Every prince knows that the most effective way to wake up a sleeping beauty is not with a boring kiss, but with a single potent drop of fiery green chili. Awaken tired taste buds in royal fashion with today’s Groupon: for $15, you get $30 worth of fare and drinks at El Pinto in North Valley. If you redeem your Groupon Monday through Wednesday, you get $35 worth of fare.
The New Mexican Cuisine of choice for locals since 1962, El Pinto presents a palate-pleasing menu overflowing with the venue’s signature chilies, which are grown and roasted with meticulous care. From the half rack of red chile ribs ($13.99) to one of the best nachos in America according to the Wall Street Journal ($10.99), El Pinto’s appetizers offer a tasty activation for lethargic stomachs. Traditional plates include dual chili rellenos, served with pinto beans and rice ($14.49), and chicken enchiladas in three corn tortillas stuffed with yard bird, cheddar, and either green or red chili ($17.49), all made fresh on the premises. Partner an 8-ounce, charbroiled ground-chuck burger ($9.99) with an El Pinto premium margarita ($7.99/glass), then snack on the custardy flan de crema for dessert ($5.99).
Whether eating inside the vine-covered food fortress or near the crackle of the natural wood fireplaces throughout the restaurant, patrons never wait for attractive ambience at El Pinto. The restaurant, which has been featured on The Today Show and the History Channel’s Food Tech, shares its 12-acre kingdom with a sauce factory that has the capacity to churn out between three and four million jars of red- and green-chili salsas every year. Savor the spicy flavors of traditional New Mexican cooking with today’s Groupon to El Pinto.
The Today Show featured El Pinto while Weekly Alibi awarded the restaurant as the best place to take out-of-town guests, best atmosphere, and best outdoor dining in 2010. Albuquerque The Magazine also gave El Pinto best patio dining, best green chile and best guacamole. El Pinto won Best of Citysearch in 2005 for Outdoor Dining, and Citysearchers give the restaurant an average of 4.5 stars. Reviewers are polarized on the food, but they enjoy the atmosphere and beautiful patio dining area. More than 60 Yelpers give it an average of three stars, Yahoo! Locals give it 3.5 stars, and TripAdvisors give it an average of 3.5 owl eyes. More than 2,000 Facebookers are friends of El Pinto:
- Their patio dining area is extensive, romantic, beautiful and very New Mexican. There are plenty of huge shade trees and umbrellas, fountains and a fireplace or two. – LynninNM, TripAdvisor
You don't earn the title "The Salsa Twins" for nothing. Brothers Jim and John Thomas take their salsas very seriously, as they are essentially a family heirloom, made using recipes handed down by their grandmother. The twins' parents first opened El Pinto as a seven-seat restaurant in 1962. The name's translation ("the spot") has become more and more appropriate over the course of the now world-renowned eatery's history. Jim and John took over the business in the early 1990s, expanding it into a 12-acre destination restaurant that seats more than 1,200 locals and visiting celebrities, presidents, and wedding guests in five patios, three indoor dining rooms, and a cantina.
But they wouldn't have experienced such profound success—and earned their nickname—were it not for their signature salsas. When customers began requesting that they bottle the mouthwatering condiments more than 10 years ago, Jim and John started a cook-and-bottle night shift at the restaurant. The popularity of their products has grown faster than a cactus in Martha Stewart’s sandbox; you can find them at leading retailers across the country, and you may have seen Lester Holt enjoying them on Today. The twins use flame-roasted and hand-peeled green chilies from New Mexico in all their products, which they manufacture onsite. Their 8,000-square-foot production facility was featured on an episode of History's Food Tech show.
And green chilies aren't the only ingredients the twins are picky about. Somewhere in a supply warehouse between California and New Mexico, thousands of avocados are slowly ripening in three temperature-controlled zones, destined for the restaurant's famous guacamole. El Pinto—voted Best New Mexican Restaurant by Albuquerque The Magazine—mixes fresh onion, housemade salsa, and the kind of creamy hass avocados you can only find in California. You'll also taste the verdant mixture atop El Pinto’s nachos, which the Wall Street Journal has called some of the best in America. The restaurant's combination of Old-World hospitality and authentic ingredients has also earned it numerous awards from the Weekly Alibi, with some of the area's best sopapillas and margaritas.