When you're trying to find a place to satisfy your late-night munchies, pickings are slim. Drive-thrus are usually the only glimmer of hope after a night of drinking. But at El Gallo, every hour of the night feels like a dinner rush. Open 24 hours, this place gets packed with drunk college kids and hungry night-owls.
Its interior is that of any greasy spoon: cafeteria-style booths and tables. The jukebox blasts Mexican mariachi music that causes you to shout over your already loud companions. As at most Mexican eateries, you'll be greeted with a warm basket of chips and salsa. El Gallo isn't stingy; the baskets keep coming.
The friendly and generous service here is surprising, given that the often-inebriated customers don't invite much goodwill. All the food is delicious, cheap and comes in liberal portions. A torta (Mexican sandwich) goes for only $3.50 and comes with the good stuff: jalapenos, sour cream, beans and avocado. Tacos are $2 and burritos bigger than your head are only $5. Service is as speedy as a fast-food restaurant, making the dreaded wait of sit-down restaurants obsolete.
The only gripe about this late-night eatery is the alcohol-fueled clientele. If you don't want a side of fist-fight with your burrito, I advise against stopping in here on weekend nights. This place is notorious for wild behavior and usually swarms with cops. But if you can behave and just enjoy the cuisine, El Gallo is the place to be.
Average cost: <$10
Centerstage Reviewer: Jill Kozak