Seattle >Food & Dining > Matador
2221 NW Market St, Seattle, WA | Directions 9810747.668543 -122.385959
Neighborhoods: Ballard, Adams
Excellent happy hour – Great Tex Mex happy hour menu- steak tacos, nachos, quesadillas. Very good deals & relaxing atmosphere. I like the Ballard location best. It fills up early, so go on the early side.
Best late night place for happy hour – I love this place. Great place to hang out late night. They've got the best happy hour menu in Seattle. The spicy habanero prawns and the shrimp quesidalla are the best. Plenty of tables so it's easy to get a table even on weekend nights. Also, they always play good music. The service is generally but the servers can be a little inattentive when it's busy.
Great all of the way around – I've only been to the Matador twice, but my husband's and my experience there has been completely different than a number of their reviews. Both times we've said during dinner how great their service is - and it really has been...as nice as Crow, imho, and I love Crow.
I can't vouch for the mixed drinks, my husband drinks Bacardis and Cokes which are pretty tough to screw up and I have the Dos Equis Amber on tap with two limes which is hard to screw up too. The comments on their food being so-so I definitely don't agree with.....both times I had veggie enchiladas and they were delicious. Especially the Enchiladas Picante....mmm...yum!
So I guess I'd say to go and try it once for yourself and see what you think.
Worst margaritas in the city! – Although the Matador has a hip, cool, antique, Mexican feel to it, the ambiance can't make up for the fact that the bartenders make some of the worst drinks in town. Specialty drinks like Mojitos are OK, but any standard bar drinks are less than satisfactory. I consider a Margarita a standard bar drink, and you can usually judge a bartender by the margarita he/she mixes (especially in a Latin-vibed place). The margaritas my friends and I had were the most watered down, tasteless, and boring we have ever drunk. One guy in my party even sent his back- only to receive the same thing. They were like watery limeade! Oh, and when he did this, the waitress got a little lippy with him. He said, "I'm pretty sure there is barely any tequila in this." She replied, "I'm pretty much sure there is." Kinda snotty especially to a man who was probably about 40 years older than she was. We also had some typical drinks like rum and cokes, and bourbon presses, which had absolutely no effervesence- all the guns must have been broken. We kind of experimented through the night with different drinks and they all pretty much sucked, even the mojitos seemed watery. The appetizers were so so, but what is a happy hour without happy hour drinks? The only thing "Happy Hour" is the food. There are no "Happy Hour" drink deals. Don't bother fighting the crowds. Go get a good margarita at the Chupacabra on Phinny Ridge!!
Great Happy Hour specials – This place has an excellent happy hour - Whole friggin' plate of nachos for $4? Pork tacos for $4? Hello? Awesome. They have a bunch of stuff in the $4 to $5 price range for happy hour specials. Their margaritas are good too.
Fun spot, below average food – I've had drinks at the Matador several times and have always enjoyed the atmosphere and margaritas. Tonight however, my boyfriend and I decided to try some of the food and we were pretty disappointed. I ordered three of the happy hour items: a salad, soup, and the blackened fish taco. A lot of inconsistency in these items, but I suppose you can't expect a whole lot from $5 plates. The soup was very bland but ok, the salad was super spicy(with big chunks of jalapeno peppers) which I wasn't expecting, and the Blackened Fish in the tacos was so overly salted that I could barely eat a second bite - not appetizing at all and I usually really enjoy blackened fish. My boyfriend's red chile enchiladas were ok, except for the fairly large bone that he came across inside one of the enchiladas (luckily he didn't choke on it). We mentioned to our very friendly server Erin that she should inform the kitchen to be more careful - and she did apologize. Overall I'd say it is still a fun place for drinks, but we won't be back for an actual meal.
Good food, great ambience – I saw several reviews regarding bad service at the Matador, so I decided to write about my good experience there. We went on a Sat night around 9:00 and got seating within 15 minutes. The service was not the best, but we had no complaints either. Our drinks were brought within 5 minutes and appetizers within 15 minutes. The food was also very good. I highly recommend the vegetarian enchiladas... very flavorful and tasty.
As the bar got crowded, the drinks were coming a little slower but our waitress apologized for it. Overall, it was a good experience and I wish we had more of such places in Seattle.
Pretentious and definite pass up – I went to this bar with a group of six people who often frequent local bars with me, and we have never been so disappointed and put off by a place like we were in the Matador. The waitresses were SO miserable, and could not bring themselves to even force a half grin when faced with KINDNESS. We waited patiently for a table in a small, cramped corner, and every waitress who walked by would rudely yell at my friends, such as "Get the hell out of our way!" Literally. Great business, guys! Bartenders - three of them, and each one said they'd be right back to get me a drink, and all three of them failed to remember me as they were too occupied serving the mixture of cougars and half-lidded burnt out frat boys littering the bar. Finally, my friend receives his order of nachos and asks politely for extra napkins, to which the miserable waitress told us to deal. Seriously? It was like the twilight zone. This is coming from a book nerd and a crop of corporate nobodies, it's not like we were wildly and trashing the place. I would not recommend this bar to anyone, unless of course you enjoy being slapped in the face with blatant rudeness.
Shrimp Tacos!!! – I haven't been recently, but it sounds like the service has gone downhill. It wasn't really that great when I'd been before but I have to say that their happy hour menu was really, really, really good! And cheap! My favorite were the shrimp tacos, they are so good!
Don't expect much... – Forget getting anything, service, help from others, food...you name it don't count on it! A group of three went down on a not so busy Sat night, expecting more people to join us. While waiting for a table we ordered drinks at the bar. We moved to the table, and with 5 menus (no food), and half full drinks our idiot of a waitress asked if we wanted more drinks...no mention of food. And don't count on anyone else helping you, you must order from your waitress. Little did we know she would stop by no more than every 20 mins. The rest showed up, and due to the poor service, they had to go to the bar to get drinks.
Some other friends happen to be stopping by, the stopped in to say hi...they asked to pay their tab (they never sat at our table, they just stood and said hi), and left. When we got out bill at least $30 of their bill was on ours, when we asked our waitress to fix it, after asking the hostess to get our waitress, she went in to this ridiculous diatribe about how she would have to pay for the mistake if we didn't. EXCUSE ME!?! We didn't make the mistake why should we pay for it. She even asked if we could front the money and get it back from the people that stopped by. I am quite certain she dyed her hair brown, she had to be naturally blonde! THAT THE RESULT OF MAKING MISTAKES!
I have worked as a bartender before, and I understand the business and am usually very forgiving of servers/bartenders, but with the exception of the bartender the entire service staff was heck bent on only doing the absolute minimum! Great happy hour portions, but only worth it if you are willing to be exceptionally patient with the service!
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