Seattle >Food & Dining > El Gallito
1700 20TH Ave, Seattle, WA | Directions 9812247.617652 -122.305970
Neighborhoods: Stevens, Capitol Hill
Consistently disappointing – Every time I dine here I wonder why anyone would want to come back. My excuse? My best friend likes it, so I occasionally suffer through it with him.
Upon entering, I am always shocked at how dirty and messy it is. Last night for instance, they said, "sit anywhere you like." Every empty table was dirty from previous customers. Fortunately one table had a wet rag on it, so I was able to wipe down the seat and table before sitting down. I also find the lighting harsh and the decor unimpressive. All of this would be fine if the food and service were good but, that has never been my experience. I love a good dive with great food and service as much as anyone - but this place misses the mark.
I'll say this much about the food - it is not bad, its always just so-so in my opinion.
The service is the most disappointing thing. Our server ambled over at a slow pace, dropped off menus, took a while to bring my beer but did not bring or offer a glass. I think I've had this same guy every time I've eaten here and he seems completely disinterested in what he is doing. He just comes up and stands there waiting for you to order, never asks how you like anything, never offers the bill, you have to ask. No thanks for dining with us, nothing.
In summary, I wouldn't even mind the mediocrity of the food if the servers just exhibited some positive attributes. Maybe a greeting when you enter, perhaps engaging in a level of conversation as minimal as simply asking if you are ready to order, how is your food, are you ready for your bill? I just get the feeling this guy hates his job and our presence is a bother for him. Every time I dine here I get the same feeling and just want to turn around and walk out. Perhaps I'll protest the next time my friend wants to go here. I feel mad at myself for spending my money here.
Not worth the trip across town... – YUK! Bland food and child friendly. Need I say more?
Best Burrito so far.... – I moved here from California (Los Angeles area) about two months ago. As many other Californians would understand, I went through Mexican food withdraw as I have been trying to find some good Mexican food restaurants in the Seattle area. El Gallito is the second place I have found where the Mexican food, especially the bean and cheese burrito's, tastes pretty much the same as the Mexican food in southern California. Very good! I would recommend it to anyone who is looking for real, good Mexican food! I'm so sick of all these high class, fancy mexican restaurants in Seattle that don't taste anything like real Mexican food. I love El Gallito!!
Best I have had so far in Seattle – Having moved recently from California, I have been very disappointed in the Mexican food I have eaten from the "mini-chains" around here. But this place was good, comparable to a tacqueria in the Mission. The chile verde I had was very tender and tasty, and the chicken enchilada that the S.O. had tasted great as well.
As for a previous comment about the "presentation" - this is Mexican food we are talking about, right?
Don't order the chile rellenos – I was hoping for better food because of all the raves. I was a tad bit disappointed. My chile relleno was undercooked, and the pepper was stringy. My friend's mole was okay, but the plate lacked presentation and looked like a sea of chicken in brown sauce. The margaritas were okay - we asked for blended drinks. The second drink was the melted remains of another pitcher. I probably won't return. In fact, I have had way better food at my local Taco Truck than here. I think I have a better margarita recipe, too.
YUM! – This is the best Mexican food I've tried in Seattle! Went here a few years ago went it was a dive. They've cleaned it up tremendously, inside and out, and expanded their space. The chile colorado and the chile verde are the best I've ever had! Very rich sauces with amazing spices and flavor. I can't wait to eat there again.
The cheap Mexican food at this Madison Street hole-in-the-wall is surprisingly good. – The Scene
The bright stucco exterior is a cheerful prelude to the meal. Step inside and the Mexi-trinkets and sea of colors transport you to low-budget Mexico. At night, a cross section of Capitol Hill-ites and locals sit down to stay awhile. Owner Refugio Lopez is right alongside, still serving food and mingling with customers after 19 years.
Aficionadoes swear the mole here is the best in town. The velvety sauce is poured with a heavy hand, so the chocolate-wary may want to ask for it on the side. Fresh, rich guacamole is reliably good, as are the saucy enchiladas. The soft tacos hit close to the authentic bull's-eye, but the tamales could be meatier. Generously poured margaritas are the perfect companion to the mildly spiced arroz con pollo.
Yuk! – This is the worst mexican food I have put in my mouth. Their enchilada sauce was made with cloves and I could not even get past the smell. I realize Mexican food in this part of the country is sub par at best anyway-but this one took the flan!
Forget Taco Bell – Love this place. Reminds me of Mexico. The food is good and portions are large. This is a nice clean Family run restaurant.
Forget the chain's that pose as real mexican. If you don't like spice or chesse STAY AT HOME.
On Friday and Saturday nights this place gerts slammed so show up early and have some patience. You will be rewarded dearly...
Margaritas and Mariachi – Great food and atmosphere. Strong margaritas, great service and a pleasant lack of attitude.
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