Sammy’s El Pueblo
An apparent mash-up of two different restaurant concepts, the full name of this Springboro eatery is Sammy’s Gourmet Burgers and Beer El Pueblo Mexican Restaurant. Those two restaurants exist separately in the Cincinnati suburb of Blue Ash, but seem to have come together for a joint excursion here. The mixing of a traditional family-style Mexican food restaurant and a livelier full service bar seems to have created something entirely different. But all told, I think the restaurant has successfully created a menu and an atmosphere that brings out the best of both concepts.
It would seem that the menu of Sammy’s El Pueblo is simply a literal combination of the two restaurants; some of the menu items are burgers and sandwiches, while others are tacos and quesadillas. The food is great, really. The carnitas are juicy and tender, perfectly cooked and seasoned into a delicious meal, topped with some other great items like fresh guacamole and Spanish rice. Even the chips and salsa are great, the salsa tastes fresh though its a little watery. The chips are crisp and fresh, though the chips could use a little more salt. The sides are good, too, with the refried beans sprinkled with some fresh cheese and even the rice seasoned. Good Mexican food relies on a lot of seasoning and fresh ingredients. El Pueblo really succeeds in accomplishing this on a budget.
The other side of the menu is a number of delicious dishes, with a bunch of tasty burgers as the flagship items. There is a Chorizo burger, a barbecue burger, there are Hawaiian burgers and a Bleu Cheese patty. There are also hot dogs, like a ranchero dog and a mushroom dog. Plenty of them have Mexican themes. The wings come in a few varieties too, namely a BBQ, a garlic Parmesan, a buffalo and a fiery flavor.
The atmosphere is great; it was very smartly constructed for an atmosphere like this. There is literally a divider between the bar and the family restaurant area, which subtly seperates two very different crowds. All of the interior has a very classic feel; polished wood and wide-open spaces for an overall simplified feel with only an accent of Mexican or sports bar decor. It’s an even greater success given the restaurant’s location; it’s a fast casual restaurant, but it’s in the middle of a very ritzy development next to a classy grocery. The feel of the place is appropriate for the crowd that is coming in.
The skill here has been to combine two very distinct restaurants into one. You can tell that much thought went into the concept. To me, it really works out well. This place is great!
- The Mexican dishes are outstanding, to me the strongest part of the menu.
- There is also a strong burger menu to sample.
- The environment here is a great fast casual concept.