28, 2016

They seated us right by the kitchen access door. No music. No ambience. Waitress was flat out rude. We had visitors from Europe and felt imbarrased. Not going back.

1 person found this review helpful.
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Service was perfect. We had a party of 1 ...

 
 (New Mexico)·Dined on October 23, 2016

Service was perfect. We had a party of 12 for a small wedding dinner and it went really well. Our wait staff was friendly and accommodating. We choose El Pinto because my father-in-law has vegetarian options and everything is always so good. Thank you for the great service

Tags: Special Occasion, Cozy, Bar Seating, Worth the Drive, Historic, Romantic, Good Vegetarian Options
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food3
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Great atmosphere. Great food. $19.00 is ...

 
 (New Mexico)·Dined on October 23, 2016

Great atmosphere. Great food. $19.00 is a lot for a combo plate though.

Tags: Great for Lunch, Casual, Vibrant Bar Scene, Spicy
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food5
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service4
value4

The food and service were less than medi ...

 
 (New Mexico)·Dined on October 21, 2016

The food and service were less than mediocre- truly left something desired for the price point. We didn't feel very important as patrons. We were hardly acknowledged at the hostess desk and our server hardly came around to refresh our drinks or to clear our plates, even when he saw that were done with our meal. This was a miss.

Tags: Good for Groups, Fireplace, Good Vegetarian Options
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food2
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Fajitas a C-plus-- at best. Salsa and c ...

 
 (New Mexico)·Dined on October 20, 2016

Fajitas a C-plus-- at best. Salsa and chips fantastic. Atmosphere best in town. Good burgers, sopas.

Tags: Historic, Romantic, Good for Anniversaries, Fireplace
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food3
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