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Hours
Mon - Thu 11:00 am - 9:00 pm, Fri - Sun 11:30 am - 9:00 pm
Price Range
$$
Neighborhoods
Southeast Uplift, Sellwood-Moreland
AKA

El Palenque Restaurant

El Palenque Mexican Restaurant

Categories
Mexican Restaurants, Latin American Restaurants, Restaurants
Other Information

Cuisines: Mexican, Latin American

Price Range : Average

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Reviews

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BDX

08/20/2010

Provided by Citysearch - 
Overall
Tasty food, friendly staff

Loved the papusas. I have heard of their papusas butd finally made it there today. Wow, it was just great!

They were so gracious and talked me through the pauusas options. Funny thing, I never even saw the menu, I orered on their recommendation and was delighted.

srkkreddy

07/12/2010

Provided by Citysearch - 
Overall
Nothing to boast about w.r.t. food

The cheese pupusas was pathetic (chicharon pupusa was okay). Tamale was okay.... nothing we had was great, just okay to bad items.
Also, I was quite surprised to see an almost empty restaurant on a Friday evening.
Maybe, I can't appreciate authentic (if they can be called so) mexican/salvadorian food.

feliznavidad

02/12/2010

Provided by Citysearch - 
Overall
Romantic, Delicious food and drinks, Great service!

We ate there last night. My boyfriend surprised me with a giftcard for Valentines day but we wanted to go last night to have a better experience.
When we walked in, only a few people sat in at this restaurant so it was quite and romantic. We were greeted by a nice gentleman who served us chips and salsa. Delicious!
We ordered the S3 plater which serves 3-4 people for 32.00. It comes with 8 plates. We had to move to a different table. haha.
Everything was wonderful! It was my first time having Salvadorian food, and it will NOT be the last time. The server was very friendly and knowledgeable about the food selection which made us feel very special.
This restaurant is one of the best we have ever been to. The drinks were also amazing. We enjoyed our experience very much.
There are half off coupons right now if you want to try this place. 25.00 giftcard for 12.50 on the 1080 the fan site. PortlandPerks.
GREAT GREAT GREAT! Recommend to friends and family.

CDB1

12/18/2009

Provided by Citysearch - 
Overall
Great Food!!

Great Central American food at a great price.... Owner is really invloved in your satifaction... Would go there more but live across the river in Washington...

Phil O

12/02/2009

Provided by Citysearch - 
Overall
Awesome Food and Service!!!

I've lived in El Salvador before... And these guys have the best Salvadorian food... The pupusas are the best!!! We also had their Guatemalan enchiladas... Wow. Best I've ever had. My kids enjoyed the food as well, Cheese Pupusas and mexican tacos... everything about this place is great. We're ready to go again!!! I recommend it to all my friends. If you haven't been to El Palenque, it's time!

JimKanoff

03/13/2009

Provided by Citysearch - 
Overall
Wonderful Food

We sampled a couple of the guacomoles - very good.
Try the Special for two - a fantastic assortment of close to a dozen items - fresh, spicy, and large portions - lots of great leftovers!
Give this local family business a try.

Overall
Salvadorian side of El Palenque

I have a heads up about the kind of cuisine. My Fiancee is from El Salvador. So I was able to ask his opinion on the food. The food is very similar to the food from his hometown. The main difference is the freshness. But that can be said for any restaurant that is far from its roots. I personaly found the food wonderful and the service adequate. I have had better but the better one has closed. For the lack of buisness and wrong location. But I have been back to El Palenque and will certinly go back.

CindyEs

09/03/2008

Provided by Citysearch - 
Overall
Best Salad ever

i have no idea what they use for their dressing - but it is fantastic. Hard to try other items on the menu because the salad is so good, the pork just melts in your mouth. We don't go often enough.

SPDX

08/24/2008

Provided by Citysearch - 
Overall
Great service, food and experience

I stumbled upon this restaurant when looking for take out. I loved it! It smelled terrific inside and the owner was very helpful and pleasant. The owner is clearly very proud of his heritage and food. I got three entrees (the pork with verde sauce, chicken flautas and carne asada) and they were all delicious, as was the mint and onion guacamole and pupusas. While I waited, the owner Joseph (he was my waiter, but I assume he was the owner) treated me to a special corn bread and I tried a really good orchata. I had a lot of fun learning about Salvadoran food and being delighted by these new tastes. I have traveled a lot and this felt like a quick trip to Salvador. Enjoy!

wecreep

05/05/2008

Provided by Citysearch - 
Overall
what a joke

Total letdown. Bad service and expensive items on the menu. The food is ok at best and definitely not worth the price you pay. I hope everybody keeps going here though. Leave the great inexpensive Mexican and Salvadoran food for the rest of us.

I really have to question anyone that has anything good to say about the menu here. What can you expect from a city that votes CHA CHA CHA best Mexican food in Portland?

kk11smile

01/14/2008

Provided by Citysearch - 
Overall
Best Mexican & Peruvian Food in Town!

