Monte Alban Mexican Grill

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Location Phone
845 E Ridge Road, Irondequoit, NY 14621 [Directions] 585 697 0615
2245 Empire Boulevard, Webster, NY 14580 [Directions] 585 787 4700
2160 Penfield Road, Penfield, NY 14526 [Directions] 585 586 4134
Hours (as of June 2012) Monte Alban logo.JPGWebsite Logo
Monday - Thursday: 11:00AM to 10:00PM
Friday: 11:00AM to 11:00PM
Saturday: 12:00PM to 11:00PM
Sunday: 12:00PM to 9:00PM
Accessible
Yes
Alcohol
Yes - Webster
Website
[WWW]http://www.MonteAlbanGrill.com
Reviews
[WWW]11/19/08 City Newspaper
[WWW]11/5/09 D&C Review

Monte Alban Mexican Grill has three Mexican restaurants in Irondequoit, Webster, and Penfield. They serve a lunch menu from 11am to 3pm and have a kids menu.

Photos

MonteAlbanFront2048.jpgWebster Photo, BradMandell MonteAlbanInsideA1024.jpgWebster Photo, BradMandell

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2010-04-08 14:28:48   My wife and I lived in Southern California for four years, just returning to Rochester this year, and we were spoiled by the Mexican food out there. Monte Alban is the closest thing we have to the food out there, and it does the job very well! Every meal we've had has been good, and the staff is always very friendly. Good margaritas, too! —PeteTarkulich


2010-05-12 14:04:13   Yesterday was my first trip to Monte Alban. The location in Webster had a nice, open atmosphere, and as I sat down at the bar, the bartender informed me how much I was going to like it there. The bottom line was, I didn't, mainly due to his arrogant attitude, and his indifference to all of the customers at the bar, with the exception of one customer whom he apparently knew.

The food was good, especially the hot salsa, but my experience was soured by the bartender. A good bartender can make or break a bar or restaurant. This particular bartender admitted to knowing nothing about the menu, even after working there since September. This is a shame since most of the people at the bar were looking at menus. He told me they only served a pre-made margarita, but I then saw him hand make a Caddilac for another customer. He gave me a hard time about putting a drizzle of Gran Marnier on top of my margarita, although I asked him to please charge me for it, since that is how I like them and would be bound to order another if I liked the first one. My friend and I waited quite a long time for him to ask to take our order, and we finally had to call him over. He neglected to see how we were doing during our meal, and verbally told us the price for our meal at the end rather than giving us a bill. I thought that was very shady.

I can almost always excuse lack of experience in a waitor or bartender, but lack of effort in inexcusable. All in all, I'm probably not going back, and would never sit at his bar again, even for a drink. That is a shame too, because I am an excellent tipper and love to tell people about a great experience I've had at a new restaurant.


2010-06-02 12:31:48   This is our favorite Mexican restaurant and I am ecstatic they are serving alcohol. The tilapia fish tacos are so fresh with accompanying side of rice, you really could share these, entree's huge. The spinach salad, while appears boring on the menu, is really quite tasty and filling. They have the best beans in Rochester, too. The decor is fun and the atmosphere is family friendly. The servers always have a smile, and although they could visit the table for water refills a bit more, they are very accomodating and polite. My husband has some poblano pepper entree that he raves over. We could eat here twice a week, it is really good and the menu is varied. —LisaRuns


2010-06-13 15:17:35   We made our first visit to the Irondequoit location on Saturday after a trip to Blacks Hardware (which we LOVE). The food was spectacular and the margaritas were delicious (although I wish they had prices printed on the menu- the large size we both ordered were $12.95 each- which we weren't expecting...maybe that's just us). Our waitress was so friendly it just enhanced the experience. We've been searching for a new Mexican joint and I think we've found it. It's definitely worth the drive! —ShawnaLusk


2010-06-17 10:43:49 Well, I decided to give Monte Alban in Webster a second chance. They just don't have their act together at all in so many respects. I sat at the bar. There was no bartender, or I should say, the guy behind the bar completely ignored us and only spoke to the only other people at the bar, two other spanish speaking customers. He never spoke to us or even looked at us. A waiter had to offer us drinks and menus. Another waiter attempted to make a margarita as our food arrived, but admitted she could not. Neither waiter could articulate the difference between ranchero sauce or relleno sauce. My tacos were so soggy from the microwave, they fell apart in my hand and I ate my taco like a salad. The salsa looks like it comes from a jar. The guy behind the bar never spoke a word to us, even as we were leaving. It was the rudest encounter I have ever had at a restaurant. Never again. —mconnell


