Garufa’s is right down the street from where we live. I pass by it each day on my day to work, and I was curious. When I looked up the restaurant website and reviews, I learned that this was an Argentinean restaurant that specialized in steaks. Richard and I had loved an Argentinean restaurant we’d found in Western North Carolina, so we were definitely up to checking out Garufa’s.
We headed there early (5:30pm) on a Saturday night and were surprised to the restaurant surprisingly full even at that early hour. The decor was gorgeous. We were seated downstairs in a lively dining room but there also was a lovely upstairs dining area (next time!).
I must say that service was excellent throughout our meal. Our server was a true pro and seemed to take real pride in the restaurant and the menu. He was so knowledgeable about wines and menu offerings and steered us in the right direction every step of the way. We never felt neglected or unattended, and he brought the check right when we asked for it (Yeah! Automatic bigger tip!).
Good crispy bread was served right away, and it came with three wonderful dipping sauces (including chimichurri). After sipping on some very nice Argentinean cabernet, we made our menu choices. Richard went for the camaron empanada for his appetizer. I love empanadas myself and this sure looked like a good one, but I was saving room for dessert (of course!). Richard’s empanada included shrimp, green bell pepper, tomato and onions. It was perfectly crisp and he said it tasted fantastic.
Richard was swayed by one of the specials: the porterhouse. This was a very large steak but also very tasty and delicious, according to Richard. He ordered a side of fries that he said were expertly prepared. Richard has high standards when it comes to fries, so when he praises a restaurant’s fries I listen! As for me, I went with our server’s recommendation and ordered the lomo al vino tinto (a 7 oz. tenderloin with a red wine sauce). This steak was delish! The red wine sauce was just wonderful, and the steak was excellent. I also loved the mashed potatoes and fried onions that came with this entree. I ate up every bite of this entree.
The dessert menu was tempting – lots to choose from! Richard had the strawberries with ice cream, whipped cream and a vodka sauce. He said it was luscious! I once again went with our server’s recommendation and went with the apple strudel with ice cream. Argentina apparently has a fairly large German population, which would explain why it shows up on Garufa’s dessert menu. Oh my – this was some of the best strudel I have ever had!
We really loved every aspect of our experience at Garufa’s …. the decor, the service, and the cuisine. And it’s just down the road from where we live. Our meal was not cheap, but I’m not expecting cheap when I get something of this quality. This is a place that we will certainly return to again for a special night out.
Garufa is located at 5411 North Mesa Street El Paso, TX 79912 (west side)