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“Eclectic, fun decor and colors. Pretty good food. so-so location.”

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El Camino Restaurant
Ranked #27 of 106 Restaurants in Brunswick
Certificate of Excellence
Cuisines: Mexican
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Bar Scene, Child-friendly
Dining options: Dinner, Full Bar, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Waitstaff
Portland, Maine
Level Contributor
54 reviews
43 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
“Eclectic, fun decor and colors. Pretty good food. so-so location.”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 15 February 2014

There was a line to get in. It opens at 5:00 and there were maybe a dozen of us waiting for them to open up. This was my first trip, though I've driven by hundreds of times and heard good things many times.

The decor--alive with rose and pink earth colors of the southwest--along with the strung colored lights and Mexican style hangings from the ceiling..... All of this plus the music which to me sounded like a Quentin Tarantino movie... Well the whole first impression was that I had walked onto a Tarantino movie set. The overall impression was fun and colorful and red.

Service was prompt and appropriately cordial. Fresh ingredients in the salads and entrees along with just a hint of a pleasant southwestern style flavor in the dressing. Decent but not huge portions. Typical combinations of beans and rice with a meat and with chips and salsa, or similar ingredients in a quesadilla. Food was quite good, maybe not excellent. Reasonable prices.

Didn't try a margarita. Most of the wines by the glass were a tad pricey. Decent selection of brews on tap. Flan for dessert sounded great though we didn't have room for.

Very popular spot. Enjoyable ambiance. Good food. Modest location in a residential neighborhood a few blocks from the main town center.

  • Visited February 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
2 Thank Mango_kayak
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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104 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
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    6
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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Brunswick, Maine
Level Contributor
8 reviews
7 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Full of themselves”
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 13 February 2014

We have been a few times and, frankly, we just were not rich enough for them. The owner is very snotty and will not seat you until everyone is present… not a minute before. When we were there no people were there and yet they still made us wait. We finally lied and said everyone was there and sat down and when our last person arrived the owner actually chastised us! The food is pretentious and frankly not all that good. We are done going there.

  • Visited January 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
3 Thank Biff H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Brunswick, Maine
Level Contributor
32 reviews
14 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
“Character in both food and ambience!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 February 2014

El Camino is really Mexican fusion, rather than authentic Mexican, and so much the better--they do a great job with it. I had sweet potato sausage quesadillas and they were great. That was from the menu: every night they also have a specials board, reflecting to some extent what is seasonally available. Place seems to have been decorated by someone just back from Mexico with a trunkful of odds and ends and in a high fever--Christmas lights, paper hangings, colored glass, everything they could get their hands on. Not everyone's ideal--definitely not the tranquil restaurant decor some would like--but I think it works. Fun all around and really interesting food.

Visited January 2014
Helpful?
1 Thank utilitarianatlarge
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Brunswick, Maine
Level Contributor
20 reviews
17 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
“The best place in town!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 9 January 2014

El Camino is an absolutely fabulous little spot to eat real food. This place is funky and fun. Don't expect "classic" chain Mexican restaurant fair drowning in melted cheese. If you want all you can eat chips and orange colored rice, this is not the place for you. The food if fresh and flavorful and always creative. The chips and salsa are made fresh and served with lime wedges. The variety of seafood dishes, including shrimp and scallops is amazing. There are always specials made from local ingredients. The grilled orange and ancho chile rubbed skirt steak tacos are just divine. The drinks are simply delicious. Made with fresh ingredients at the hipster bar, you won't be served electric green Margaritas from a mix. The Hibiscus Margarita is one of my favorites. You can enjoy dinner in the dining room decorated with everything from Christmas lights to hub caps. Or sit at the padded bar and sip your way through the drink specials. Arrive early as the locals know this is the place to be. El Camino is the perfect date night or friend gathering spot. I have to force myself to try other places, but always find myself coming back to best place in town.

  • Visited December 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Lawlass2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Boston, Massachusetts
1 review
“Local, Organic, Delicious”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 9 January 2014

My wife and I eat at many restaurants, and frequently. This is among the top 3 we've been to. Everything is local and organic. Whenever we are there, it's a younger crowd and families. It's not typical Mexican because we're at a different latitude, but it is very creative. Eat the Cider-braised Pork Belly Tacos. You can taste how happy that pig was recently.

  • Visited January 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank ajsinc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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