Tuesday, July 6, 2010

El Hidalgo Bringing Mexican Food To Elkridge

A new Tex-Mex place called El Hidalgo looks about ready to open in Elkridge in the strip with Katana Sushi and Pazani Trattoria, according to an email from Joshua.  He reports:
The blinds are still closed, but I take it from the menu posted on the door and the fact that there is signage both on the restaurant and on the large billboard at the entrance to the parking lot that it will open soon.  If you Google it, it shows up under Google maps and the yellow pages, but there is no web site that I could find. 
 The menu was pretty standard Tex-Mex, but hey – I am a big Mexican food fan and it is only 2 miles from my house so I am excited.  I will let you know how it is once it opens. 
I just wrote that I'd love a Mexican place -- even one with a basic menu -- where everything on your plate tasted special.  Mango's Grill in Laurel was my most-recent visit, and you can't go wrong reading all the posts about R&R Taqueria in Elkridge.

The Lyndwood Shopping Center is just north of Rte 100.  It is next to the new hotel that you can see on Rte 100 west of I-95.  To get there, exit form Rte 100 onto Rte 103 North.  Turn right at the light for Mashalee Drive and look for the shopping center on the right.  These restaurants are in the section past the Giant.

26 comments:

lmc said...

I walked down to check it out after eating at Pazani tonight and a lady emerging told me it would open tomorrow (7/7).

Anonymous said...

Great food! I love to support local business efforts, especially a non-chain restaurant. Give it a try!!

MaybeKathy said...

We tried to go tonight around 7:30 and the place looked completely closed. No lights on, no one visible through the windows. Is it really open?

Josh said...

It was not, as of Friday. It looked like the contractors were doing punch-list stuff when I dropped by at lunch time.

Anonymous said...

It's open. Just stuffed myself on flautas, Churrasco, Tacos Al Pastor and Bandeja Paisa.
They have a great tequila selection and sell premiums at a reasonable price. About half what you would pay in the city.
They plan to stay open until 2am as they have a bar with 3 big TVs.
I had to special request corn tortillas for the tacos.
They are honestly listening to customer suggestions at this point.
Please suggest that they use corn tortillas!
I'm going to give them another try in a few weeks before coming to a conclusion. At this point, I will say that they have tons of potential.

dzoey said...

I tried it on Monday and again on Wednesday with the family. The food is good. My family has more conservative tastes than I do and they liked the beef fajitas and the soft chicken tacos. I had a spinach and a cheese enchilada, and the first time there I had the Sante Fe burrito. The spinach enchiladas were the best I've had in a while. The white sauce was perfect for the spinach. The Sante Fe burrito was good with lots of chunky pork, but I found it a little tough. The sauce was one I hadn't run into before, piquant, a little spicy, and a faint flavor that I thought was mustard, but turned out to be turmeric.

The chips are home made, but the salsa, which is not very spicy but packs a lot of flavor, is delicious. Even my wife, the pickiest eater, couldn't get enough of it.

They have a choice of three types of rice, white, Mexican, or Poblano. They're all good, but I really liked the Poblano and it's something I hadn't run into before. There are quite a few items on this menu that you don't find in the other Tex-Mex restaurants in HoCo.

The downside is the service. This is a family place, you are greeted by the owners 10 year old daughter, and they are using local high school kids as waiters. The kids are polite and enthusiastic but are still learning what's involved in being a waiter. When I ordered the enchiladas, I asked for one cheese and one spinach. Sometime later, the waiter came by and told me that the enchiladas came in threes so they've added one - she thought cheese, but it turned out to be spinach. She should have asked me what I wanted the third to be, even though they chose what I would have said. The waiters don't know the menu and asking them questions about the menu yields either wrong or no information. All this is solvable with experience, and the waiters are trying hard. The owner came by and asked for feedback and seemed to be paying attention since service improved between Monday and Wednesday.

We will go back - the food is excellent and the improvements I've seen in service give me hope.

