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Monterrey Restaurante Mexicano Bar & Grill, 2219 Broad River Road: August 2012   18 comments

Posted at 12:24 am in closing

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Continuing yesterday's Mexican theme -- I have often noted this El Monterrey on Broad River Road, just North of I-20, and thought to myself that it was in an awful location: very close to the I-20 interchange (which is busy, and backs up) but without access to a traffic light.

That turns out not to be exactly true, as I found out when I stopped to take these pictures. In fact, the back of the parking lot has a cut-through into the Economy Inn parking lot, and thence to Briargate Circle, which does have a stop-light. It even looks as though they got enought business from the hotel side (or expected to get enough business from the hotel side) to set up the back of the restaurant with a second facade.

Apart from the access situation, I was never tempted to stop here because in my experience the local Monterrey chain comes in behind the Casa Linda, San Jose and La Fogota chains -- nothing drastic, just not one of my preferred marquees. (And if I was in the general area, I would probably hit El Chico anyway).

(Hat tip to commenter Thomas)

UPDATE 8 April 2014 -- Well, this place tried to open as La Reyna Del Sur, which I take to be a nightclub concept. Literally it means "Queen of the South", and is also the title of a famous Telemundo telenovela (and the novel it is based on). Just from the picture of the lady in question, it appears she was from *very* far south. At any rate, the sign went up, but the club never opened, and now the building is for sale:

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UPDATE 21 July 2016 -- As commenter Andrew mentions, work is going on here. Judging from the interior, it will not be a restaurant, but some sort of office with a front reception counter:

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Also, I'm taking the El off the original post title of El Monterrey Restaurante Mexicano Bar & Grill to make it match the sign and fall in the Alphabetical Closings with the other Monterrey locations.

UPDATE 4 October 2017 -- Now a night club called Black Pearl:

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Written by ted on August 24th, 2012

Tagged with , , , , ,

18 Responses to 'Monterrey Restaurante Mexicano Bar & Grill, 2219 Broad River Road: August 2012'

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  1. When the adjourning motel first opened (Originally a Quality Inn) this was their restaurant.

    Tom

    24 Aug 12 at 9:10 am

  2. While traffic has always been a problem there, especially either leaving and making a left turn, or entering having made a left turn, just like any other establishment, especially on that stretch of road, the quality goes down. We used to live w/n walking distance of there in 1995, and the food was always good, and the cerbezas mucho grande y mucho frio, which is the only way Dos Equis can be consumed, by the way.

    The Vista Monterrey's is wonderful, and I encourage you to go there. Staff from BR went to the Vista. Certainly better than Casa Linda, and most of the San Jose restaurants. La Fogota in Chapin was okay, but they constantly had low food grades. Saw onetime it was in the 50s. No joke. I ate there a couple of times, but will certainly never return. The one by SLED was so-so at best. Now, we ate at the new San Jose on Broad River, and it is very good. We used to eat at the Monterrey on Knox Abbott, around the same time, (91-97) until the smell of ammonia and Mexican fare became too great. They don't mix. At all. That is the problem w/ these places. They open, stay open about 10 years, then slowly close when a new establishment opens w/n a couple of blocks. Case in point, why would someone eat at the San Jose location in Ballentine, when there is one literally 1 1/2 miles away?

    Remembering that you don't eat chicken, you are limiting yourself greatly to the dishes that are served there. Sure, there is beef, steak, pork, and vegtables, but the chicken, rather if you like it cubed or shredded, is good. I will say if you want "Real Mexican" in the Bush River/Broad River area, go to "Real Mexico." For all that is holy, don't go to El Chico to eat. Aye Carumba!!

    jonathan

    24 Aug 12 at 9:28 am

  3. The Monterrey in Harbison is very good, as well. The one in Friarsgate continued to worsen, and finally shut down. As far as it being a "local chain," they were managed by different people. I guess most of the restaurants are the same way. For example, you could use a Monterrey coupon at the Broad River, Harbison or Vista location, but it was not good at Friarsgate or Knox Abbott.

    jonathan

    24 Aug 12 at 9:35 am

  4. @jonathan,

    OK, I'll have to check out the Vista store. Maybe I will check out Real Mexico sometime.

