About El Pinto
Albuquerque, NM 87114
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.
Executive Chef, Marc Quiñones, is well known for pairing tradition with innovation at El Pinto. You may know his name from Food Network shows, Chopped and Cutthroat Kitchen.
El Pinto is proud to have the first and only Animal Welfare Approved laying hen program on property. 200 hens lay pasture raised eggs for use at El Pinto.
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.
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
Free live music each Tue and Thurs night from 6:30 to 8 pm.
Ample parking available on site for individuals and tour buses.
Banquet, Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Cocktails, 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
Was passing through town and looking for authentic New Mexican dining experience. Love the location and the exterior ambience. Went there especially to try their extensive list of tequilas. Sat at a bar table and realized the server really wasn't into her job. Moved to the bar where there seemed to be similar disinterest until we persisted in asking questions - enjoyed the flights of tequila. Food was alright - salsa that came with the chips was bland, and we never did get some with some heat that we requested. Very surprising because they produce salsa for sale there? And I never did get my steak cooked to medium rare. Other than that the food was alright. Having said all that, although our (maybe unrealistic?) expectations weren't met, I would recommend others try this place.
Our meal was excellent. Generous, very tasty, hot and nicely plated. The hostesses and servers were average at best. We were not greeted in a manner that made us feel welcome or valued. Took almost 20 minutes to get our drink orders (they weren't that busy at 5:30 on a Sunday evening). Our server checked on us twice after our food was served but his attitude was very unenthusiastic. Enjoyed the meal a lot but staff needs a boost in customer treatment.
This was one of the best restaurants we have ever visited. The food was great, the service even better. They are a farm to table restaurant that grows its' own ingredients. They even have chickens to give them fresh eggs. The waitress we had was friendly and so willing to help. It almost seemed like we were the only table she had. We will certainly be back for another visit very soon!
Been going here since the 60's and this just isn't the same place it used to be. We weren't served chips and salsa, queso we ordered as an appetizer didn't come until after food was delivered. The New Mexican food was ok, but much different than it used to be. We were seated in the far corner of an enclosed patio, even though the restaurant wasn't full, and it was pretty darn chilly out there. The chips that were served with the queso weren't the same hot, freshly made chips they used to have. For the prices they charge, I would expect something special, and this wasn't it. I guess this is a nice place for tourists, but as a local, I think it will be a long time before we go back. The younger generation has made many changes, all of them not good. If you are expecting the food and service to be as it once was, you will be disappointed. If you did not eat here many years ago, you might not find anything wrong.
A beautiful place to go, it offers both privacy for a romantic meal or party when your with a group. We have been going to El Pinto now for over 35yrs and it never changes in consistency of great food, great service, fair prices, and a clean and authentic Mexican style restaurant. We always bring out of town guests for dinner or lunch to experience the taste and style of NM, they all always love it, and we love it too!
We had excellent service and the food was above average. We were seated in a darken area and had trouble seeing the menu. We shared a meal and had hoped the cook (s) would have had half of the meal on two plates. We looked around as we were leaving and saw much more romantic areas and wished we had been seated there. You need to have your staff be more receptive and friendly. Remember you have lots of competition in Albuquerque.
I ordered the taco salad. The word salad implies that there is lettuce and vegetables in it.
The whole thing was shredded chicken. My house margarita was made with that cheap overly sweet mix. My husband had the upgraded margarita that was much better. Staff was friendly and timely with our dinners and it was a large group. Mixed review for sure.
We were a party of 13, with reservations for 11:30am. We had clients in from CA and thought we would have plenty of time for a meal. We arrived and were sat at a lovely table. We ordered drinks and our entrees. We waited for 90 minuets before out food arrived. There were people in our party who had appointments and had to take their food with them and could not enjoy the meal with the rest of the party. The clients were able to make their flight, but were disappointed at the amount of time it took to receive our meal.
Just popped in for a business dinner, 3rd visit all 3 visits were outstanding, great selection of food, great tasting food, great selection of mixed drinks. Service has been excellent and the Sopophillas (sp?) unbelievable treat. Highly recommend, Great atmosphere inside and out.
I've been to El Pinto on multiple occasions and loved the food. However my most recent visit was very disappointing. I ordered my usual carne adovada plate, which in the past has been incredible. This visit left something to be desired. My pork was tender, but dry. It had no flavor. The chili was dull and even the beans which tend to be my favorite were sub par. My guests were underwhelmed as well. I'm hoping that I just visited on an off night, but I hesitate to return.
