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“What a let down”
Review of El Monte Grill & Lounge - CLOSED

El Monte Grill & Lounge
Price range: US$ 9 - US$ 18
Cuisines: Mexican
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Bar Scene, Romantic, Groups, Special Occasion Dining, Business meetings, Local cuisine
Dining options: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, After-hours, Reservations
Dining style: Casual Dining
Cross street: College and Prospect
Transit: Future development will have the Mason Street corridor at our back door. RTD bus stop with-in 3 blocks.
Reviewed 19 January 2012

After reading so many positive reviews about this place, we couldn't wait to go in and check it out. Being the sister restaurant of the Rio Grande, we figured it couldn't be half bad. We hit up the El Monte Grill during happy hour with a strong desire to try some specialty drinks and margaritas.

Atmosphere: The outside of the El Monte Grill has bright lights detracting from the fact the place looks like a store front. There is a patio right out front, facing the parking lot. Once inside you will see dark wood floors covered with rows of booths and tables. The horse-shoe shaped bar is to the left and lined with booths and a few high top tables. The dimly- lit- bar- area is painted a burnt sienna color and lined with hanging pendent lights as well as cute star shaped lanterns. The place has an upscale and trendy feel, but not a lot of room to move around when it gets crowded.

Service: We sat at the bar and a specialty menu was thrown our way. The Bartender was less than friendly and seemed annoyed while making drinks. Maybe she had a bad day? But she didn't stop there. She would gripe to any employee who would listen about poor tips or errors on drink orders. Several servers and managers roamed the bar area as well and did not bother to assist her, while our glasses sat empty. Overall the service sucked and employees were not the least bit friendly.

Drinks: The drink menu, we were given at the bar, offers margarita's (no special flavors), mojitos, beer, wine and a few specialty drinks like the "Esteban". They do have a few beers on tap and your favorite Mexican imports in a bottle. We started with the Margarita and the Esteban, but were disappointed with the size portions at $4 a pop during happy hour (normally $8). We then switched to Modelo Especial and Dos Equis xx at $2 a pop (normally $4). They do carry a large selection of tequila's and tequila inspired beverages as well.

Thank BarComber
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
ElMonteGrill, General Manager at El Monte Grill & Lounge, responded to this reviewResponded 26 January 2012

I would like to offer a sincere apology that your experience at El Monte was not a good one. We set a high standard of service for our staff to adhere to, and it sounds as though we fell quite short of both yours and our expectations. We feel that our happy hour is one of the best deals around -- $4 Estebans, $6 coin margaritas, $5 mojitos, $5 glasses of our house wines, and $2 off all of the eight beers that we have on tap. We also offer several food specials during happy hour, including $2 off our killer guacamole. Both locals and visitors frequent our happy hour, and I hope that you will give us another try so that we may show you how great we are. Please accept my apologies, and I hope to see you in El Monte again soon.

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Reviews (132)
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86 - 90 of 132 reviews

Reviewed 19 January 2012

One of the new guys in town, El Monte is located in one of the older, definitely not upscale, strip malls on South College. The interior is very pleasant and you always get a pleasant welcome. Food I have had is good, but not great. Known for fresh, homemade guacamole and a variety of tequillas.

Thank DoctorRob1223
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
ElMonteGrill, General Manager at El Monte Grill & Lounge, responded to this reviewResponded 26 January 2012

We are so glad that you chose to dine with us at El Monte. We are located in mid-town Fort Collins, and we like to think of ourselves as the alternative to Old Town. Our convenient location provides our customers with plenty of parking and an intimate setting, which we find is a nice change from the crowded establishments in downtown. You can't beat our made-to-order guacamole, and we have over 40 top-shelf tequilas and mezcals in our bar. Thanks for the review, and we'll see you next time!

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Reviewed 17 January 2012

Live in Dallas, so I have been spoiled with good Tex-Mex and more authentic Mexican food. After several trips to Fort Collins, I have found only one restaurant that offers Tex-Mex fare (appropirately called Rio Grande Grill), and most local restaurants lean toward New Mexico style cooking. So I was thrilled to stumble on El Monte Grill which offers fantastic authentic Mexican food in the style of the interior of Mexico, like chicken mole, Veracruz-style fish, steak, and three types of chili rellenos (i.e., stuffed poblano peppers.) The house margaritas were good; perhaps better than some of the specials. The interior was very Mexico modern; not the adobe wall stereotype found elsewhere. Staff was friendly and management visible. Make reservations for a weekend night. Nice live music some nights. (Not too loud.) Great fun. Don't let the strip shopping center's older appearance turn you away.

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
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    • Food
Thank Zotemail
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
ElMonteGrill, General Manager at El Monte Grill & Lounge, responded to this reviewResponded 26 January 2012

We like to think that we bring a unique cuisine to Fort Collins. Our owners have spent a great deal of time in Mexico, including a trip to attend cooking school with Rick Bayless in Oaxaca, so our menu includes many authentic dishes from interior Mexico. You won't find chile rellenos like our anywhere else in town. Thank you for dining with us, and we hope to see you next time you are in town!

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Reviewed 5 January 2012

Holy guacamole this place is yummy! Homemade,customizeable guac is a favorite, seafood tastes like seafood. Everything is fresh and tastes like food, not typical Mexican-American cheese goo. Tons of high-end tequila. Service can be mixed, but the food is worth it.

Thank Cassyt
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
ElMonteGrill, General Manager at El Monte Grill & Lounge, responded to this reviewResponded 26 January 2012

Thank you! We are awfully proud of our guacamole. We are firm believers in using fresh, local produce and organic groceries whenever possible. Making our guacamole to order is just one example of the extra steps we take to ensure a remarkable dining experience. We are glad that we are in your top 5, and we look forward to seeing you next time!

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Reviewed 14 December 2011

I love-love-love El Monte! I go there for happy hour specials and end up staying for hours just living, laughing and loving the atmosphere. The exotic guac is a MUST. I detest Mexican food, but El Monte's fusion of Mexican and contemporary delicacies is VERY appealing to my palate. I highly recommend this restaurant to those who want to impress friends, family and colleagues!

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank Rhiannon H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
ElMonteGrill, General Manager at El Monte Grill & Lounge, responded to this reviewResponded 26 January 2012

We're glad to hear it! The Esteban is a popular guy, that's for sure. We may be a little partial, but we think that our atmosphere and ambiance make El Monte one of the best places to relax and unwind in town. Thank you for the nice review, and we hope to see you again soon! Say hi when you are in next time.

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