Austin >Restaurants >
Mexican >El Chile Cafe y Cantina
1809 Manor Rd, Austin, TX | Directions 7872230.283645 -97.722516
Neighborhoods: Upper Boggy Creek
El Chile has to be one of our favorite neighborhood Tex Mex spots. The margaritas are spot on, and the salsa and tres leches cake are supreme. Also great for takeout! I always get the vegetarian tamales to go!
El Chile's Chilango Margarita -- a blood orange margarita dusted with chili powder on the rim -- may be one of my favorite cocktails in all of Austin. A little sweet, a little spicy, and a little UT proud, the Chilango has graced the pages of Food & Wine, who agrees that this tangy potion is perfect porch sippin' stuff.
Bleeeech! – I knew I was in trouble when the chips and salsa (?!) came out...this blackish bland goo was the worst! No real salsa to be had. I would think if they were trying to be innovative, it would at least taste good. The michelada was lame too. It was empty and on a game day...wonder why??? I heard El Chilito was lousy too. No need to keep experimenting when I can keep away!
What happened to this place??? – When this place first opened, it was great. The food was great and the staff was always kind and attentive. But the place has gone down hill. I don't understand what has happened. The cuts of chicken that is served are inedible. I can not believe a chef/owner/line cook/waiter would serve that to a customer. Even an item as simple as nachos has been brought out a sloppy mess. The food is under seasoned. The tortilla crusted fish had no flavor what so ever, there wasn't enough salt, pepper, lime juice, or salsa in the place to add taste to it. Now, the service.....i'm at a loss. They act annoyed and like they could care less. The last time I was there, barely anyone was in the place and I had to ask our waiter, and I am not exaggerating, 11 times for a glass of water, which is usually brought out when the chips & salsa is brought out. He messed up the order and acted annoyed when we asked for what we ordered. When you have horrible service, especially as bad as I have had at El Chile, it can ruin your entire day. They need to step it up or just shut it down.
I won't be back! – I've eaten lots of ceviche and this ceviche (made from tilapia-yuk!) had a weird texture and flavor. we sent it back. The waiter took the food back without any issue but never asked us again how the rest of our food tasted. Waiter was aloof, service was mediocre at best.
The beef nachos were great! The drinks looked fabulous and the patio was pleasant.
Overall not worth another shot in my opinion.
Run from El Chile like it's on fire. – The black beans were undercooked and very hard. How is it even possible to screw up beans? The salsa is the worst I've ever had, it taste like burnt paper ash mixed with water. Saying it's not spicy is an understatement. The waiter gave my friend the wrong order. The tortillas seem to have come out of a bag. The rice has no taste. I'm trying to think of a redeeming quality about this place and nothing is really coming to me. I don't mind cheap crappy food, but when it's over $10 a plate, it should be a lot better than this horrible excuse for ?food.?
Much like the quickly gentrifying East Austin neighborhood in which it resides, El Chile is crappy, overpriced and stuffed full of white people.
not good at all... – Went with my wife before a football game. It's just very average food at $10 to $15 a plate. We both ordered the fish tacos and it looked great but everything was very bland so I ordered a side of jalepenos. I received about 5 slices and was charged an extra dollar. Save your money and go to Taco Cabana or El Chilito down the street. I think this was my first bad meal in Austin.
You want ambiance, head next door to VIVO... El Chile is just average – Went here on a Saturday night recently... couldn't believe that there is no bar in there to sit at. You can sit outside on an inviting patio for dinner but in order to wait for a table and have a drink, you have to sit outside ON A BENCH. Some families were waiting to be seated next to 4 guys drinking and talking loudly... Not really appropriate to sit outside next to kids while you're drinking but there's no where else to wait! Inside is just ok.. Wasn't busy at all for an inside table at 7 on a Saturday night. so we skipped the drink on the bench and headed inside. Took 10 minutes for someone to greet us and order a drink. Another 15 to tbring our drinks, take our order, or even see if we had questions or mention the specials. The menus were disguesting, with old food stuck in between the plastic and the paper, and what looked like mold growing in between them. Yech.
I threw back my mexican martini and ordered the the stuffed Pablano pepper which was pretty fresh and the pork was tasty. Beans and rice howver, were horrible. Sticky rice and tasteless beans. I asked for the sauce on the side and they charged me $1 to do that! HU? My husband had the fajitas and said they had hardly any flavor whatsoever. The chips are served in cheap wooden (small) bowls.... maybe a hint not to fill up on them, who knows. The prices really are not cheap... in our opinion kind of overpriced for what you get. Can't say we would return here.
So so – I had the fish tacos and was disappointed. The fish was flavorless and the tortillas were soggy. The only thing that helped a little was the cabbage relish. The Pico de Gallo was good. I won't go back. Sorry.
Bad, bad, bad customer experience – Had a very bad experience with my friends at the new location of El Chile. The owner and waitstaff were disrespectful at best, not concerned about customer service or word-of-mouth. I cannot recommend this restaurant. and will not return to either the Manor or Far West location.
Worst customer service/attitude (even by owner) . . . not worth patronizing – We have long put up with sub-par service at El Chile on the eastside to enjoy Chilango margaritas, but we tried the new Far West location yesterday and will not be going back to EITHER location. The owner, Carlos Rivera, and his waitstaff were downright rude to us. What started out as an enjoyable margarita on a pretty Saturday afternoon, spiralled downhill with each order having some sort of addl. charge (which we wouldn't have cared about), but were told we were cut off after 1 drink because we weren't ordering dinner for each person (starting with multiple appetizers instead, one of which never arrived) because the restaurant didn't have it's liquor license yet, thus couldn't charge us for the drinks. We gladly would have left money for the drinks they couldn't charge us for, and had planned on ordering dinner, but after rude, disrespectful service from our waiter and the owner, we threw down what we thought we owed and left. Poor customer service is always shocking, but especially when it comes from a restaurant owner. Please patronize businesses that value their customers. We then went to El Arroyo on Far West and had a completely opposite experience (with a $200 tab.) Go enjoy their larger patio, great food and friendly service. Ask for Alex, the waiter who redeemed our evening. : )
Sign in with Facebook Sign in with Facebook to see what your friends are up to!
Do you have a review of El Chile Cafe y Cantina on your blog? If you include the Citysearch image link (shown below) in your post, we'll automatically link to your review from the business profile page. Here's how our Linkback system works:
The Linkback system is free and automatic. It's really that easy.
To link to our business profile page, copy the html below to your web page.