Locally owned, El Golfo Restaurant in Silver Spring Maryland serves up delicious food in a family atmosphere. Stop by on Wednesdays for Jazz night!
One of my favorite weekends of the year while working for Maryland Football was the spring game weekend and letterman golf outing. Sure it was a lot of work to put on the golf outing, but it was well worth it to get so many guys back to town for a fun weekend. Tons of great memories, and so thankful there was no social media back then! Since moving to Oklahoma in ’07, I had never gotten back, as it always conflicted with OSU’s spring game or our fundraising auction. As soon as I saw that I could make it back this year, I booked my flight. The weather didn’t cooperate, as it was kind of cold and windy most of the weekend, and the outing wasn’t nearly as big as it used to be, but it was still awesome to see the guys who were there, some of whom I hadn’t seen since I left Maryland in ’06
My flight back to Oklahoma on Sunday wasn’t until that evening, so my parents and I had plenty of time for lunch before leaving. We don’t eat out a ton when I’m in Maryland, but we always find a few opportunities. My first research spot is always restaurant.com. It’s a program where you buy certificates, and you get half off your meal when you spend a certain amount. They always have certificates on sale, and sometimes you’ll find bulk packages ($400 for $40) on Groupon or Living Social. That’s when it becomes a really great deal. I came across El Golfo Restaurant, and from the reviews I knew we had to go.
El Golfo is located in Silver Spring, about 10 minutes from my parents’ house. Silver Spring is a large city, spanning Montgomery and Prince George’s Counties in Maryland. My parents live on the Montgomery side, very near 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.
I hadn’t been to this part of town for at least 5 years before I moved to Oklahoma, so driving there was kind of like a step back in time. El Golfo is locally owned, and I am such a huge fan of restaurants like that. The restaurant is quite spacious, and is a long building. The main dining room is split into 2 sections; the tables along the walls are all 4-tops, and the tables in the center of the larger dining room are long family-style tables. There is a stage at the very back for live music. When we arrived there were only a few other guests there, but I would imagine that at night and on the weekends it gets really crowded. 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.
El Golfo features both Latin American and Mexican dishes, so the menu is quite large. They even offer several vegetarian and vegan dishes. You don’t see vegan items on too many menus.
Chips and salsa came to the table first
The chips were warm and fresh, and tasted homemade. The salsa was really delicious, with 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. My dad’s forehead was sweating, which should have been my first clue because it does that every time he eats spicy food. It was well worth it though, because the salsa was awesome.
My dad got the veggie fajitas
I was shocked at how many vegetables were piled onto the skillet. You would think it would be easy to finish, as they are just vegetables. But that didn’t happen, and he took home the rest as leftovers. I didn’t try any, but he said they were very good and cooked tender-crisp.
My mom got the fish tacos with whole wheat tortillas
We were surprised at the size of the portion. It was just 2 tacos, but there was a lot of filling. She normally doesn’t like sauces, but she said this one was very flavorful.
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 gentleman 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. I never would have thought of putting lobster into fajitas, but it definitely works. Chicken fajitas are often dry, but this chicken was very tender. The steak was wonderful as well.
I only ate one of the tortillas, and that’s what I almost always do. They were very good, and homemade, but they take up too much space in my stomach. I don’t think I’ve ever seen yellow rice served with fajitas, but it was delicious. The pinto beans were good, but I have to say my dad’s black beans were a little better.
One of the reviews 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 honestly, 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 to El Golfo? No question. I love family-owned restaurants, and I would love to go and hear live music one night.