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“Good Service, Very Average Food”

Puerto Nuevo Restaurant
Ranked #4 of 54 Restaurants in Banner Elk
Certificate of Excellence
Cuisines: Mexican
Dining options: After-hours, Reservations
Restaurant details
Dining options: After-hours, Reservations
Reviewed 12 March 2018

While on a day trip to pre-plan an upcoming vacation to the Boone/Banner Elk area, my two companions and I stopped in Puerto Nuevo on a Sunday evening. Recommended by a nearby hotel staffer, we had high expectations and, once we found the place, we were initially intrigued by the appearance both outside and in. We were seated immediately and provided with water and menus. While the server attended to our beverage requests, we perused the menus, finding nothing out of the ordinary...no 'specialities de la casa'. When another server dropped off the obligatory chips and sa....wait, that's not salsa, that appears to be beans!* And it was, kind of a white-bean soup. We opted to add a bowl of "Choriqueso" which we tend to like under different names elsewhere. When it arrived in a hot cast-iron shallow bowl it was heaped with chorizo, a good sign. The first chip dipped, however, presented an unforeseen issue: the cheese had been overcooked, baked to where there was a thick crust on the bottom. Alas, this was no dip, it turned out more like a pie which we cut with a knife and ate in chunks (it was so thick and unwieldy that it didn't even work to stuff the accompanying tortillas!). Our other dishes included a daily special of chorizo tacos as well as beef tacos, chicken enchiladas, and chicken chimichangas. The special came with beans but not of the refried variety, they were more of a black bean dish which, with a dollop of sour cream, were deemed very good. The tacos, both chorizo and ground beef, were very pedestrian. The meat seemed overcooked as well as bland - it had no punch, no pizzaz, no character. Likewise for the enchiladas, but in fairness the chimis received a thumbs up. I ordered the only margarita in our group, top shelf/rocks/salt (I can't believe you have to specify 'rocks' for a top-shelf anything) and while it had a pleasant taste it had no tequila flavor and no 'punch'.

My take on this place: it was a marginal step up from a Taco Bell meal. The staff seemed pleasant enough, organized and efficient, although our server seemed a little unfamiliar with the menu. As a group, we thought the food quality was well below the majority of Mexican establishments we frequent.

* while the restaurant offers a 'salsa bar', our server didn't mention it; we asked because we had spied it on the way to our table. Also, it is limited to about six varieties, only four of which were labeled, to be ladled into small plastic takeout cups. None of the three we tried were anything special, lacking both flavor and heat.

    • Value
    • Service
    • Food
Thank Mark H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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29 - 33 of 428 reviews

Reviewed 24 February 2018 via mobile

They serve you beans with the chips but have an awesome salsa bar with 6-8 different kinds. La Favorita was awesome. Recommend stopping by here while in Banner Elk.

Thank Justin V
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 February 2018 via mobile

Been to a lot of Mexican restaurants. This can rank near the top. Service was good. Food excellent. Chorizo nachos were better than expected. Next time we are back for ski season, we will come here. Had 2 couples and 3 kids combined with ages between 2 and 5 and had no issues.

Thank J.T. C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 February 2018 via mobile

From the moment we walked in to the moment we paid, the staff made us feel like home.
Food was great. We would definitely go bavk again.

Thank Alfredo G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 February 2018

We had eaten here last year and had a much better experience. The food was good, however we felt rushed by our server and not made to feel welcome. We ordered two medium margaritas and it cost 34.00 dollars. Prices not listed on menu and definitely should have asked but who would think they were 17.00 dollars apiece. We asked our server and she acted really annoyed that we asked. Probably wont go back.

    • Value
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1  Thank DOYSTERBAR
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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