Austin >Restaurants > El Patio
2938 Guadalupe St, Austin, TX | Directions 7870530.296657 -97.742150
Neighborhoods: North University, Central Austin
Hometown Flavor – We had a wonderful experience at El Patio, from the great food to the personal service!! The homemade tortilla chips and chili con queso are down right addictive. The nachos and the enchiladas were perfect!! We had several people waiting on us making sure that we had everything. The friendly, family service is something you just don't get anywhere else!!!
same name as the frozen dinners...coincidence? I think not. – I hadn't eaten at El Patio in almost 7 years because I remember it being pretty bad but I couldn't remember specifically what was so bad. As fate would have it, my wife, daughter and I ended up there tonight due to a lack of other ideas. I was quickly reminded why I hadn't been back and won't go back.
The people, ambience, etc, are not the problem. The problem is the horrible, horrible food. The salsa they brought out was the consistency of water, and only slightly more flavorful. I ordered the chicken enchiladas with rice and beans. Pretty simple order, how can this not be decent. Let me tell you how. Unheated Corn tortillas straight out of the package. Bland chicken. Then, the last straw: they were topped with american cheese slices, like kraft singles. I am not kidding, God, I wish I was kidding, but I'm not. The rice was hard and only seasoned with cumin. Unseasoned beans. The meal was an absolute nightmare. I came home and read reviews here and on 360 and found about half hated it, and the ones that didn't talked more about how it's an institution because they've been doing the same thing for 50 years. NEWSFLASH: Making the same mistake for 50 years is not endearing and tradition, it's just sad. Then it made sense, all this talk about how people have been eating here for all these years + about 70% of the people in the restaurant were over 75 years old = this is the cafeteria at an old folks' home. The recipes are neither authentic Mexican or even passable tex-mex. This place is merely a place that serves as a good memory to many old people in Austin. I saw several families eating there, and the common bond at every table was multiple elderly people. At EVERY table except ours. Now, I like old people, but not their eateries apparently.
If you need to appease grandma and grandpa by going to this place they loved as young people then take them to El Patio and sit there and choke down something and smile. You can get through it. I did, barely.
Great food, bad service. – Food is excellent. Service, on the other hand, stinks. The evening we went (Monday) there was only one waiter on the floor. It took forever to get waited on, we had to ask for water refills, never got the tortilla's we asked for, and had to ask for our check. Too bad, because the food is authentic and really good.
El Patio is the best...period – I have just read the reviews on El Patio. I have to say for the people that hated it, you must be 1) NOT from Texas, so you really have no idea about what Tex Mex is. Or 2) you must be under 35 so you are only used to the really mediocre stuff that is passed off at MOST restaurants around here as Tex Mex. The majority of the high priced Mexican restaurants in Austin serve boring, tasteless food. There are TV dinners that taste better.
El Patio IS the real deal. I have lived in Austin all of my (50 yrs) life, and it is one of the ONLY restaurants that has preserved the authentic Tex Mex flavor. The sauce is the BEST in Austin IMHO. It's thin, hot and runny for a REASON my young, yankee transplants! That's the way original hot sauce was made! Learn a lesson or go back east (or west) wherever you came from. El Patio IS the best...period.
WTF!! ... – Who are you people that think you know something about Tex-Mex food? This place is the WORST. We had a very bad experience today. And guess what? I gave this place a shot about 6 years ago and I walked out then. Why did I come back!!
Maybe my first mistake was coming for lunch, but you know, if they can't handle the crowds they should stop trying and not waste my time and money on lousy service and lousy food.
We couldn't find parking, stood in line for 10 minutes then got stuck at a corner table with the flies. The chips were stale and cold, the salsa tasted like a mix of canned picante sauce and ketchup. Our waiter never even said hello to us, just took our order and then never checked on us.
My friend ordered chicken tacos and got served 2 chalupas instead. The chicken on them was not even good. My two other friends ordered the El Patio enchilada dinners. When the plates arrived, the plates were hot to touch but the enchiladas were still cold like from the refrigerator. The guacamole was brown. I ordered beef chalupas and got chicken and bean chalupas!!!. Any Beaner with any heritage left knows," that just don't go!!!" It doesn't even sound good! There was enough melted cheese on them to stop an elephant's arteries. Needless to say, none of us ate much.
The busboy had to bring us drink refills and the manager brought us our meals. I would have gladly taken out my frustration on the waiter and not on this website but we only saw him again when he "drive-by" dropped off the check. He never spoke to us.
I am Tex-Mex and I say one star is one too many for this place. I know what tex-mex food is supposed to look like, taste like, smell like. This place is not it. I'm sorry for you if you think it is!
Ooh, my favorite is Trudy's! (not) – To all the El Patio haters out there, you don't get it. I have some friends that don't like El Patio because they are use to the chain places they mistakenly think are the only "real" tex mex restaurants. When I want old school tex mex I go to El Patio. (1952 is old school) I've been eating there since David was a teenager. If you want Tex Mex go to el patio. If you want "Keep Austin Weird" tex mex go someplace else and don't forget your coupon. (el rancho doesn't count)
Probably the worst Mexican or Tex-Mex food I have EVER had!!!! – Do not go to El Patio, I repeat DO NOT GO TO el patio. The food is very bland and borring mexican food the only thing anyone liked was the little dessert we got at the end of the meal. People claim this is an establishment but I've had wonderful food and this is nowhere near it. And considering there are a lot of decent to good Mexican food restraunts even some close to great ones in Austin. Choose another place!!! Everyone I know hates this place and thats out of about 20 people who have tried it. Sorry if you are dissapointed when you wait in a line to have something you can throw together at home in about 20 min. Don't even think of trying.
No actual patio, just really, really hearty Mexican food. – In Short
Paul Joseph bought the original cafe on this site, Schoonerville, in 1952, renaming it El Patio. His son, David, runs the place today, and it has a strong family vibe. Despite the name, there's no patio--just a narrow room divided into two sections and decorated with pictures of famous patrons. The menu is strictly old-fashioned Tex-Mex. The El Patio No. 1 has queso to go with its guacamole, beef taco, cheese enchilada and tamale.
El Patio is an Austin institution – Of the many tex-mex restaurants, El Patio stands out because of its unique tradition. The feel of the place is down-home, and the food is "simply the best." The friendly and observant staff make the experience at El Patio a terrific one.
Simply the best... – El Patio has to take the crown as the best restraunt in Austin. You have seriously not had a dining experience unless you visit this place. I have been going to ElPatio since I was a little kid, and they still give out the complementary candy or sherbet. The service is top notch, you will never have to ask for anything such as more tea or water. The food is simply the best, I cannot put into words how good it is. I have since moved from Austin to attend school in Corpus Christi, and it is a MUST that I go to ElPatio every time I come home. You will NOT be dissapointed...
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