El Mezcal


El Mezcal burst onto the Mexican restaurant circuit in Lawrence in 1999 and was an instant town favorite. An extensive menu is loaded with both traditional favorites and Mezcal specialties, all reasonably priced. Selections are not greasy or otherwise hard on the stomach -- just good. Be sure to try their white cheese sauce to compliment your free chips and salsa.
Their Southside location has a shaded patio perfect for sippin' Margaritas. For more reclusive Mexican lovers, the Midtown location offers basement seating. Also locations in Topeka (2), Ottawa and Osage City.


John Crenshaw 14 years, 9 months ago on El Mezcal

I went to El Mez (midtown) with my girlfriend. They were busy so i can understand slow service, but our waiter as nice as he was, COMPLETELY FORGOT ABOUT US! enough said :/

David Borys 15 years, 2 months ago on El Mezcal

El Mez is packed every day of the week for lunch and dinner for good reasons. The food is very good on a consistent basis. The fajitas and margaritas keep people coming back. As mentioned above the outdoor patio at the 23rd St. location is great for an evening meal in the summer, and the basement of the 9th St. location is great for parties or large groups. The menu is very large so even picky eaters and kids will find something to enjoy. While El Mez can suffer from slow service due to being over crowded I believe this is common to many establishments and unlike many places you do get drinks and free chips and salsa while you wait for your meal. There food is not for everyone (what restaurants is?) but it keeps all my family and friends coming back whenever they visit. While I agree with the first comment here that Ixtapa and La Familia also have good food, there menu and offerings are quite different than El Mez and the margaritas cant even compare.

hyperdiver 15 years, 9 months ago on El Mezcal

Exceptionally bad service and rarely, if ever, do they have a pick up order correct. Try La Familia for good food and atmosphere. El Mezcal is a complete joke at both locations. BEWARE!

skeetie83 15 years, 9 months ago on El Mezcal

I love this place. The waiters are known for being rude, but if you go at noon, you'll see that the same people often work all day. No wonder they look grumpy by dinner! To me, it's just part of the charm now, and once they get to know you, they're fantastic! The service is always fast and I almost always enjoy what I've ordered.

jdannebohm 15 years, 11 months ago on El Mezcal

I had the "Burrito Gigante" and it was very good. I had requested a second dish of salsa and due to a language barrier, I was given a bowl of hot sauce. However, it was a great mistake, the hot sauce was great for somebody like me ... not overly hot, but not mild either.

I don't consider myself an aficiando of Mexican food so when it comes to the authenticity, I'm no judge. But I did enjoy the experience very much.

fascinating_person 17 years, 1 month ago on El Mezcal

I disagree that the food is bland. Perhaps it's Americanized but it's freakin delicious. The servers can be distant and curt but I've always had fast, good service. You get a lot of tasty food for great prices and the menu is so long; I feel happy inside every time I eat at El Mezcal.

bulvrrrrr 17 years, 5 months ago on El Mezcal

There's one middle-aged waiter that always seems unnecessarily gruff. But you know, if my job was serving margaritas and beans to a weird combination of bimbos and morbidly obese non-Spanish speaking patrons, I'd be jizzed out too. Also the waiters' disgruntled 'tudes are usually eclipsed by the free drinks. So . . . A+. Also, not all of the waiters have tortilla chips on their shoulders . . . esp. the shortest one is a VERY affable duffer.

Harry_Manback 17 years, 6 months ago on El Mezcal

I don't know why everyone loves this place so much. I guess it must be an institution or something because I was definately not impressed by the food during the 3 times I have been here. I had to speak in Spanish to the servers in order for them to understand my questions about the menu. I know this is a Mexican restaurant, but I should be able to speak in English to the staff. The salsa tastes more like tomato paste or marinara sauce than salsa. I love Mexican food, and this definately did not cut it for me, although I did enjoy the margaritas.

foodcritic 17 years, 10 months ago on El Mezcal

I ate here three times before I decided it was not worth ever going back. The enchiladas were flavorless, the chimichangas were pathetically small, and there are so many tables packed in that you are practically on top of the people next to you. The service is sulky and disinterested.

gamer 17 years, 11 months ago on El Mezcal

While not abysmal, El Mez is one of the most highly overrated restaurants in Lawrence. Combining rude service and bland, bland versions of the best of Mexico City, I marvel at how both locations stay in business. While the white cheese dip is really good, nothing else is.

Good Mexican? Ixtapa, then La Familia.

JaMm3r 18 years, 8 months ago on El Mezcal

I'm really not sure why El Mezcal has received such negative reviews, but I'm here to set the record straight. I moved to Lawrence from South Texas in December of 2003, and I was getting to the point where I was just about to give up on the Mexican restaurants here in the area. Luckily, a friend of mine told me about El Mezcal (the one on Iowa off of 6th) and I'm REALLY glad she did. The food is good (not the greatest when compared to the places I've eaten at in Mexico and South Texas, but it beats the other places around here), the service is hard to beat, and the atmosphere brings back memories of sitting at a nice taqueria on the border between Mexico and Texas. I've never had a problem with cold food or bad service, and I think I'd have to rank El Mezcal in the top 10 of all the Mexican and Tex-Mex restaurants I've eaten at. This includes Mi Tierra in San Antonio, La Parilla in McAllen, Texas, and many of the places I've eaten at across the border in Reynosa and Laredo. I think anyone that had a bad experience should go back and give El Mezcal one more chance. If you don't like it, I'll personally cook up some Tex-Mex "comida" that you can sink your teeth into!

alexhorn 18 years, 10 months ago on El Mezcal

When El Mezcal first came to town the food was GREAT! But it seems they are catering to speedy service too much. It's hard to believe that your order arrives in two minutes... but then, once you taste you you know why it's ready in two minutes... and it tastes horrible (that's if it's even warm!) Yuck, yuck, triple yuck. Will NEVER eat there again. Sorry guys, you had a really good thing going but you sold out.

Chad12 19 years ago on El Mezcal

This might be the worse Mexican food I've ever had. Mexican food should have some flavor and perhaps some spice. The food was way to bland to be called Mexican or anything from the southwest. I don't think I'd go there again.

elmersleznick 19 years, 1 month ago on El Mezcal

The live mariachi band distinguishes this from its ugly stepsister location on E. 23rd St. Support this location and convince them to add more seating.

mullet 19 years, 5 months ago on El Mezcal

I Could not stand mexican food before i went to El-Mezcal . i have to admit i love the food there. Service is really really good too, people there are really friendly. its not too expensive and you cannot compare the portions. Two thumbs up

justnew 19 years, 6 months ago on El Mezcal

This is quite possibly, the worst Mexican food I've ever eaten. I didn't know you could screw up beans, meat, cheese and tortillas until I came here. It might even be the worst food in a restaurant that I've eaten. Bland, bland, bland. Avoid this place.

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