Columbus >El Vaquero Mexican Restaurant
3230 Olentangy River Rd, Columbus, OH | Directions 4320240.025517 -83.026533
M-Th 11am-10pm, F-Sa 11am-10:30pm, Su 11am-9:30pm
Holds a special place in my heart – I am a bit bias in my review of El Vaquero as this is where I met my fiance. We have been back there many time since that night. I have never been disappointed with El Vaquero; however, I have never been blown away. When I am in the mood for Mexican El Vaquero is always at the top of my list.
Going downhill... – I considered myself spoiled that the first real Mexican food I tasted in the US was at the Vaquera restaurants. The food was always out of this world. We were so thrilled when they recently opened a restaurant near us in Hilliard. Although this venue is much more stylishly decorated, the maragaritas were weak and tasted dusty. My chicken fajita salad was awful, and had been made with canned chicken! The next time we went, it was the same, plus they made a mistake with my husband's order. Thinking it might just be teething trouble, we went to the restaurant on Olentangy River Road. After an extremely long wait (no surprise though) we were seated. Although the margaritas were wonderful, we both commented that the quality of the ingredients isn't as good as it used to be. We're going to look for some place else for good Mexican food...
Disappointing – I used to be a fan of El Vaquero, but over the years the food has gotten progressively worse. It is simply not as good and not as authentic as it used to be. It is still a decent place to go, as it has nice atmosphere and extensive menu, but the food is just so-so.
Amazing, amazing, amazing... – What more can I say? This authentic mexican restaurant is simply amazing - in terms of its food, ambience, the host, servers, everything. And it is fairly inexpensive as well. Their menu is very extensive as I was nearly confused the first time I dined there with my girlfriend. El Vaquero is a great restaurant for family, friends or just for two or three people. I absolutely recommend this place for anyone who loves fun, food, and great people.
Best Mexican... – El Vaquero is the best authentic mexican food in town, hands down... I am never disappointed there. The service is extremely fast, so it's a great place to stop in if you are in a hurry... but if you're not, stay and try the magaritas...we love this place!
It's nothing fancy, but you'll enjoy authentic Mexican fare delivered at lightning speed in a lively environment. – The Scene
A family-style environment with small touches of Mexican decor. Chips, salsa and water arrive at your table immediately, and your primary server soon follows. Entrees usually take less than 10 minutes and appetizers appear even faster.
You won't find any nouveau-fusion cuisine, but that's not why you're here--this is a refried beans kind of place. And the refried beans are tasty, as are the tacos, enchiladas, burritos, chalupas, tamales and fajitas. Sauces are savory, and spices are generally medium-strength. Required eating: The chile poblanos, which are roasted and stuffed with mashed potatoes and cheese, then covered in tasty red sauce. They are a big improvement over the usual deep-fried variety. Don't bother with any of the salads. They're shredded iceberg with a tomato wedge, which doubles as a garnish on many dishes.
Terrible – New to Columbus and desperate for some good Mexican food we followed the rating on this web site to try El Vaquero Saturday night. The ONLY nice thing I can say is that the guacamole was not completely awful. The enchiladas were over cooked and tough, the sauce was sweet and bland without even a hint of heat, the beans lacked zip and body, the chips were stale, the salsa came from a jar and not a good one at that. The only way this place could get a good review is if the reviewer was clueless as to what GOOD Mexican food is like!
Flavorful and Authentic – Usually the only places you can find good Mexican food are the holes in the wall places. Not in the case of El Vaquero. The food there is wide-ranging, covering a great number of dishes from all over Mexico. And all of them are well done and delivered to you speedily by the friendly staff.
I could do without the TVs in the eating areas, but of course I'd be lying if I didn't say it was fun when they were showing Mexican soccer or something.
Fun Place to eat. – My husband and I dine there frequently. You will not fine a staff that works harder than these folks. They bring your order so quickly, you think you are at a fast food restaurant. They are pleasant and we just plain enjoy the food.
It does get crowded if you come at the peak evening hours. Large parties should call ahead.
Don't eat here! – El Vaquero is the worst excuse for "authentic" Mexican food that I have ever had the misfortune of eating. The food tasted like plastic, and nothing in that restaurant was fresh or from scratch. I am actually offended that anyone would recommend this place, let alone give it an 8.3 rating. anyone who says this is "authentic", or even good, Mexican food has no idea what they're missing elsewhere. I'd rather eat at Taco Bell. Growing up in a Hispanic household, i feel that i know what i'm talking about. trust me!
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