Poncho's is an authentic Mexican restaurant on Denman near Robson Street. Ponchos features live music every week from Wednesday to Sunday
This used to be a great restaurant but somehow they seemed to drop a couple notches resting on past laurels. The last time I was here, the service was so bad that I decided I wouldn't come back. We asked for chips and salsa about 5 times and waited close to an hour for it to arrive. The food was barely a 3, I am probably being generous on this. The best thing about this place are the lime margaritas; they may be the best in the city.
This is an awesome place to go for authentic mexican fare and listen to mamma poncho sing and play the guitar. I My fave is the jumbo prawn fajita, it goes perfectly with their lime margheritas!
I have always wanted to eat at this restaurant after walking by it for years. Tonight my buddy and I went to eat here and it was in a word OK. The portions were small for the price but the taquitos I had and the chimichanga my buddy had were tasty enough. I was still hungry after the meal. Our waitress was very nice and friendly and the food arrived quickly. The ambiance was cute with sombrero lights and Mexican chachkas. All in all pleasant but not spectacular.
Ok, we cannot take Pancho's for more than what it is. It is an inexpensive eating option downtown.
When we arrived it was moderately busy, and my friend and I quickly stole a desired, but unreserved table. Glad we did, because five minutes later, the line up was out the door and we had hungry masses watching us eating our food for the remainder of the time. Close the door people - are you in or out?!
Took a bit of time get our beer and the did not have draught, but the simple and salty nachos were brought out quickly. The simple salsa had a kick to it, which was a welcome change from the bland stuff that is usually served to please the "it's too spicey" crowd who would be better off traveling with packets of Taco Bell salsa.
Entrees were brought out quickly. TexMex style fajitas and burritos, but lived up to expectations. The meat used was ok, but not wonderful, and more shells had to be asked for.
Service was with a smile, and the friendliness made up for any shortcomings. The staff genuinely appeared to enjoy serving their customers - even the ones patiently waiting for seats.
Good value. I will probably return with my wife who enjoys TexMex food.
Everything tasted like blaaaaaand beans. Seriously. This is not a good option for even mediocre Mexican food; especially when there are so many better options in the neighbourhood! The service was ridiculously slow - with only two tables with customers!
The margaritas were underblended (GIANT chunks of ice do not make for a refreshing drink), both dishes we ordered tasted like pasty, bland beans (even though we ordered completely different meals, they both tasted the same), the service was poor, and the ambiance was fairly typical.
Don't waste your time.
Went here about a week ago and although the food was pretty decent(average at best) the service was weak.On a sunday night they had 3 waitresses plus the manager working the floor and they were still running around like crazy.This is for a room of maybe 20 people total.
Serving isn't an easy job but they had no organization whatsoever. We were seated by one waitress who we had to flag down after 15 mins. for water and then gave our orders to another only to have the third waitress ask us after another 15 if we'd ordered yet and that she'd have to check to see if our order had made it to the chefs...
We noticed at least two other tables looking irritated ,as well as one couple leaving in anger.
The whole time the 3 servers were scrambling around the restaurant we could see the manager just chilling out,not too concerned.Even when an older couple seated next to us raised issue with being overcharged he just pawned it off to the server to let her deal with it.
Not impressed at all...
We weren't looking for anything fancy. We were standing on Denman and looked at Poncho's, then across the street to Rooster's Quarters, then looked back at Poncho's, and opted for Poncho's knowing that we weren't looking for gourmet - just an affordable, casual meal.
Immediately we were given the window seat. Menus came soon after and we ordered a liter of sangria and the dinner platter for 2.
Throughout our dinner we would be served by 3-4 different waitresses.
Chips with salsa arrived within a few minutes, as did 2 glasses of ice water. Our sangria arrived almost at the same time as our first course - the quesadillas. The quesadillas were cut into small wedges, filled with tiny bits of sausage and a lot of creamy cheese. On top was a dollop of guacamole.
The sangria was refreshing - not too much ice, not too much fruit. The fruit (apples and orange peel) were cut into 1cm cubes.
Dishes were cleared away when our platter arrived. It had marinated beef (with some sort of tomato/celery stew on top), 10 garlic prawns, a tiny bowl of rice, a tiny bowl of beans & cheese, and 2 chili rellenos. The chili rellenos were mild, covered in tomato sauce and covered entirely in melted cheese. It was too much cheese to what's already a cheesy dish. The prawns were good - the tails were removed so it made for easy eating. The rice/beans were bland, as they should be, but the beef was flavourful. Not the best quality of beef, but thinly sliced pot roast style beef..
