Seattle >Food & Dining > El Chupacabra
6711 Greenwood Ave N, Seattle, WA | Directions 9810347.678109 -122.355380
Monday-Friday 11:30 a.m.-2 a.m.; Saturday & Sunday noon-2 a.m.
Neighborhoods: Northwest Seattle, Phinney Ridge, Northwest
If you like stink-eye from the waitresses, you'll love this place!!! – Good from afar, far from good--pretty much sums it up.
Looks great from the street, but get in there and the wait staff must have been trained by Stalin himself. Their Soviet-era customer service is deplorable. Seriously...it's bad. Seems like the waitresses are there because it's a job which enables them to buy cheap vodka...and the tips apparently go toward bad tatoos.
Now on to the ambiance: always choose the deck, as the inside is one of the waitresses personal punk/acid rock sound studio. Incredibly loud, obnoxious music pounds through the small cavity of a restaurant. You'll need about 5 margaritas to survive. Horrible.
The food: actually it's pretty good--the carnitas tacos are quite delicious. That said, it's served by beasts in a punk rock den.
For good margaritas--El Camino in Fremont is a much better choice.
Loved the Mohito's and the "faux-meat" for the vegetarians – My Wife & I went there for the 1st time on Sunday Sept 2nd (Labor day weekend). The Mohito immediately caught my eye. Now Seattle has a lot of places to get a Mohito these days, but I have only found 3 that are really any good: The Cactus (Madison Park), The Mohito Cafe (Near the Seattle P-I), and now El Chupacabra.
Was it a Fluke? Who knows, but I got a couple, and they were both good, and my wife enjoyed her Margarita.
Secondly, as a vegetarian, I am generally reluctant to try "meat substitutes", because I have been disappointed there as well. However, the waitress convinced me that their faux-meat (deep-fried morningstar faux-sausage) was worth the risk, so I got it in their standard Enchiladas. I was very pleased with the result. For meat eaters, it looked like everything came with a "choice of meat", of which the faux was just one.
Lastly, we really enjoyed the soundtrack. While there we heard Jimi H, AC/DC, and X, which was all fun and an interesting mix. My wife loved the Peach (or was it mango?) salsa, and that the bathrooms were clean.
Our only issue was that it really lit a fire under my acid reflux, but that is my own personal demon, and nothing that a Zantac couldn't handle.
Weak margaritas, bad food, even worse service- what's to like? – Perhaps the people who think this place is so amazing came on a night when the sour-puss, "trying so desperately to be trendy Seattle punk" waitresses were all out sick. Bad service completely ruins the reputation of a restaurant, and this place is no exception. After experiencing slow and unfriendly service for drinks and dinner, I waited for 20 minutes with my hand IN THE AIR with credit card in hand trying to get the attention of my high school drop-out waitress. When she finally could be bothered to take my card to run my tab, it took her another 20 minutes to come back. Seriously, where did she go? On a side trip to Russia? The restaurant is the size of my living room, and she only had three tables.
Some people have used the excuse that the food is "cheap" to excuse the bad service. The food isn't that cheap, you have to pay for chips and salsa, and the food is mediocre at best. You might as well pay a couple of extra dollars and go to Pesos, because although the service there is inattentive, you get far better food, much better drinks, and far friendlier service than El Chupacabra could ever dream to provide.
How do you fix this problem? Fire all those skanks that work there and hire some friendly, clean-cut faces who will represent your restaurant as a place that is deserving of being in the neighborhood. Teach your illegal immigrant kitchen workers how to cook, and hire a bartender who knows that when you make a margarita, there's supposed to be tequila in it and not just mixer and ice.
Oh yeah, and a free jukebox does not excuse crappy service, crappy food, and crappy drinks. It just doesn't.
Ever Been Called A F#*king Idiot By A Waitress? We Have At Chupacabra. – So we came to the restaurant to celebrate Cinco de Mayo and we expected customer service to be slow, but not like this. The waitress took our orders, got them mixed up, and then delivered half the food while it took 20 minutes to deliver the rest. We commented that the customer service was poor. When we received the bill, we asked her to divide it four ways please (not unreasonable for a group of 8). The waitress looks at us and says: "You've got to be kidding me! Look how crowded it is." We tell her it will be worth it because she is receiving a 30% tip. A different waitress comes back 20 minutes later with our credit card receipts and says "Who is the fu$*king idiot who gave me an american express?" Offended, we told her that this is the worst customer service ever, the food took forever, and we were never coming back. She then called us a bunch of fu#@king a-holes and told us to get out of there. She also automatically added tip onto each of our credit cards because she apparently thought we weren't going to tip her. Never go to this "Neighborhood Gem" of a mexican restaurant. Ever. This is, officially, the worst dining experience I've had in my life. I hope those two servers we had are fired.
Has the look but doesn't deliver the goods... – Food-wise you either go legit traditional mexican or you put a gringo spin on it and this place falls blandly inbetween. Staff all seems like they want to be somewhere else - like practicing with their punk-rock band. I really wanted to like this place but after ten visits I sum it up as -- ambivelent attitude, weak drinks and marginal mexican.
Three cheers for margaritas – The margaritas are a) extremely potent, b) extremely large and c) extremely delicious. oh and d) extremely affordable during happy hour. The food is sort of incidental to the margaritas in my mind but it makes excellent 'sop up the alcohol so you can drive home' fare. Pulled pork burrito is delish.
Come One Come All – Come on....There's a free jukebox til 5:30 or 6:00. There's a free pool table til forever, and the eats are cheap as hell. Try the pork carnitas and the new carne asada burritos and tell me they aren't worth the under $7.00 price. (The chicken is better than average as well). They make their own salsa which include the salsa verde and the salsa tinga(the hotter one)-that they use in their various dishes and the oh so fabulous chipoltle pineapple...yes you get them in a squeeze bottle, but who cares..it's free. Wow, you pay a whole $1.00 for chips to start the meal (a subject that some complain about) but at least the chips are fried fresh and the salsas are made at there! This isn't fine dining and you're gonna get a loud, FREE jukebox but it's a young family and single 20's something venue. The place can come off under staffed in the summer, which it is, but they run their asses off. Why do people in Seattle have to find something to complain about all the time??? This is a place where you'll see kids eating along side people doing a shot of Speedy Gonzalesl. If that freaks you out, doon't go there. Oh yeah, and for the kid friendly, there aren't high-chairs or booster seats unfortunately. That being said, the aforementioned free pool-table has seen many children's happiness.....
Great tacos ~ but not for the hard of hearing – Love the tacos ~ any variety. And that green salsa is addictive! This place is not for the tender or hard of hearing ~ but for an any-time deliscious and inexpensive bite, it rocks. The Pom Margarita is a delicious creation ~ even if a bit weak.
good mexican and cool staff – this place has really cool people--especially the servers....they have an outdoor patio deck and the inside is decorated in a hipster cool seattle way---i would go back!
Terrible customer service – The place is cute - very eclectic. The service was terrible. Upon arriving, we were ignored for the first 15 minutes. I couldn't figure out who actually worked there. Finally we walked to the back, started asking whomever passed us if they worked there and if we could get seated. He pointed to a table then shoved menus in our face, without even turning in our direction. I kept thinking, this has to be a joke - MTV's boiling point or something. Unfortunately it wasn't a joke. The tacos are cheap eats, but when you are served, you realize why. The steak tacos were cheap, chewy meat with a couple of avocado slices -- that's it. There are no vegetables, or anything that goes on the taco to spice it up. This was the most boring disappointing meal I've had in a long time. And with the service being so terrible on top of it, I will never go back.
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