Anonymous said...

Just had dinner there and it was great! You should totally try the shredded beef enchiladas. The churros were yummy as well.

Anonymous said...

Hubby and I went. I had the beef fajitas and he had honey mustartd shrimp. My fajitas were great! Really good quality of meat in them. The shrimp was nicely done and there were plenty of them. Will for sure go back and bring friends!

kelbymommy said...

My husband and I went there last night and I had the shrimp and crab quesidillas and the guacamole. Both were really excellent... the quesidillas were actually better than I remember the ones at Pachangas in Laurel being. We will definitely go back!

Josh K said...

I give it a thumbs up as well. We got carry-in this weekend, but I enjoyed sitting at the bar sipping beer and eating chips while I waited. The chorizo burrito was good, stacking up with Frisco's. I thought the use of refried beans was a bit of a throw back, but I actually liked it once I got over the surprise. The Mexican veggie "spring rolls" (sort of flautas) appetizer was really good. Considering this was their first week, I was pleased.

Drew said...

Wow. My girlfriend and I walked into this place yesterday and were taken aback by the dozen or so stressed out employees running around each other. The bartender literally yelled at one of the waiters to greet us, and after being ignored she came around to seat us herself. Once seated she asked if we wanted drinks. "What type of Mexican beer do you have" I asked. "I'm not Mexican, so I don't know" replied the bartender. I wish I were kidding about this. This pretty much summed up our whole visit. The margarita was basically green water with tequila in it, the dining room was hot (83 degrees according to the thermostat I saw walking to the restroom) and the food took nearly 30 minutes to arrive at our table. The food was decent - I'd say a 7 out of 10, but if these people don't hire someone who knows how to manage a restaurant, and quickly, they won't be around long.

Anonymous said...

Sour grapes to the previous writer. It just opened! It's not a franchise!! Support local businesses, for goodness sake! Give them a chance! The food is very good, and of high quality.

kam said...

Went last night. The food was quite good. I had the grilled chicken tacos. The chicken was marinated in something that was a bit spicy and very tasty, and the tortillas were sweet and flavorful. (I know invoking a chain is probably bad, but they reminded me of the tortillas at Baja Fresh.)

The service was a bit slow. The waiters were all pretty young and are still learning, but they were pleasant.

The downside was that most of the booths and tables were full, so I ended up sitting across from a door and right in the sunshine on what was the hottest day of the year so far. It cooled down a bit over time, and the waitstaff brought plenty of water, but if I knew there had been a better table available I would have asked to move to that. I probably should have suggested that they put a shade over the door.

The menu has several more things that I want to try (the carnitas tacos sound really good) but I think I'll wait a bit until the weather has cooled down some.

~kam

Anonymous said...

Took the family there tonight. Great authentic Tex-Mex food--something that's been somewhat lacking around Ellicott City. Thumbs up.

Anonymous said...

We stopped by for lunch today and the food was great! shared the Hidalgo Special which includes a chicken tamale, shredded beef taco, beef enchilada and chicken enchilada. Also had the chile releno. Both came with rice and beans. Food tasted very fresh. We will definitely be visiting again...probably next weekend.

Vicky said...

Stopped by with my husband today. He had the Cinco de Mayo platter and I had the chile rellenos. Both were excellent, and we had a lot of food left over. Genuine Mexican flavors, and it's not a chain. Love it!

Cissy said...

Amazing Tres Leches Cake and all margaritas are made with agave instead of mix. Yes, the owner's kids help out at the restaurant, but I like that. And the owner stopped by our table for a chat and couldn't have been nicer. He asked for feedback because he said, "If I don't know you don't like it, I can't fix it." We went back twice in one week.

bboyneko said...

I am going to try this place tomorrow. It is worth mentioning that the owners are Colombian and carry several authentic Colombian dishes in the menu mixed in with the tex-mex food. The Bandeja Paisa is as Colombian as it gets, same with the arepa con queso, platanos con bocadillo and soursop juice with milk.

brandon said...

