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El Charro

311 N. Court Ave., Tucson, AZ - (520) 622-1922
Posted By Roxie Kellam on 1/13/2004 1:04:00 PM
We found this restaurant to be highly over rated. The service was indifferent, the food ordinary and way too expensive for it's ordinary quality. This was by far the most expensive Mexican meal that we had - and not worth it. Perhaps it was once great but it resting on its laurels. One of the dishes was so salty that it approached in-edibility. The chips were ok - thin and salty (kind of par for chips) and the salsa was tasty. The drinks are expensive for Tucson.

We had Carne Seca Topopo and the Three Mole Enchaladas. The Topopo was ok - a bit salty (perhaps to be expected for carne seca). The topopo presentation was fun - a volcano! Best were the carrot, avocado, jicama around the volcano of chopped lettuce with chipotle dressing (ok - could have been tastier - more "dressing" than chipotle flavor)and carne seca. Not appreciated were the batons of boring yellow cheese.

The Three Mole Encaladas - were highly salty, boring sauces (hard to find the flavor with so much salt). Best was the chicken and mole and machaca and enchalada sauce - really bad was the seafood and ??? sauce (was THAT supposed to be garlic - couldn't tell - something white and gloppy). Cheese and seafood does not go together!!!!!! Well, maybe some white crumbly Mexican cheese but certainly not yellow boring cheese. Speaking of cheese - sooooo much of it - all over the enchaladas - what are you trying to hide??).

In general the food seemed to lack distinctive flavors - muddled would best describe the flavors. (did I mention that the food was oversalted - including the chips!).

The margaritas were ok - not my style (I'm a lime and tequila type - no sweet and sour) - but expensive $7.

The service was indifferent. Not that we waited for the food - we didn't. In fact we were seated right away and got drinks and ordered right away. But it wasn't welcoming. Seemed like UA students - who really aren't interested in the food or making your experience enjoyable.

We would not go back. There are so many better Mexican restaurants in Tucson - better food and less expensive.

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Scorecard

1 - Overall: Won't Eat Again
Overall: Won't Eat Again
Rate this place
Just looking at the picture of the beef taco makes me hungry for one of these all over again.
"Just looking at the picture of the beef taco makes me hungry for one of these all over again."
Anne Ritchings





El Charro's tortilla soup.
"El Charro's tortilla soup."
Michael Stern


This tamale trio was one of the best looking plates of food in recent memory.  From left to right, pork carnitas tamale, fresh corn tamale, and chicken tomatillo tamale.
"This tamale trio was one of the best looking plates of food in recent memory. From left to right, pork carnitas tamale, fresh corn tamale, and chicken tomatillo tamale."
Cliff Strutz


This delicious dried beef dish comes in a huge half-pound portion size.
"This delicious dried beef dish comes in a huge half-pound portion size."
Cliff Strutz


The albondigas soup features large meatballs, chiles, and lots of vegetables.
"The albondigas soup features large meatballs, chiles, and lots of vegetables."
Cliff Strutz


The Cabo soft tacos are delicious.  The chicken is tender, moist, and delicately flavored.
"The Cabo soft tacos are delicious. The chicken is tender, moist, and delicately flavored."
Anne Ritchings


This is part of a vibrantly colorful mural on the wall of the restaurant.
"This is part of a vibrantly colorful mural on the wall of the restaurant."
Anne Ritchings


Aside from great food, one thing that makes visiting El Charro so much fun is the fantastic sense of art and design that fill the restaurant.  Some of the art on the walls is the sort of dramatic image that also adorns El Charro's famous calendars.
"Aside from great food, one thing that makes visiting El Charro so much fun is the fantastic sense of art and design that fill the restaurant. Some of the art on the walls is the sort of dramatic image that also adorns El Charro's famous calendars."
Michael Stern


The image of the Virgin of Guadalupe is found throughout El Charro.
"The image of the Virgin of Guadalupe is found throughout El Charro. "Nuestra Senora de Guadalupe" is frequently shown with garlands of roses, and has become a powerful symbol of Mexican identity."
Michael Stern


These are just a few of El Charro's famous wall calendars.
"These are just a few of El Charro's famous wall calendars."
Anne Ritchings


There's no doubt that this is the place.
"There's no doubt that this is the place."
Anne Ritchings


The outdoor patio is an especially nice place to enjoy an El Charro feast.
"The outdoor patio is an especially nice place to enjoy an El Charro feast."
Michael Stern


In the evening, the outside patio is filled with tourists and locals enjoying margaritas and great Mexican-American food.
"In the evening, the outside patio is filled with tourists and locals enjoying margaritas and great Mexican-American food."
Anne Ritchings


El Charro has been a Tucson landmark since 1922.
"El Charro has been a Tucson landmark since 1922."
Michael Stern



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