Pancho Villa
Pancho Villa
Pancho Villa
Pancho Villa
Chimichanga at Pancho Villa
Pancho Villa
Pancho Villa
Enchiladas at Pancho Villa
Enchiladas at Pancho Villa
Foods from Pancho Villa

2012 Jul 8
Went here last night with a group of 12 to celebrate a friend's birthday. Everyone was very pleased with the service and the meal. Service was polite, friendly, and attentive without being overbearing. The couple special requests were well-managed (lactose-intolerant, extra lime, sauces on the side).

I had the chicken enchiladas, which came with rice and a basic garden salad which had a ranch-type dressing as well as a lime daiquiri. The food was very good, but I would not recommend the lime flavoured drinks (others had the lime margaritas and were also less enthusiastic). A better flavour choice was "tropic", which was a strawberry, banana, pineapple flavoured blend, which I will choose should I happen to return.

The birthday girl was treated to a deep fried ice cream (blurry photo included here) with a candle and serenaded with Happy Birthday (I think it was on the house. It came with a dozen spoons and we all had a bite. I wouldn't order a whole one for myself, but the vanilla ice cream was nice, and the batter had a bit of cinnamon flavour in it.

Meals were about $12-17, slushie drinks $7.50 for regular, and closer to $12 for the jumbo versions.

I'd be happy to go back, but as it's not my end of town, I wouldn't make the trip from my home to go there unless I was in the area, or meeting others.

2012 May 25
I've been here twice in the recent past. Both times we had some good service with fairly large groups. I couldn't tear myself from the enchiladas either time.

First off was the mole ennchiladas which were great. The sauce is packed with all sorts of flavours -- clove, chocolate, cinnamon, chilies -- which teamed up with the beef and chicken stuffed in the tortillas (you can get cheese too!). I really enjoyed it. It came with beans and rice, I believe?

I had the pancho special the second time. This was three enchiladas with cheese but no sauce. Luckily, they came with some great hot sauce and creamy guacamole as I fear they might have been dry otherwise. Also served with beans and a fairly plain but passable salad (chopped iceberg with some already forgotten vegetables).

Had St. Ambroise both times... most of the beer selection is standard (Stella, Canadian). The second time it seemed flat but oh well. Most people seem to want the magaritas or similar drinks.

2011 Nov 26
Best Fresh Mexican food I've ever had ...

2011 Jun 24
Pancho Special

2011 Jun 24
The plan was to hit rib-fest but torrential downpours had us rediscover Pancho Villa. We received stellar service with our server very attentive and quick. Water chips and salsa were brought as soon as we were seated. Walls are adorned with B&W pictures of Mexico and it's people with the typical Mexican color schemes and tile. My St Ambroise pale and wife's margarita came quickly even thought the restaurant was almost full. My enchiladas Verde were terrific. I had one chicken one beef. The tomatillo sauce goes so good with the corn tortillas. Rice was ok. The enchiladas were stuffed to the bulging point with tender chicken and chunks of beef very filling. My wife likes the black re-fried beans so she ordered the Pancho special consisting of three enchiladas,chicken,beef and cheese with guacamole on the side for dipping. Very good guacamole and I helped with the beans again due to the amount of meat in the enchiladas. Still no pork to be dishes to be found. Great price with nachos to start it came to $48 very reasonable.

2011 Feb 22
I ate here with some colleagues two weeks ago, and I'm looking forward to going back.

We started with the flautas and chicken nachos. The flautas were dry and flavourless - a corn tortilla wrapped cigar-like around some chicken and then deep-fried. I would not recommend these, although the sour cream they serve them with must have double the milk fat you normally get (like a sour cream version of Greek yogurt)– if you’re a sour cream fan, you should order a large serving on the side for whatever you happen to order.

The nachos were quite tasty - a generous amount of chicken and cheese, and the guacamole was creamy and delicious (they put sour cream in it – strange, but tasty). A nice appetizer portion size to be shared among friends.

I had the mole with rice and salad - half beef, half chicken. Absolutely delicious. The flavour was rich and smooth and earthy…I still have happy memories. Both the chicken and beef were juicy and tender, obviously slow cooked and picked over (no gristle whatsoever). I would absolutely get this again, although my friends' fajitas and veggie burrito also looked great, and everyone cleaned their plates.

Of note, however, and the very best part of the meal - was the infamous hot sauce. It's very reminiscent of a green chutney at an Indian restaurant – green chilis, cilantro, lime juice…it comes in a glass container with a spoon (about half a cup?), and since my fellow diners were not hot sauce people, I got the whole thing to myself, and I ate all of it. Some with the flautas, some with the nachos, the rest with the mole. I would go back just for the hot sauce.

Looking forward to my next visit.

2011 Jan 21
Good basic Mexican food. Often busy on weekends. Great guacamole and excellent mole sauce. If you can overlook the service and atmosphere, the food is worth it. 3.5*/5*

2010 Mar 20
I moved to Ottawa in 1993 and I've been eating at Pancho Villa since 1994 (and I honestly don't think the prices have changed since I started going). The Pancho Special (3 enchiladas) is by far the best deal on the menu and comes with a crisp, fresh salad and their excellent guac. I've been sending friends and colleagues here since I started going and I am thanked regularly for such a find.

Another commenter made mention of the crappy restaurants on Elgin St. and I wholeheartedly agree - Pancho Villa is the ONLY restaurant on Elgin St. that I frequent. I've tried them all, but if I'm downtown I'm at Pancho's first!