The Baltimore Sun just ran a very complimentary review of it (http://bit.ly/9yoWl2). I'll have to try it soon.

This is also coming right after a lunch review of Shin Chon (http://bit.ly/biwwzg). Two Howard County restaurants in a row.

Jade's Mama said...

A group of us went there this past week, based on favorable online reviews. They brought us chips and salsa. I must admit that I am a chips and salsa fiend and the chips were thin and crispy and the salsa was fresh and sassy -- lots of raw onion. I prefer grilled vegetables pureed into salsa, but this fresh version was tasty -- if you enjoy raw onions, which I do.

We began with the Guadalupe rolls. They were pleasant enough, but our party preferred the southwest-style rolls from another restaurant (albeit, chain). Then, I had the Hildalgo House Special, which I enjoyed with the exception of the "crispy" beef taco, which had lost its crisp and the beef was a bit dry. The other pieces of the Special were TASTY! Esp. with the green sauce and Mexican cheese. Oh, and I also recommend the refried beans and Mexican rice, when given a choice. Flavorful!

My friend enjoyed her bean and cheese chimichanga. The servings were huge!

Our party also ordered the El Hildalgo Burrito and Chile Relleno. Unfortunately, these California boys were not impressed. Their Chile Relleno lacked breading. And well, how can one compete with a real San Francisco burrito? :-) So, if there are any other California transplants out there, please pass recommendations for good Mexican restaurants (i.e., Cal Mex)!

So overall, tasty to little DC chick. Underwhelming to California crowd.

Anonymous said...

http://elhidalgorestaurant.com/
HI guys thanks for all these comments n us. We really appreciate you guys taking your time to post. We try hard everyday and the link on the top is a link to website. Pass it on and thank you for your time

Anonymous said...

This food is better than any other Mexican restaurant In town. The food is always fresh and the chips and salsa rocks! The service may be a bit slow but the staff really appreciates return customers! I will never eat at any other Mexican restaurant while in Howard County.

Anonymous said...

This food is better than any other Mexican restaurant In town. The food is always fresh and the chips and salsa rocks! The service may be a bit slow but the staff really appreciates return customers! I will never eat at any other Mexican restaurant while in Howard County.

HowChow said...

@Anon from 11/20: Thanks for the Web link and the posts. The preferred protocol is that people who work for/with a restaurant post comments that disclose the fact. Pick a name. Feel free to post. But they tell people how they're connected to the restaurant. So the first comment was great. The second and third comments and the comments on all those other posts were not exactly what I'd like. I love comments that play fair, but I have deleted a few in the past where I thought people abused the situation.

Michelle said...

My sister came down from NY for the holidays, and I had been dying to get to El Hidalgo. I've been on the hunt for a Mexican place that could make me happy and my sister happy when she comes into town. Last night, my sister, my husband, my 7 month old daughter and I went to check this place out. It was very quiet, which was great because I don't like the loud places. The staff was extremely attentive. The owner was at the bar and welcomed us when we walked in. The waiter asked me when I left if I was satisfied with the service (I had mentioned that I read about El Hidalgo on a blog I love)!

The dishes: where to start? I couldn't decide what to get (decisions, decisions), so I went with the chicken enchiladas and a pork tamale. I chowed down my entire plate, but was disappointed in myself that I couldn't finish the tamale (I'll be eating that for lunch today). I was extremely pleased with the enchiladas. My sister had the ground beef enchiladas, and my husband had a chimichanga.

My sister mentioned one improvement that could be made with the menu: to perhaps mention what countries the dishes from the very south come from. One dish was from Argentina, but she was curious about the others.

I was happy with everything, but the fact that my sister was happy says it all. I think we found our new Mexican restaurant.

Michelle said...

P.S. Addition to my comment from above...this is coming from a transplanted Texan! I'm from San Antonio and for the love of God can not find a Mexican place I have been pleased with! Ditto for my sister.