Austin >El Chile Cafe Y Cantina
Tex Mex with a Touch of Interior Flavors.
Several good items on the menu, and they will make their nachos with black beans upon request. The fajita nachos are not only good but a decent meal for two.
Happy hour appetizers with excellent margaritas are a nice way to end a stressful day.
As noted, wait staff can be excellent to disinterested. Make your wishes known and they will respond.
I will never go back to this place.
The service was appallingly bad, water not refilled, chips and salsa not refilled, orders gotten wrong, or just plain not put in (one of my friends didn't get her entrée until 20 minutes after the rest of us). There were 11 of us and I am completely convinced that the wait-staff didn't even try because the knew they'd get a gratuity regardless.
Beyond that, our waiter (who was also managing that night) intentionally stalled our order so he didn't have to charge us happy hour prices.*
I'm a big tipper myself, I've waited tables and know how hard it can be, but when I saw the 20% gratuity they put on our bill (not to mention the full price appetizers and drinks) after the service we had gotten, I felt cheated. Stolen from.
* I know, this sounds totally ludicrous, but I just can't think of any other explanation for what happened: After we were seated and finally got the attention of our waiter we asked how long till happy hour was over. He said 5 minutes and then walked off straight away - he didn't come back until just before 7. We placed our order quickly, but he told us that it was 7:01 when he put it in the register and their was nothing he could do! He was managing the restaurant that night!
Best Margaritas and Mexican Food/Happy Hr. in Austin. The margaritas are very original, not your typical, but much better quality ingredients, I am guessing from the taste. The menu is sensational with excellent seafood enchiladas, awesome guacamole, Crunch Tilapia comes so hot and fresh to the table. Great service. Love both locations: Manor (has the most character and ambiance between Greystone location and theirs). Their salsas are outstanding too. A friend got some sort of steak and loved it. Greystone restaurant is behind and to the southside of Chinatown Restaurant, so it is west of the MoPac service road.
Great Mexican food and service in NW. Went to El Chile for the first time last Sunday. We were greeted and seated right away. Our waitress was very friendly and fast with our orders. Please, try the soup! It was amazing. The next time I may get just that. We each had a small bowl and shared the shrimp fajitas and it was plenty. The drinks weren't too expensive, and they were strong! If you are going to have a margarita, you may want to bring a designated driver. All in all, a great experience. We will definitely be back for more.
FINALLY Mixing it up in 1A. While not necessarily the best location for an interior Mexican restaurant, El Chile has a suprisingly pleasant atmosphere with a wonderful front patio. The decor is well put together and upscale, making it easy to enjoy the incredibly flavorful food. The service was impeccable, the entire staff was extremely friendly, everything was fast, fresh, hot, and perfectly cooked. To top it all off, the salsa was delicious (once we added just a little salt). I will definitely be returning to explore their unique menu!
i love el chile. after reading some horrible reviews on a favorite spot of mine, i thought we could go see what all the fuss was about. we arrived at about 7,we were seated without much of a wait on the cute little patio out front. the menu is the same.we ordered our two fave dishes: the enfrijoladas, and the chipotle -bbq -camarones; and, a free margarita as well! they arent equipped with a liquor license as yet, and the drinks were on the house..AWESOME! same thin chips i love..the salsa couldve used a bit more salt .just a note to all of the salsa haters out there, it's a pretty simple recipe of fire-roasted tomatoes, jalapenos, and garlic.blended with salt. not mole, not black bean, not chipotle. which some of you would know if you dared ask your wait-people. when our waiter came back out with our drinks, we were informed that there was a two drink limit.no problem. upon his departure, a neighboring table leaned over and said "can you believe that? i ordered the most expensive thing on the menu and he tells me i cant have another drink? at least i dont have to tip him on that". i was really offended. shame on you. when i went to use the ladies' room, i was almost run over by: not staff, KIDS! for the people out there who wanna go out with your kids, bring your leashes! it's annoying, and besides, if you love the 1$ kids' menu at el arroyo, take your heathens there. anyways, our food came out looking and tasting every bit of delicious. when we finished, tried to grab some tres leches for dessert but, sadly, they were out. very minor setback. everything else was great! when our bill came i slipped a few extra bucks under my tip. hopefully to make up for the ungrateful dude sitting next to us .he's probably the same guy bitching about the cost of food prices.get a clue, food prices are up everywhere, and eating out is a luxury, not a privilege. i will absolutely return to el chile in the future and hope others will share our joy of a true austin gem!
Customer Service - Nada.
Whatever you do, don't ask the waitress to add chicken to their standard quesadilla -- apparently "the chefs won't accommodate that." (sigh) Apparently, there are ZERO substitutions at El Chile. OH-but they'll put the chicken on THE SIDE. Wow -- I'm spent. To add to our less than wonderful experience, we ordered and 15 minutes later, the waitress returned to tell us they were out of 2 out of 4 entrees that we ordered. (sign again). Why is this so difficult? We always had a pleasant experience at the original El Chile. Food was average. Atmosphere, not great. This is Austin -- accommodate your guests.
My advice: Review the menu before you go, expect NO substitutions and call ahead to make sure they have your dish in stock.
There?s nothing hot about this place. Lets call this place El Chilly.
Eastside Mexican fave adds a dash of signature smoky jalapeno salsa to Northwest Hills..
Fans of the first location along owner Carlos Rivero's Manor Road restaurant row will recognize the updated Tex-Mex menu and signature El Chile décor in the transformed Mesa Hills Café space. The patio (which is slightly smaller here but every bit as charming) provides extra seating, as does the ample bar. Menu favorites include Alma's tortilla soup, fresh-tasting tilapia seviche, enchiladas with Oaxacan-style red mole sauce, arrachera steak with melted Chihuahua cheese and plenty of daily specials.
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