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“Chili Rellenos to Die For, Other Dishes are a Close Match”

El Albanil Mexican Restaurant
Ranked #230 of 473 Restaurants in Bellingham
Restaurant details
Reviewed 1 August 2014

Imagine a mild green pepper stuffed with two kinds of melted cheese, surrounded by a perfectly made, very thin omelette, all covered with a superbly spiced light Mexican sauce. El Albanil chili rellenos are perfect - no deep-frying or breading or heavy tomato sauce in this dish. Other outstanding options here include Tacos al Carbon (tiny chunks of pleasantly spiced beef served with soft tortillas and a homemade salsa and lettuce) and Pollo A la Crema (pieces of chicken breast, onions and crispy green pepper slices in a flavorful cream sauce). Wonderful rice (again without a heavy tomato base) and beans and tortillas accompany most dishes. We've never found anything on the menu which isn't top-notch. All dishes have an authentic Mexican flavor without being overly spicy hot.

Although we live in Southern Oregon, if our travels take us within 100 miles of Bellingham, we head for El Albanil. We are never disappointed. The family provides a warm welcome and swift service. The restaurant is clean and non-pretentious. A recent addition is an intimate, though modern, industrial-designed bar area - check it out - you'll be tickled!!

If, like us, you don't live nearby - El Albanil is just minutes off of I-5, and if you happen to be driving an RV - there is easy access to a large parking lot behind the restaurant.

We eagerly look forward to our next visit.

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Thank Sue M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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9 - 13 of 18 reviews

Reviewed 22 July 2014 via mobile

We love Mexican cuisine. As such, we frequent all that Bellingham has to offer. Some have grungy atmosphere but good food. Some are pleasant, with good or ordinary food. Some are pricier than others. NONE offer the creative traditional cuisine we learned to love in California, with its huge Mexican population.

El Albanil is a relatively new location, occupying the old site of the South B'ham IHop. The decor is very pleasant and festive. Service was prompt, attentive, and very friendly. Portions are huge and prices very reasonable. Even beverages are well priced.

Sadly, however, the food had some serious issues. Some of the problems may have been due to our late dinner hour (i.e., items standing around too long).

My wife ordered the pollo en molé. It was way too sweet (did they use Hershey bars?), the molé way too thin, and the chicken "bits" tasted dry and old. She ended up leaving most of it as inedible. Also, my wife described her large glass of wine as "cheap-o rot-gut." She was very disappointed with her meal.

I had the puerco carnitas. The meat was very tender and delightfully lean. It would have been excellent, except it was extremely salty. It could not be eaten straight, but it was much better mixed with beans, rice, pico de gallo, guacamole, and salsa in a tortilla wrap.

On the positive side, the rice, beans, pico de gallo, and guacamole were very good, the table salsa was excellent, and the huge portions were delivered
promptly and piping hot. Now if only the chef could make entrées as good...

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1  Thank sho1627
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 23 May 2014

Very clean, nice view of kitchen.... All freshly painted in Mexican atmosphere.

Food excellent..... Well presented, colorful, and best of all tasted of lower
Mexico...

Priced fairly, service excellent....

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Thank Don R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 21 February 2014

My husband and I just happened to spot El Abinil and decided to give it a try for
a late lunch. For $6,50 I had a two item combo. The chile relleno is the best I have ever had!
Happy hour starts at 2 O'Clock, so we enjoyed the $3 lime margarita's.
Our waitress, Rosa, was very attentive and personable.
I took a peak at their bar area and was impressed by it being quaint in size and sophisticated
in lighting and decor. I would say that the only thing Mi Mexico has over this restaurant is a
better looking building outside. So,as they say, don't judge a book by it's cover!

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Thank CharleneLP P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 13 February 2014

Good food at a good price for a Mexican food deprived Texan living in Canada. The service was also very good. Will go again.

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Thank MeliMag
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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