Best Restaurants: El Mariachi San Lucas


Volkan Vardar/Creative Commons

El Mariachi San Lucas located on White Horse Road in Voorhees, New Jersey is the epitome of the type restaurant that brings a transformative experience

What makes a good restaurant? The “best of the best” restaurants check off all the boxes because of impeccable service, food quality, and whether or not the environment brings that comfortable and nostalgic aura which makes you go back again and again. 

El Mariachi San Lucas located on White Horse Road in Voorhees, New Jersey is the epitome of the type restaurant that brings a transformative experience. Though the small restaurant is a hidden gem, it does not fail to bring about new customers who spread the word about their delightful Mexican cuisine. 

   When I found myself sitting in the restaurant for the first time, I was greeted by many pleasant waiters into a seating area that encapsulated the culture and originality of Mexico. There are beautifully painted walls with streams of color and Mexican paintings that tie together the entire experience as if you are sitting in paradise. 

   To start off, there is a platter of golden brown chips that are perfectly crispy and pair together with an array of sauces. One of these being a creamy chipotle which is a favorite amongst many customers. And did I forget to mention? The chips are all you can eat! 

   Following the impressive starter, is the guacamole which is a signature appetizer that is served on a plate between a tower of chips. It is the perfect way to experience the authenticity of the restaurant. The only downside to the experience is that at “prime time,” (usually 6-7 pm) the food takes a very long time to be served to you. On a busy night, expect to be waiting for at least forty five minutes before receiving your entrees. 

   With that being said, the wait is most definitely worth it; the main dishes do not fail to impress and contain a great portion for the prices. The menu offers a great variety of dishes to choose from, and from personal experience, I can say that the tacos were the definition of authentic Mexican cuisine. And yes, four tacos are served instead of the usual three that are given at most typical restaurants. 

   The vegetable tacos are packed with warm, fresh vegetables, pico de gallo, queso fresco, and sour cream. It is truly a flavor explosion. They also have many other impressive dishes like the creamy enchiladas and the chalupas that are packed with fresh chicken, onions, and queso fresco. When I say the portions are big, it is not an exaggeration. 

   For the size of the dishes and the quality of ingredients, waiting the extra time did not outweigh the positives of the restaurant experience. After the main entrees, the restaurant offers many classic desserts to choose from. There are many great options like the hot churros that are light and crispy on the outside and soft on the inside.

    They are also coated in loads of cinnamon sugar and served alongside fresh vanilla ice cream. The only thing is that they sell out very quickly and you are lucky if you get the chance to order them before they are sold out! If you don’t get the chance to get them, there are still many over the top desserts to try. 

   The bread pudding is another great option that is perfectly moist, soft, and that “melt in your mouth” experience that is indescribable. It is also served with cold, fresh vanilla ice cream and topped with a small purple flower to bring a touch of Mexico to the classic dessert. 

   There are also other desserts like the tres leches cake and the many handcrafted, fruit based drinks. As I was sitting in the restaurant, I heard another customer say, “It feels like we’re in Mexico.” I couldn’t help but think that that was the perfect description. 

   From the servers who were thoughtful and skilled with tending to many customers at the same time to the fresh appetizers, entrees, and desserts, the eating experience at El Mariachi San Lucas is the definition of “best of the best” and is a great evening out!