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“Hit and Miss”
Review of US Bar and Restaurant - CLOSED

US Bar and Restaurant
Price range: US$6 - US$49
Cuisines: Mexican, Seafood, Steakhouse
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Dining options: Lunch, Dinner
Description: U.S. Bar & Restaurant is a 100% Family Restaurant. We serve Mexican food, Sea food and Steaks.Family Owned since 1945, the first one was opened in matamoros.We want to bring good quality food, always made fresh, and a nice ambience to the island.Our margaritas are hand made as well as our salsas and every thing that you order from the menu will be made fresh.Enjoy our welcoming staff, friendly music and great food.
Austin, Texas
Level 6 Contributor
120 reviews
81 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 119 helpful votes
“Hit and Miss”
Reviewed 20 June 2012

We have a condo close by and were really excited to see the US Bar open. We were aware of its roots in Matamoros, and ate at the Drive Inn years ago (very good), but US Bar is hit and miss. After two dinners and a lunch, here is my take, and I’m not surprised that the feedback varies from “great” to “worst”.

On our first night, our family of four had great service and the meals were generally good with the exception of the stuffed flounder, which was not good. The Tampiquena Steak was good, but the steak was fist sized so that was disappointing, but overall it was good.

Our second visit was rather curious as we ate lunch and encountered a poorly trained staff. We started with an order of “Panchos”, which anyone from that area knows as bean and cheese nachos. The waiter had to turn around and ask if “we have Panchos?”! Seriously, do you need to ask if they have chips and salsa? But, he was nice enough and tried, though it was clear he had little to no training. On top of it, our kids’ meals came out well after ours, and there were maybe ten other folks in the restaurant at the time, so moderately disappointing.

On our last trip, we gathered with a large group on a Friday night and the place was doing good business. Our waiter did a fairly good job of managing a large table, but it became clear to me that there was not a central individual (GM) managing the restaurant as you’d typically see. It was fairly chaotic. I did notice the menus had changed and they added many more items (maybe not a good thing for this place), and several of the menus were missing sections, so the group had to pass around the missing sections from person to person. I noted the Tampiquena plate had curiously changed with quesadillas replacing an enchilada and tamale. My wife ordered this anyway, and it actually worked out as the steak was far more substantial this time and generally good. I decided to play what I thought was a safe bet and order the filet mignon…..mistake. Our meals took a long time to arrive and we were told the “steaks are holding it up”. Medium rare stakes don’t take long so this was baffling to me. When the steaks arrived, I soon learned why. It was very apparent they were frozen and quickly thawed (my buddy’s literally had a hole in the middle of it). As my buddy put it, “this is the driest medium rare steak I’ve ever had”. While it appeared medium rare, the juices were gone, and the meat was below Select grade as my temples grew sore chewing it. Overall, the group had fun (margaritas were good and served in great glassware), but the food was below average.

This place has a ton of potential, and I’m rooting for it, but they need to do a good deal of training and kitchen management to deliver a consistent level of food and service.

  • Visited June 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank TXtraveler67
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

13 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    5
    3
    2
    1
    2
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
2 reviews
“Worst food and service I have ever had!”
Reviewed 9 June 2012

Waited 1.75 hours to get our food. It was disgusting and inedible. Kids menu is chicken nuggets only. The place is not FAMILY FRIENDLY. Well done steak was brought out barely rare. They would not comp the disgusting food that we did not eat! Drinks were just as bad! This San Antonio guy will never eat there again. Do yourself a favor and eat at Sea Ranch, Blackbeard's, or a major hotel. For fast food Whataburger is pretty safe. I will never eat there again; in fact I wouldn't eat that slop tonight. :/

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Jeffreyedmonds66
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Josue C, Manager at US Bar and Restaurant, responded to this review, 12 June 2012
Dear customer. Thank you for taking your tie to give us your feed back.
We sincerely apologize for the bad experience that you had at our Restaurant.
Normally we would comp the food and I would make shire to talk to you, please excuse us if we were particularly busy that day.
We've been working on the menu and kitchen staff so this will not happen again. Our kids menu now has chalupas, chicken fingers, kids burgers and chicken nuggets.
I invite you to give us another try.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Austin, Texas
Level 3 Contributor
14 reviews
5 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Great atmosphere and friendly people!”
Reviewed 24 May 2012

We went for late night drinks - great atmosphere, quiet, and very friendly bartender (owner?) Good drinks and they brought out some free appetizers. Salsas and sauces are very good and the fried jalapenos were delicious.

  • Visited May 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank LynneC_TX
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Josue C, Manager at US Bar and Restaurant, responded to this review, 12 June 2012
Dear customer, Thank you for your feed back.
We are really glad that you enjoy our restaurant.
Yes, the owner usually behind the bar or even waiting tables. Some times he just helps at the kitchen.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Austin, Texas
Level 5 Contributor
75 reviews
51 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
“Quaint Local Jewel”
Reviewed 5 May 2012

You are greeted as soon as you come in. Sit up at the bar and enjoy handmade margaritas (rocks or frozen) with the cute little plastic monkey hanging from the rim. Several times during our visit the bartender offered up free appetizers to all the patrons ranging from cheezy/salsa potato wedges to chips and dip. The food was excellent and the bartender let us request whatever songs we wanted. Another mom and pop business that needs to stay around so GO!

Visited April 2012
Helpful?
Thank Nicole_Gus_2010
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Josue C, Manager at US Bar and Restaurant, responded to this review, 12 June 2012
Dear customer, thank you for your feed back.
We are glad to hear about your experience at the U.S. Bar & Restaurant and hope to have you back soon!
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Brownsville
1 review
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“One of the best restaurants in the area”
Reviewed 15 April 2012

My family and I used to enjoy going to the US Bar, Texas Bar, and Drive-Inn in Matamoros, Mex. years ago. Their food and service was always the best. All the dishes - seafood and meats were exquisite, and not to mention the desserts, which were also very good. Having a sweet tooth, I would always enjoy them. We held a few social events at the Texas Bar and US Bar with the same excellent service. I was saddened to find out that these places had closed down. So, when I found out from the owner, Mr. Jesus Leal, that he had opened the US Bar at South Padre, I was elated. His family was the one who started the restaurants 35 years ago in Matamoros, and I was told that it was the same menu, same everything. I couldn't wait to go until, finally, we went last night. I went to the US Bar last night with my daughter and son-in-law. We had a great time, the food was excellent as well as the service. Mr. Leal is very down-to-earth and hospitable. Our waiter, Paul, made us feel right at home and was very friendly and helpful. Everyone there is very friendly. The place is clean with a great atmosphere. We ordered red snapper and filet mignon that were cooked to perfection. We also had some stuffed mushrooms as appetizers that were to die for, Everything was delicious and we finished everything. The sides were also very good. Their seafood and meats have always been fresh. Oh, and I couldn't leave without having a dessert. I ordered a tiramisu to go. Well, I couldn't wait to get home and ate it on my way back to Brownsville. It was soooooo good. I have never tried their cabrito but my dad and uncle used to say that it was finger licking good. Several friends that have tried it too claim that it is the best, with a very unique flavor. Overall, this place is awesome with the kind of service that everyone deserves. Some of the dishes may be pricey but they are worth their value.Thirty-five years of experience of the best quality food say a lot.

  • Visited April 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank Elma M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Josue C, Manager at US Bar and Restaurant, responded to this review, 12 June 2012
Dear customer, thank you for taking the time to give us your feed back.
Yes, we are from the same family as the Texas Bar and Drive in.
We are trying to bring all that friendly ambience to the Island.
Make sure to check our website as we are expanding our dessert menu.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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