2010-06-17 10:54:53   Well, I decided to give Monte Alban in Webster a second chance. They just don't have their act together at all in so many respects. I sat at the bar. There was no bartender, or I should say, the guy behind the bar completely ignored us and only spoke to the only other people at the bar, two other spanish speaking customers. He never spoke to us or even looked at us. A waiter had to offer us drinks and menus. Another waiter attempted to make a margarita as our food arrived, but admitted she could not. Neither waiter could articulate the difference between ranchero sauce or relleno sauce. My tacos were so soggy from the microwave, they fell apart in my hand and I ate my taco like a salad. The salsa looks like it comes from a jar. The guy behind the bar never spoke a word to us, even as we were leaving. It was the rudest encounter I have ever had at a restaurant. Never again. —mconnell


2010-06-22 23:34:12   I visited the Webster location on a random Tuesday. We were seated quickly. The server was polite but did disappear for long periods of time. The chips and salsa were good - the chips were warm and the salsa flavourful The food was delicious. I got the mixed (chicken, beef + shrimp) fajitas with the habanero salsa and it was excellent. Had I not been starving, I would have definitely had some leftover to take home. I did find it weird that if you order an extra serving of 2 small tortillas (beyond the 2 they give you with the abundant fajitas), they charge 50 cents. Does anyone ever come close to eating even half the fajitas with just 2 tortillas? My friends said the margaritas were delectably strong. I recommend checking this place out! —OneLove


2010-07-09 22:26:48   I go to the Webster location, am a CA native until a few years ago and grew up eating Mexican food all the time. Monte Alban is by far the best place to get good mexican food in Rochester - and believe me, I have tried. The other restaurants recommended to me in Roc (prior to Monte Alban opening) had (seriously) some of the worst Mexican food I have ever had. I was so happy when I found this place I could cry! You know how it is...we all have our "comfort food", and for me this is it. Take it from someone who ate it regularly for years - this is as close as you will find in Rochester. The margaritas are good too(which I am also picky about).
Just an FYI - since some of the other posters mentioned the bartender...I eat at the bar in restaurants a lot because I go alone, and the bartender there was fine on my visits. He was friendly and attentive. Maybe the other posters were expecting regular table service (which I don't expect when I sit at the bar), I am not sure. But I had no trouble.
Also - the salsa is not from a jar. This is the way many restaurants in CA serve a very similar salsa, with a hotter salsa available upon request. I thought it was right in line with what I was used to back home. If people are expecting what most of us find in the supermarket as salsa (even the fresh stuff) that is not what you find in most Mexican restaurants. I think people are expecting pico de gallo sometimes. But we all have different tastes - I just wanted to put in my two cents in case other Western transplants are considering checking it out. Do it!! —erika


2010-08-02 11:11:33   My husband and I were very impressed with Monte Alban. Went to the Ridge Road location last night (Sunday) for dinner and the hostess greeted us at the door and we were seated immediately. Their margaritas are good and relatively cheap - less than $5! We ordered the Cowboy fajitas and a combo plate to share - chicken and beef were tender and they didn't skimp on the amount of shrimp in the fajitas. There was more than enough food and the food was delicious! Definitely the best Mexican food we've had in Rochester (we've been to Salena's and El Parian before they closed). There are more choices here than at Salena's — and another plus is that Monte Alban gives you free refills on chips instead of charging you for extra baskets of chips like Salena's (which is so lame)! We will definitely will be returning! —Acarp


2010-08-09 12:10:57   Friends recently invited my wife and I out to dinner at Monte Albans (Empire Rd. location). They said it was the best Mexican food they'd had in Rochester in some time. Before moving to Rochester, I had lived in a major metropolitan area near the Mexican border that boasts a large number of authentic Mexican restaurants. I'd also been to Mexico several times, so I was looking forward to see how Monte Alban stacked up. So you can imagine how disappointed I was when the salsa we were served before dinner was clearly from a jar/can and not freshly made. Minus 1 star.

But I would soon be even more shocked when my enchiladas arrived and I took my first bite to discover... wait, is that what I think it is?... yes, it's AMERICAN CHEESE!!! And no, I am not kidding. My wife said her beans had American cheese melted on top of them! No self-respecting chef should EVER use American cheese under ANY circumstances (well, except maybe for kiddie meals), so for a supposedly "Mexican" chef to do so is simply inexcusable. Minus 1 star again.

And the "Mexican" rice? What a joke — I swear it looked like Asian fried rice made with Minute Rice! My wife even said "I never saw Mexican rice with corn and peas in it!" Neither had I until that night. Minus yet another star.

As soon as my wife and I said our good-byes to our friends and got into our car, she said "That was awful." I was glad she agreed, because I was a little shocked at how completely wrong Monte Alban had gotten everything. If you bought yourself a Mexican cookbook, you could do 10 times better than the chefs at Monte Alban, I promise you.