The singer/guitarist was a nice break from the horrible Mexican pop songs.
It took a long time for anybody to clear away out plates, but our dessert was soon served - a cinnamon pancake with a dollop of Neapolitan ice cream drizzled in honey.
Prices were good, staff was pleasant, and the food was just decent comfort food. This is not outstanding. This is not necessarily something I'd go out of my way for, nor recommend for an "amazing" Mexican restaurant.
I can't agree with the reviews below.
I went to Poncho's on Friday night and we got the last available table (which is always a good sign).
Service was average, nothing especially good, but not bat either.
The food was quite good, I am not sure if it was very authentic (I generally dont have a good knowledge of Mexican food), but to me it tasted quite good and my partner was happy too.
The margaritas were excellent, I can't remember to ever have had a better one! no kidding!
The bill came to $55 for two people which included 1 liter of margarita, an appetizer and two entrees. Not bad at all!
I went with a group of 10 on a Friday night, arriving on time for our reservation. Our tables hadn't been set up for us in advance, so we had to wait in the doorway while they did that. The servers were friendly enough at first, but became distant as the night wore on.
Our drinks arrived at different times and the appetizers that were ordered were forgotten by the servers. One of our party sent back a pitcher of sangria because it was full of ice and little drink. After an hour, meals finally started arriving, but they came a couple at a time. While my meal sat in front of me getting cold, I waited for my tablemates to receive their meals for a very long time. The servers lazily delivered meals to other tables and didn't seem to notice that half of our table didn't have meals. I finally had to approach the owner to tell her that we were waiting for a long time. She jumped to attention and finally the other meals arrived. I had to have mine reheated.
The food was so-so, no one was really blown away by it and the consensus was that this had been a bad choice for our group meal. When we were paying the bill, I think the owner finally noticed that we weren't thrilled and told us that the next time we returned with a group, we would get a free appetizer or something. Too little, too late. Sorry Poncho's, but I don't think I'll ever come back.
Green Enchiladas looked microwaved and almost as if came out of a frozen box because it was perfectly layered with food to three quarters of an inch high. 1/2 of the dish was way sour green chicken enchiladas, 1/4 was watery refried beans and the rest was typical Mexican rice. The enchiladas were covered with lines of watery sour cream from a squeeze bottle. Side of guacamole and Tortilla chips were good but the salsa was not home made and not good.
"At least I'll enjoy the dessert" I thought. The 3 2.5 inch churros were cold and not fresh fried.
I mentioned that churros should be fresh fried or at the very least served warm with ice cream. A few minutes later she came back with fresh fried churros.
She was friendly and I did tip 20%. We were the only table from 5pm to 5:45pm but it was still too early for most people.
I might try them again a year from now to see if the food improves.
I've said before that i'm a massive Mexican fan, and Ponchos is my staple. Not least the fact that we live half a block from the place, but the music, the great authentic food and the friendly staff make it a great casual night out.
Unfornately their Margheritas are rubbish, but the flaming coffee that Mamma wheels out 3-4 times a night is well worth it for first timers.
The food is solid and i keep going back. Tick.
I read the reviews of Poncho's before visiting there over the weekend. I should have known that my experience wouldn't be any better. First, my fiance and I had to wait 15 minutes for a table after being promised it would only be 5 minutes, and with two tables having already been cleared and ready for customers. After finally being seated, we had to wait another 5 minutes for our menus and no one took our drink order until well after that. After almost walking out at that point, we grudgingly decided to have fajitas and the tostada. They were okay at best. The margaritas were really good though. And they give you chips and salsa to start your meal which was pretty good. That's about all I can say that was positive about our experience. We probably won't be going back as we didn't feel valued as customers at all.
I know that rent is high in downtown Vancouver and as a result restaurants tend to be a little costlier, especially the sit-down ones. But eating at Ponchos I really can't help but feel just a touch ripped-off at the comparison between the price we paid for our meals and the quality of the food and service. The food is standard Mexican fare, nothing special and certainly nothing to write home about. The service is, also, average at best. If you've got a hankering for Mexican food and you're in the area, it'll serve that purpose, but there are many better (and better-valued) restaurants in the area if you're just looking for a bite to eat.