    As for El Chico, for me about 60% of the reason to eat Mexican is the chips & salsa. All the Mexican run Mexican places seem to have gloppy zingless stewed tomato salsa and burnt chips. El Chico, once you add the crushed hot peppers, has really good salsa, and the chips are superior as well..

    ted

    24 Aug 12 at 11:39 am

  5. I believe I'll check out the Vista and Real Mexico as well. I have not found any really good Mexican food, Mexican that I consider authentic, ever since El Menchaca closed on Two Notch Road, and San Jose, I don't really care for it, though it must appeal to many, The San Jose on Garners Ferry Road is always packed.

    Rick

    24 Aug 12 at 12:31 pm

  6. So what was this building originally? It has a distinctive shape and I am this close to identifying... No fun getting old.

    Dennis

    24 Aug 12 at 5:10 pm

  7. this was the best Monterrey for a long time. Now I would have to say the one in the Vista is the best. Casa Linda is where we usually go. Real Mexico has been recommended to me be numerous work employees but I don't live near there

    chris

    24 Aug 12 at 7:33 pm

  8. This looks like it used to be a Steak & Ale

    Martin

    25 Aug 12 at 1:56 am

  9. Hmm, I don't see it.

    Look here and here.

    ted

    25 Aug 12 at 2:33 am

  10. Steak & Ale restaurants always had an English Tudor look to them.

    Eddie

    25 Aug 12 at 12:56 pm

  11. Mexican food in the middle of da hood ---- Lol

    Mikey

    25 Aug 12 at 8:45 pm

  12. @Dennis... it was connected to the hotel as their own restaurant.

    I used to LOVE LOVE LOVE this place! YEARS ago. No clue how they tastes over the past 10/20yrs or so. I just realized, they've been there forever!!

    Delle Sherer

    26 Aug 12 at 6:59 am

  13. I'm sorry to see this closed. My wife and I used to eat here all the time when we lived in the St. Andrews area. I loved the food here. I don't ever recall thinking the main parking lot entrance was difficult to get out of but in retrospect, I can see that it would be.

    Justin

    26 Aug 12 at 11:41 am

  14. I hate to see that this place closed - although I rarely ate there after the Harbison location opened. Apparently the "El" at the front of the name designated a third group of Monterrey's restaurants in Columbia, aside from the Knox Abbot/Friarsgate Plaza group. So at one time there was Monterrey = Harbison, Vista, Lexington & Northeast? Then another one called Monterrey that was similar but different ownership on Knox Abbott and Friarsgate (closed) that didn't accept the other group's coupons and had some menu differences. Then El Monterrey that as far as I know only included the old Monterrey's locations on Parklane and Broad River. They also didn't accept coupons from the other locations. I'm thinking the whole San Jose vs. Eric's San Jose is a similar situation.

    I used to frequent this location several times a week during college and shortly after graduating in the late 90s. The back room had stained glass panels (maybe boarded up windows?) with wine glasses and grapes in the design if that gives anyone a hint to the original restaurant to occupy the space. According to the tax records I could find, the building was built in 1979.

    In recent years, I think the lunch crowd from the mortgage servicing center in the old HQ shopping center across the street kept the place open.

    Heath

    10 Sep 12 at 1:46 am

  15. Oh, here it is.

    jonathan

    17 Jul 13 at 1:09 pm

  16. Ok folks I've encountered signage indicating that this property has sold...

    Andrew

    15 Jan 16 at 3:20 pm

  17. I've noticed some construction work going on at this building in recent weeks (will advise if I can figure anything further out)..

    Andrew

    7 Apr 16 at 11:41 pm

  18. So this is where the ill fated Black Pearl was and I think it's a shame that it has come to what it has after all the construction I saw the building undergo...but hopefully (in due time) something better will open here in due course...

    Andrew

    6 Jan 18 at 10:43 pm

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