Excellent food and service every visit! Great place to go for a business lunch or dinner with family!! My favs are the the Cheese & Loroco Pupusa or the Pelenque Burito. YUM!

kailuakoanna

07/03/2007

Provided by Citysearch - 
Overall
Fantastic, Friendly,

My husband and I have been going to El Palenque since it opened and every time the food has been fantastic! The owners and staff are always friendly and remember our favorites dishes. The Carnitas Pork is a must have! Whatever the occasion, party, romantic dinner, or just lunch, they are prompt and the food is perfect. For my Husbands' birthday dinner party they even surprised him with a special birthday cake, and made sure all of our guests were treated like family. And I must mention, El Palenque has the best chips and salsa in town. We love this place!

houseofpearl

11/21/2006

Provided by Citysearch - 
Overall
Dreaming of Papusas

God bless the soul that created the Papusa. I have been to this place 3 times and I still can't bring myself to order anything else. Don't get me wrong, the menu is amazing. They have an entire page of guac dips and a world of other great sounding dishes but the Papusas, oh the papusa and all its cheesy black-beany goodness!!! Our server never mentioned, luckily the kitchen staff clued us in: put the cole-slaw stuff on top if the papusa...don't eat it on the side. Oh, and the house margarita is great!
*Friendly staff
*Great menu
*Fun neighborhood
*Frequent Lunch card (buy 8 lunches get one free)

hurricanesoccer

07/30/2006

Provided by Citysearch - 
Overall
Bones in the food?

2 of the 3 times my partner and I have been to El Palenque we've found bones in our food, and I believe the third time we didn't find any bones because all we ordered was the spicy guac. I just don't understand paying more than I would at Chevy's for a meal with bone shards in it. If they had been whole bones, say a boned chicken leg, I might not be opposed, but both occasions the bone shards were in a wrapped food vessel (burrito and enchillada). I know Chevy's is by no means authentic, but at least when I pay seventeen dollars for a meal I don't gnaw into bones. The guac is awesome though, there's many different choices, and the S.A. hot chocolate is decent but not overly spicy. Pretty much anything that doesn't have bones.

cs5becky

06/16/2006

Provided by Citysearch - 
Overall
Super Salvadoran; so so mexico

Stick to the Salvadoran platters, guacamole and Mexican hot chocolate and you will be happy you went. Leave the more ""Mexican"" part of the menu - that's what taquerias are for. A platter for 2 with cheese bread, papusa, plantano and cream...that's all you need. casual atmosphere, take a while for the check to come so just be ready to relax.

morgcrts

01/30/2006

Provided by Citysearch - 
Overall
That was not Mexican food!

I am no snob by any means but you can go to most Mexican fast food restaurants in Portland and get better food than you pay more for here. I had fajitas with steak, it tasted like beef jerky that fell in the dirt. My date had enchiladas that looked and tasted like sloppy and cheap. Margaritas were too sweet...I won't go on. Normally I would not trash a restaurant but I searched citysearch trying to impress my girl visiting from NYC were the Mexican stinks, this place is rated 9.9 in Mexican by Citysearch! Come on people! I've had better meals at Taco Bell, I'm losing faith in Citysearh!

tnrltd

12/18/2005

Provided by Citysearch - 
Overall
User review by tnrltd

Friendly and helpful service in this cozy little place made sure we will be going back again. We had questions about a few different menu items, and the server was very pleasant in describing the various dishes.

Live guitar music, playing softly, while we enjoyed our meal added to the overall experience.

With the exception of the margaritas, $6.99 for a 16oz serving was too high, plus a little more tequila would have been nice, the prices were very reasonable. Stick with a beer if you want alcohol with your meal.

The guacamole, salsa and warm fresh corn chips were fantastic. After we were done eating, we sat and listened to the music while finishing our drinks. Our server, (maybe the owner?), brought us a generous complimentary sample of their dessert-style cheese bread. It was warm, fresh and delicious. We will be going here again!

sbrundeg

09/04/2005

Provided by Citysearch - 
Overall
Great hideaway

El Palenque is a great, out-of-the-way restaurant if you want something other than standard or chain fast food. They offer Salvadorian fare (a rarity in Portland) and the Mexican dishes are delicious. The salsa is first-rate. Probably the best part about El Palenque is the great service you'll get. It's family-owned and the owner/manager/waiter/busboy is super nice and always willing to tell you something about the food or culture of his country.

tuillehomme

07/15/2005

Provided by Citysearch - 
Overall
Overpriced nothing

First off I'd just like to say I don't like to write a bad review about a restaurant, but I recently had food to go from here. In the past I had eaten in the restaurant and a decent meal. This time I had the ""Salvadorean Double Combination"" with the cheese and black bean pupusa and the what was supposed to be the Chicken Salvadorian tamale. The pupusa was a big tasteless blob of dough, cheese and a few beans. The ""chicken"" tamale turned out to be a vegetarian tamale with four small pieces of carrot and three small pieces of bell pepper, wrapped in a thick glop of greasy cornmeal. This plus a drink came to $13. For half that I could've had three tacos and a drink at the Taco place on Bybee.

shaft28

07/08/2005

Provided by Citysearch - 
Overall
Always room here

El Palenque is not on the map yet so always a table to sit at. Of course service is limited so don't expect someone to be at your elbow waiting to fill your water (unless it is the owner, she's a sweetheart).
Besides lacking servers, the food is very good. Always happy to very very happy with meals - the guac is fabulous.
Not the top place in town, but very good and worthy of your business.

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