The atmosphere was great. We had nice table next to a fireplace which my wife loved. The food was great. We had never been here before so we chose this place to entertain out of town guests. I ordered a giant bone-in ribeye which was cooked to perfection. Sadly, our server was terrible. We waited for about 12 minutes before he came over although he had opportunities to at least acknowledge our presence sooner. It took another ten minutes to get our drinks and another 5 minutes for him to come back with a lime for my beer. One of our orders came out wrong but we just wanted to eat so we remained silent. I could go on all day about it but life is too short. I will go back to this restaurant, yet I will make sure I have a different server
I love the atmosphere. El Pinto used to be one of our favorite spots. The last two visits have been very disappointing. Sadly, this visit was my wife's birthday celebration. Both times the rice was crunchy and the portions seem to be getting smaller. In addition the plate presentation looks like it was "mass produced". My carne adovada birrito spent too long under the heat lamps and the tortilla was dry and almost stale. We had a table of 10 and had to wait a rediculous amount of time for each phase of the meal. One of the members of our party ordered a gringo hamburger and the condiments were not delivered before the rest of the group had finished their meals. To our surprise, we were informed that if we wanted linen tablecloths and nice glasses, that was by reservation only (which we did) and an extra charge! To the cooks credit, the beans were well done and tender. The ribs were tender and meaty. There are a lot of places to go that have better portions and quality. The smart choice is to go to the bar and have a margarita and some appetizers.
El Pinto has been around for decades. Having eaten there once before I knew I wanted to treat my family to their dining experience. The restaurant is huge with obvious add-on rooms over time. We were seated in the garden room which offered huge plants, trees, and a low light atmosphere. Bring your readers and flashlight!!! haha. The food is expensive for what you get though the ambiance somewhat makes up for it. It wasn't the best I've had but not the worst. I'd return during the summertime to enjoy outside dining.
We have lived here for nine years and friends have recommended El Pinto but said don't go their for the food but it's a nice atmosphere. We were disappointed when we made reservations online then were sat at the table by the kitchen door where there was a cold draft and noise from the kitchen. The Hostess was not friendly and barely smiled, the server was just okay and had no suggestions and seemed bothered. I would not recommend anyone or visit again.
This place is always a treat! Best hidden gem! I love eating "outside" even in the winter since they keep it so warm on the patio! The ambiance here is perfection! As a a Cali-Texan Transplant I know my mexican food and I am PICKY! This place is the BEST! Totally worth the price too! And you get a LOT of food! I bring all my friends and family here! LOVE LOVE LOVE!!
Longstanding historic restaurant that while in the past had good food in a charming locale now seems to be resting on its laurels. Food was at best average for genre, room we were seated in somewhat dingy with no atmosphere. So while the wait service was fine would look elsewhere for New Mexican food.
We were seated at a table where there was actually no light. I used my daughter's iphone to read menu. When we mentioned this to our waitress, she didn't do anything.
It seemed like the waitress couldn't handled more than one task at hand. She arrived to say that she would be back but didn't take our drink order. Two of the four got their drinks 10 minutes, my son and I waited over 20 minutes. Then she came back to take our order. Our meal took over 50 minutes to get to us, we order nothing special. For a Thursday night, it was quiet so I do not know why every task took really long.
Thank you for this opportunity. We enjoyed our special event at el Pinto. Our waiter was good and from our appetizer to our entree was delicious! 😊 Your grounds are so beautiful though, we were there in January we have dined in the summer as well. Good job!
Must have been an off night. The food was acceptable. We ordered the premium margaritas and I think they forgot the alcohol. The drink was very tart with a sweet overtone. No hint of alcohol could be tasted. Should have spoken up but by then I was a little too irritated with a door being left open close to our table with employees coming and going along with a cold breeze. The place was relatively empty for a 7:30 Saturday night reservation. My wife always gets a buzz from one drink but there was no buzz with these drinks. I felt like I was eating in a fast food franchise. Not going back for a while.
Really disappointed in the food. Very pricey. Not very good. Seem to be paying for ambiance but our table was a 4 chair wrought iron patio set and was not at all comfortable. Set on uneven bricks so chairs constantly rocked. Server was great but that couldn't make up for the not very good food and uncomfortable seating. Will be a really long time before I go back. ☹️
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