Diner comments - "Friendly service, authentic Mexican food and great portion size. Great local get away. Love it!" 2/29/12......
Welcome to El Hidalgo Restaurant! Our menu offers both classic and modernized preparations of the regional dishes of Mexico. We take pride in bringing the best of the Mexican and Latin American cuisine to Howard County. Come and experience a celebration of color and flavors and indulge yourself in a unique Elkridge culinary treasure...........
Baltimore Sun Restaurant review: Savory Tex-Mex fare at El Hidalgo by Rob Kasper October 27,2010.......Small Elkridge restaurant serves up big portions............
Meeting and eating a new food can be exciting. The other night at El Hidalgo, a Tex-Mex restaurant in an Elkridge shopping center, I was introduced to tlacoyos.
They were Mexican corn cakes ($7) shaped like torpedoes, stuffed with chicken and topped with pico de gallo, lettuce, cheese and a tomatillo-serrano sauce. The two were served piping hot, right off the griddle. Although they were listed on the menu as an appetizer, they were big enough to be an entree. I loved their look and appreciated their corn flavor. Yet the tlacoyos were not my favorite part of the meal.
That honor would go to an old friend, chile relleno ($14). Two poblano peppers were stuffed with Chihuahua cheese, a tangy cow's milk cheese from northern Mexico, then topped with Monterey Jack cheese and served with tomatillo-serrano sauce. I have a thing for chiles rellenos, and these were some of the best I have had outside of my visits to Arizona. They were served with generous portions of refried beans and fried rice.
The stuffed peppers had a little fire to them, which I quelled with a glass of Stella Artois ($4.50), the closest thing to a craft beer on the menu. The restaurant also had a reasonable wine list and an extensive and impressive list of tequilas.
Located at the end of a shopping center on Marshalee Drive, El Hidalgo is a small, midprice restaurant with a bar and booths and tables made of polished wood. It is cozy, not fancy. The top of the plate glass windows are covered with logos of Anheuser-Busch beers. The weeknight my wife and I visited, the restaurant filled up with couples and families.
While I had the best entree, my wife had the best appetizer. That was good old guacamole, ($4 for a small order). The avocado was fresh, and the spicing was superb. Good things can come in small, green servings.
For her entree, she chose the house special ($15), an array of four dishes: a beef taco, chicken enchilada, pork burrito and chicken tamale. The taco, enchilada and burrito were quite good, the tamale less so. These came with a serving of so-so black beans and delightfully light poblano rice.
This was a lot of food, yet somehow I found room for dessert. The flan ($4) was creamy, sweet and silky.
The service was spotty, though. We had a young man who was pleasant and tried very hard, but as he acknowledged, was new to the job. Our rice orders were mixed up; one of our appetizers arrived after our entrees. Our server did not know what tlacoyos were. But now we both do.
El Hidalgo calls itself Tex-Mex, but the menu is extensive and the dishes dip into Latin America. Its portions are large, its flavors winning. The service is a work in progress.
Where: 6060 Marshalee Drive, Elkridge
Hours: 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Monday-Thursday, 11 a.m.-midnight Friday-Saturday, 11 a.m.- 10 p.m. Sunday
Credit Cards: American Express, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
[Outstanding: ✭✭✭✭Good: ✭✭✭ Fair or uneven: ✭✭Poor:✭]
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Below is a listing of the specials that are available for this restaurant.
SUNDAY - $3 tacos.......MONDAY - $10 chicken or steak fajitas & $4 margaritas......TUESDAY - Kids eat FREE (1 child 11 years old or under per adult entree from kids' menu).....WEDNESDAY - $9 chimichangas....THURSDAY - Free soup with any main entree.
Drink & Food Happy House Specials Mon-Fri 3pm - 7pm at the bar only