MetroABQ Blog

El Vado Eats: Great 8-Restaurant Eating & Dining Concept

The El Vado Motel began life in the 1930's as a motor lodge for Route 66/Mother Road travelers. Over the ensuing years it's gone from thriving, to dilapidated, to a derelict chain-linked eyesore about to be bulldozed to the ground. The now-historic, classic pueblo revival architecture motel was worth saving. El Vado has been transformed into a restaurant/shopping/lodging/conference center, with lodging in the original motel, eight restaurants, numerous local & Rt 66 memorabilia shops & a gathering space for businesses & special events, all nestled along the historic Rt 66 Mother Road on Central Ave, in the MetroABQ's Old Town area. Across the street sits the ABQ BioPark complex, housing the Aquarium & Botanic Gardens. 

Eight restaurants now share indoor & outdoor space on the El Vado grounds, with two indoor spaces--inside the El Vado Taproom & the Zendo Coffee House--& tons of shaded open-air outdoor sitting areas. We ordered from Buen Provecho & found seats inside the El Vado Taproom. The taproom, part of the main Motel lobby/guest area, is rich in 1930's Pueblo Revival style, replete with viga beams, nichos & an arched kiva fireplace. The walls of the taproom are adorned with a very unique Rt 66/Mother Road map created from license plates, bottom image, that follows Route 66 from it's beginning in Chicago, through the MetroABQ, finally ending in Los Angeles.


Back to Buen Provecho, which is "a purveyor of fine Costa Rican dining along with a variety of Latin American dishes & desserts." They brought the meals, tracking us down in the taproom, where we had ordered a craft-brewed beer to compliment the spicy Latin American meal. There is plenty of shaded outdoor seating, but mid-winter it was pretty cold, so inside the taproom was a great alternative. Buen Provecho's food was very good--& the Ropa Vieja was fantastic!


Below is the El Vado Taproom bar & the taproom lounge, & also two images of the extensive Rt. 66/Mother Road mural, which adorns the walls the length of the bar & lounge rooms.




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