#144 - El Golfo Restaurant, Silver Spring, MD

When I was looking for a place for my parents and I to eat last Wednesday, I considered both downtown DC and closer to their house in Silver Spring, MD.  One of my top options close to the house was El Golfo Restaurant.  Since we ate in DC on Wednesday, El Golfo it was for lunch Sunday. 

Silver Spring is a pretty big city.  It's in both Montgomery and Prince George's County, and my parents live on the Montgomery side, just about on the border.  For as long as I can remember, the PG side has been very Hispanic.  Now it's a huge melting pot of all different ethnicities.  The restaurant is on Flower Avenue, an area I hadn't been to in years.   When I lived in College Park I went periodically, but once I moved to Columbia I don't think I ever did again.

The restaurant is on the corner, and is a pretty good-sized place.  The main dining room is split into 2 sections, and there's also a stage at the very back for live music.  There's also a full bar to the right with a few tables in that section as well.  There were only a few other tables when we arrived, but I would imagine that at night and on the weekends it gets really crowded.  And from looking at the Facebook page and website, they do a lot of big family dinners, parties, and events.  As a matter of fact, it's rated one of the top restaurants with live music in Silver Spring.  I really like that they showcase a lot of different types of music.

The restaurant has both Latin American and Mexican dishes, so the menu is pretty big.  And they even offer a couple of vegetarian and vegan dishes.  You don't see vegan on too many menus.

Of course, chips and salsa came out first

The chips were warm and fresh, and tasted homemade.  The salsa was really delicious.  Big chunks of onion and tomato.  At first I thought it wasn't spicy at all, but as we ate and I dipped to the bottom of the bowl, the spice hit fast.  And my dad's forehead was sweating.  But it was well worth it because the salsa was awesome.

My dad got the veggie fajitas, and my mom got the fish tacos with whole wheat tortillas.

I didn't try either one, but they both said it was good.  My mom's dish was bigger than we expected, with 2 tacos.  My dad's fajitas were piled high with veggies.

Of course I couldn't decide what to eat, and every time I saw a plate go by I looked to see what they were getting.   And then I saw a guy getting a sizzling lobster tail so I looked to see what it was.  I then had no choice but to get the super Golfo fajitas, a combo of steak, chicken and lobster tail.  Yep, lobster tail fajitas.

The lobster was excellent.  Cooked perfectly, tender and delicious.  There's a fish market right around the corner so who  knows, maybe that's where they get it from.  I don't know, but it was awesome.  The chicken and steak were seasoned really well.  Usually fajita chicken meat is dry, but this one was nice and tender as well.

My dad had black beans with his fajitas, and I should have asked for those but I wasn't thinking about it.  But the pinto beans were very good.  I don't think I've ever seen yellow rice with fajitas.  I really liked it though.  It had good flavor.  I only ate one of the tortillas.  They were good, but they take up too much valuable space in my stomach.

One of the reviews I read talked about how slow the service was.  Ours was a little slow, but it was Sunday afternoon and they only had 2 servers on staff.  And it really wasn't bad.  The review said they waited 40 minutes at one point.  Well that's stupid... why would anyone just sit and wait that long without flagging someone down?

I know I sound like an ad or a broken record, but I would have never found this gem if it weren't for restaurant.com.  Will I go back? No question.  I love family owned restaurants, and I would love to go and hear live music one night. 

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