2010 Feb 25
As someone who is conditioned to eat the "finest" food this city has to offer, I am a little hesitant to admit that Pancho Villa is one of my favourite restaurants. I don't go there for the service, the ambiance...I can't even say I go there particularly for the food. I go there...for the hot sauce.

When I worked on Elgin street, it was my favourite place for lunch take-away; I always called in and my order was ready within 10-15 minutes, the gentleman at the cash was always friendly, and the price was steep but totally worth it for my order (and a huge tub of hot sauce). I have eaten there on multiple occasions, for a party as well as with friends and my husband.

Space: Pancho Villa is about what you'd expect, complete with requisite wall decor and background music. The dining area is practically underground, which makes for a cool (sometimes too cool) and dark space to eat, and the patio is busy but excellent for people watching when the sunny weather hits.

Service: Meh. I've had OK service and I've had bad service at Pancho Villa, and I've been dozens of times. The best service was average, good response time for drink refills and a double-check that I knew what the mole sauce was before ordering. The worst service saw us getting cutlery from another table and stealing a pitcher of water that was left out because our waiter ignored us for easily 15 minutes.

As I mentioned above, the gent at the cash is always very friendly, and my take-away orders were always provided quickly and with a smile. I can't say I've seen many other members of the waitstaff smiling on other visits...

Menu: Similar to the decor, the food at Pancho Villa is standard. You have your drinks (alcoholic and non-), appetizers, and various plates and sides. The descriptions are a nice touch, for those diners who may not be familiar with food beyond the standard enchilada or burrito.

Food: Once again, let me mention the hot sauce - I don't believe it is on the menu, but you can ask for it and it will be delivered in a decent-sized plastic container. It's guacamole-green, and incredibly flavourful...not the type of spice that burns your eyes without giving you a hint of what's inside. It is pretty spicy, for the uninitiated...but definitely worth getting. I put it on everything and eat it straight on chips.

My favourite drink is the Acapulco Sunset - I'm not sure exactly what's in it, but it tastes like a Hawaiian Punch with a little kick. All of the alcoholic drinks are tasty, but this one stands out.

The guacamole is good, not bitter like the kind I've had at Mexicali Rosa's, and comes as a substantial serving in a tortilla chip bowl. Salsa and chips are standard pre-food fare, but I always upgrade and order the guac' as well.

The flautas are good, as is the quesadilla - both are safe choices for those who prefer not to venture too deeply into the world of Tex-Mex cuisine.

For mains, I like the fajita salad (nothing special, just a green salad with chicken and a nice vinaigrette dressing, but works well with LOADS of hot sauce). I've had the lunch fajitas (chicken and/or beef, doesn't matter) and they are a good choice - but exceptionally filling. They don't skimp on the sides, either, giving you little container of sour cream, guacamole and pico de gallo, in addition to some rice and beans.

The chicken mole dish is nice, as are the chicken enchiladas and the chimichanga. I find the chicken serving to be far from scant, and I like the accompanying beans, rice and salad.

I have never had any room for dessert, so I can't speak to the quality of that part of the menu.

Overall: Pretty solid Tex-Mex, and leagues ahead of most of the stuff you'll find at chain restaurants. Infinitely better than Lonestar, Mexicali Rosa's, etc. And seriously, GET the hot sauce!

2010 Jan 18
Here is the Chile Relleno. It's a stuffed, deep fried pepper smothered in tomato sauce and onions. I like to think it's heart clogging aspects are balanced by the black beans and salad. It also comes with a large dollop of guacamole.






2007 Jul 19
Molé! Molé! Molé!

I can't get enough of their Molé!

I avoided this place for the longest time, because I (wronfully) assumed that every place on Elgin street is garbage... god was I ever wrong!

I eat/order here at least once a week. I can't speak for the authenticity (I'm not Mexican), but this Quebecer loves Pancho's version of this spicy cuisine.

Whatever you do, try the green hot sauce, it's absolutely fantastic!



2012 Jan 23
The cheese enchiladas with refried black beans is to die for.

2007 Aug 13
And again!

Pancho special, I believe. I asked for verde, mole, and plain tomato-what-have-you enchilada sauces; it came out quite nicely. A very chocolate-y molé. Fresh salad, fresh beans and fresh rice, which beats the pants off the sides that've been showing up at the Lone Star lately.

Tacos (well received) in rear.

2007 May 3
I'm enjoying their cheese enchiladas more and more these days. Their quality seems a lot more consistent now, too.

Recommended. Highly recommended over Mexicali Rosa's.



2010 Jan 18
Here is a delicious Chimichanga, my second favourite dish to order at Pancho's. It's quite filling, and I don't think I've ever had room for dessert after eating one.

2009 Jun 21
It was great, crispy cheezy and the chicken is real (i know cause there was a bone in mine...) and the sauce is tasty. Rice was cooked nicely and the salad was fresh and crisp



2007 Sep 18
They give you more chicken here than their counterparts Lone Star and Mexi's. A little high on the onion to peppers ratio, but there were plenty of fixins like guac, tomatoes, and shredded cheese to fill the void. I must say though, I prefer the fajita wraps at Lone Star. Nice patio for people watching in the summertime.



2009 Jun 21
OK, needed salt and lime, but real avocados and tomatoes. But kinda bland.