Saturday, September 28, 2013

Pachanga Cocina Mexicana - Ellicott City

Pachanga Cocina Mexicana is located off of Route 40 in Ellicott City just up the street from CVS pharmacy on Centennial Lane. We've eaten here many times and the food has always been consistently good.

Pachanga is part of a restaurant group that includes La Palapa restaurants (Historic Ellicott City, Laurel, and Silver Spring), El Azteca restaurant (Columbia - River Hill) and another Pachanga in Odenton.

Although Pachanga is decked out with vibrant colored walls complete with authentic Mexican decorations, the seating space is a bit small and a tad out-dated. Despite these small shortcomings, the food is definitely worth the trip.

I usually order the steak fajitas served on a hot plate with grilled onions, peppers, and tomatoes. A side plate of tortillas, Mexican rice, black beans, guacamole, pico de gallo, and sour cream accompanied the entree. I personally like to stuff the tortilla with as many sides as possible, especially pico de gallo. Marinated by the flavors of the onions and peppers, the steak has a slightly sweet flavor that makes it delicious. 

Charles also ordered a fajita dish. He chose a combination of shrimp and steak. The well seasoned large shrimp were plump and moist.

My mom ordered the Chesapeake Chimichanga filled with a crab, shrimp, mushrooms, onions, and green peppers mixture and topped with a cheese sauce. She chose black beans & Mexican rice as the sides dishes. Although the chimichanga isn't photogenic in the picture below, it looked fantastic when it was served. The seafood and vegetable blend filling has a tinge of what tastes like a seafood seasoning or Old Bay.

Carne Asada

My father loves the Carne Asada steak that's marinated in fresh herbs, peppers, chile, lime juice and olive oil. It's an enormous piece of well seasoned and grilled steak. 

 We tried a few different desserts. My mom's favorite was the key lime pie with its creamy, almost cheesecake thick consistency. Charles and I loved the mile high New York cheesecake and sugar coated churros. Surprisingly, the desserts were all just as good as our meals.  

When ate at Pachanga's on a Thursday night, we were informed that it was free dessert night with a purchase of an entree. Since this special is not listed on their website, I called to confirm if it's an on-going special.  One time, the person who answered said yes.  Another time I called, the person who answered said she didn't know.  So, go on Thursdays for free dessert at your own risk. 

New York cheesecake
Key Lime pie

Pachanga's website lists weekday meal specials.  Monday is the all-you-can-eat combos (tacos, burritos, tamales, enchiladas etc.) for $12.75 . Tuesday is steak night  (carne asada) for $13. 95. Wednesday is fajita night for $12. 75 and Thursday is chimichanga night for $10. 75. 

 - Thomas

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