El Norteño – Chicken, Camels and Zebras

HX and I ventured out to Buford Highway for a quick dinner before an evening of movie watching at home. We were on our way to pick up bahn mi when HX’s attention was caught by the smoke that constantly pours out of  El Norteño.

It had been at least 10 years since I’d eaten here and I’ve had so many people tell me again and again how much they love this place. So, I figured it was time to try again.

For me the menu selection was predetermined. First of all the sign for the place says Pollo Asado (roast chicken) in larger letters than the name of the restaurant. Couple that with the overriding chicken motif on everything and I didn’t have much choice – Pollo Asado. And candidly, that’s about all I have to say about that – it wasn’t horrible or anything – I just remembered why I hadn’t been back in 10 years. The chicken was room temperature and had no particular flavor. Honestly, the roast chicken at Publix and Kroger beat the pants off this place. There is absolutely nothing special about it.

HX, who was already in the mood for a sandwich, opted for the trainwreck known as the Torta Cubanas. The name can be misleading – this is not a Cuban sandwich – this is a “who knows what you’re in for” deal, and it’s different wherever you go.  El Norteño’s version was the typical bolillo stuffed with an amalgam of ham, eggs, chorizo, sliced hot dog, avocado, onions and queso blanco. Not as bad as it sounds, but definitely – how should I say this – “rich”?

Verdict: eh.

El Norteño
4929 Buford Hwy
Atlanta, GA 30341
El Norteno Mexican on Urbanspoon

Oh – and the circus is back at Plaza Fiesta and they’ve brought the zebra and camels…


  1. I know a lot of people that think El Norteno is sick (sick in its original meaning, not the new fangled skater vernacular that means cool). I however am an absolute sucker for the chicken tostada, the salsa bar & a diet coke. You walk out for less than $5 w/ tip included.

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