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Sep 23, 2012 06:24 PM

El Patio in Rockville - Report

Although El Patio has been in Rockville for years, I don't remember reading one word about this Argentinian restaurant on Chowhound. Is it because nobody goes there? Is it because it is completely forgettable?

After going there a couple of nights ago, I conclude the latter.

I have to be fair that I didn't order a steak in this steak-focused restaurant. I ordered a fried empanada (totally soggy and dripping in oil), a tongue salad that was overpowered with acrid garlic, and a dish of melted provolone that I was hoping would be sharp or aged or something tasty. But, no it was just a wad of cheese.

Also, there were 'entertainers' playing very loudly. It was near the end of the food service, so maybe they were the crowd chasers.

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  1. Steve, my visits have been much like yours, with exceptionally indifferent service too. But someething is going on here, as they have been around a long time, in a competitive market, with enough success to upgrade their location.

    My sense is there is a large group of Argentinians et al that enjoy a very different experience than we do. I have seen large tables of families celebrating birthdys etc, especially at lunch on weekends, having lots of fun and enjoying huge platters of grilled meats.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Pappy

      Some of those platters seem like a bargain. Maybe that's the allure.

    2. We get up to Rockville regularly and need a place to eat before our evenings out. We have had meals here that range from OK to OK. The short ribs are always juicy but without the char I really want. Fabulous blood sausage, sweetbreads a good buy but can be on the dry side. Wish they would just put a jar or a real sized bowl of chimmichurri on the table and not the little plastic cups. We have not been to the new place as it is less conveniently located.

      1 Reply
      1. re: wineo1957

        They put a bottle of their homemade sauce on the table. It was good, not great, and very watery.

      2. I've been to the old location a handful of times. I've had one of their steak platters, quiche, empanadas, 'something' con leche, and tastes off of other people's plates. They were OK; not great, but not bad either. The place has been around for a long time and I think it's generally a hangout for the Argentine community. It also has a bakery and a small grocery area with Argentine specialties.

        You should see the place come World Cup time and Argentina is playing. A sea of blue and white striped shirts around the TVs - the place is packed inside and out; the crowd spilling out onto the sidewalk.

        1. I had a horrific experience there several years ago and happily thought they went out of business when they changed locations.