We dropped by during the early evening when it was not too crowded or busy. Service was good - we had no problem there. The paella seafood dish was pretty bland with tough small shrimp. The enchiladas with mole sauce was terrible. Nothing special about the 'homemade' mole. Two enchiladas were drowned in an ocean of mole with a tasteless cheese spread on top. Greasy rice sitting on a lake of mole. It was not easy to get through our meal. Very disappointed and won't be going back.
So here we come to a little Mexican nook on Denman street. I've been here plenty of times with friends because we love the place so much.
Highlights: the food (of course) and their special "Poncho's Coffee!"
We almost always start out with their "Sopa Azteca," which is essentially chicken soup with tortillas, spices, avocado, and cheese. Simply put: glory!
I bounce around their main course items, all of which (so far that I've tasted) are really good. The meat is always cooked to perfection, the flavours are bold and well-balanced, and the portions are hearty.
But, the highlight of the meal comes last, with Poncho's Coffee. For $7 a glass, you get a live performance by one of the owners, flambé-ing shots of Gran Marnier, Kahlua, and brandy into a glass with coffee and rimmed with a mixture of lemon, sugar, and cinnamon. Nothing draws attention more than flaming glasses! And it's done with panache.
There's also a live guitarist who plays and sings in the evening, which adds a nice "homely" touch to the place, which is decked with lots of typical Mexican decorations.
The servers are decent, need to be prompted sometimes and aren't the greatest at taking orders, but hey - they get the job done eventually. The food and drinks are more than worth the service. Recommended.
After some Christmas shopping we were looking for a place to relax and have a nice meal. Walked by Poncho's and thought we'd give it a try. We waited at the door to be seated for 5 minutes. This place is the size of a closet so they noticed us for sure. When someone arrived to seat us, we were not greeted, menu's thrown on the table and kept walking. Although stunned and amazed that this had happened, we looked at the menu. Uninspired is a word that comes to mind. Waited for a server to take drink orders...never happened.
I am no fool and recognized that I was clearly not welcomed here. We got up and left. The only faint bright spot is that the guitarist said good-bye. Unwittingly, he may not realize how permanent that statement is with regard to Poncho's. It will be a cold day in......before you see me or my money.
Service isn't top priority here... it's got the "mañana" kind of feel to it.
That being said, I found the margaritas and the food delicious. And every time I've been here, there's been a live musician playing a guitar, belting out some spanish tune.
Definitely quenched my craving for Mexican, and I will be back.
I went to Ponchos on my B-day and also taken my Mexican friends who were visiting Van to this restaurant. The portion is very generious and the Shrimp Tortila is really good, even my mexican friends thought it was one of the best mexican food they've tasted while in Vancouver. (yes, nothing beats their authentic tacos from street venders..MMMM). The service is a bit on the slow side but wasn't too bad, we asked for refills of our torilas and were able to get them within 5 minutes (Maybe because we were sitting near the front counter/kitchen?). If you visit Ponchos around 7-10pm, they turn down the light and the owner's wife will give a live performance singing with guitar, which is quite nice!
I've eaten at Poncho's before and it was quite good. Unfortunately things have changed.
Our entrees came out before our appetizers, so we asked for our appetizers first, which took an additonal 20 minutes. When our entrees eventually came out, 20 minutes after our appetizers had been cleared, they were THE SAME plates we had originally been served! They were cold and scuzzy looking after sitting under a heat lamp for over half an hour, so we sent them back. 10 or 15 minutes later, they came out again, still only lukewarm, but at that point we decided that sending them back again would ensure that we would spend at least another hour there.
The service was terrible, we weren't quality checked even once, and nobody apologized for the numerous errors. It seemed that we were not the only people experiencing this as well. I love mexican food, but I will not ever set foot in there again. I would have given the service a zero if I could have. The ambience was ok, what I would expect from a mexican place, but didn't even come close to making up for the inattentive, inept service.
Server was pleasant enough but not really interested in her job, wifes meal was worse than mine, which was at least edible, we were wished a good night and come again but I had to remind her we hadn't gotten a bill yet therefore hadn't paid, she then proceeded to take another 5 minutes trying to figure out the bill.