People, if you think Monte Alban is anywhere near being authentic Mexican food, then you are completely clueless about Mexican food! Taco Bell is more authentic than Monte Alban, and no, I'm not joking. On a scale of 1 to 10, 10 being truly authentic, Monte Alban gets a "2" from me, and that's being generous. We will never, ever go back to Monte Alban again. —rocketdog


2010-10-17 13:59:57   It's like Taco Bell with real silverware and booze. The food is not expensive so I can't really complain that much. The place is very loud and very bright. I do go back here so I'm not saying it sucks it's just not authentic or a good place to go for a quiet romantic meal. —NewtonNola


2011-02-02 16:17:10   I don't know about authentic, but it's my favorite Mexican restaurant to visit in Rochester. It beats Salena's and Blue Cactus IMHO. The servers continue to bring you more delicious chips and salsa and the food is very tasty too. One of their soups which I can't remember the name of is very tasty, but out of this world spicy. I like spicy, but think of the hottest wings at your favorite wing joint and this soup is at least as spicy as that. Anyone know which soup I'm talking about? —ytbh


2011-03-28 08:53:31   great mexican food!! =) —R


2011-04-07 12:11:39   ALL website an email links listed on this page are incorrect. Site does not exist. —SarahD


2011-06-21 22:18:35   My wife and I have gone here dozens of times (Webster location mostly, although we've been to the other one also). We've experienced consistently fast service and great enchiladas. I'm hardly a judge of authentic Mexican cuisine, and this probably leans more toward tex-mex, but we're always satisfied when we eat here. —AndrewL


2011-08-25 17:11:14   My Fiancee and I have eaten here many times. I grew up in South Florida and I am quite familiar with hispanic foods from Central and South America. I love the food here at Monte Alban. The Cazuelon Dinner is amazing. Just a tip to put it over the top, order a side of Chori-Cheese Dip and smother the chicken and the rib-eye with it...AMAZING!! Staff is very friendly and fast...no complaints whatsoever. —GlennArgenti


2011-11-21 16:36:41   This is a review I originally posted on Yelp:

First of all, I'm reviewing the Monte Alban in Webster. Secondly, let me say that I in fact HAVE been to Mexico several times, and have spent a lot of time in the Southwest, where even the smallest town will have a Mexican restaurant before it has a Chinese place.

The food here is fairly traditional, in the style of central Mexico (as opposed to Pacific coast cuisine, or the more ubiquitous "tex-mex" and "gringo Mexican") that you find in most places here in the northeast. It might actually surprise some people that Mexican food is rarely very spicy, and is in fact quite complex in the flavors of it's components, such as in that of Molé. Even an ominous sounding dish like Chilé Relleños is, in fact, quite mild. It's really only "Texican" food that is blindingly hot (mostly to mask the lousy quality), and this place does NOT offer that type of cuisine. Yes, if you feel the need to mask the flavor of the food with some idiotic hot sauce, they'll bring a bottle to your table.

I've frankly never had a meal that disappointed, even when ordering the lunch specials, and the food always comes quickly. The prices are good, as well. For those who have experienced 'real' Mexican food in either Mexico or the Southeast U.S., you'll probably expect this place to be, if not dirty, then at least worn at the edges. Luckily, this is that rarest of all places, an authentic Mexican restaurant that is affordable, clean, and quick. I'm impressed!

The only thing that keeps me from giving it a full 5 stars is the variable (and often substandard) service from the waitstaff. Almost every time I've eaten there, they've brought me to a table that had JUST been wiped down with a VERY wet rag, leaving me to either stand around while it dries, or sit down and get a wet @$$. Also, most of the waitresses are a bit inept, either hovering over you, or else ignoring you when your glass is empty, or taking forever to bring you your change. I wouldn't say that the waitresses are bad, but they certainly wouldn't last a week at any chain restaurant.


2011-12-14 14:08:02   Went here today for lunch with a pretty big party from work, 14 people. The service handled it pretty well, food was consistently good, and the prices are still good. They are a well run establishment. —DamianKumor


2012-09-11 18:03:51   New location recently opened in Penfield. It's not yet listed on their website yet, but we ate there today. Food is as good or better than the other locations, and service was just as attentive and quick. New location is closer to where I live, so it'll be my new regular Monte Alban. —AndrewL


2012-09-19 09:43:50   Tried the new Penfield location. Food and service were as awesome as Irondequoit and Webster - not bad for a just-opened place.

Some thoughts about the three locations, even though most people would just choose based on geography.

Webster is my favorite. It "looks" and "feels" more like a Mexican restaurant than the others.

Irondequoit, the original location, lacks in decor and atmosphere next to the other two.

Penfield is comfortable, but being in a strip mall corner location, with wraparound floor-to-ceiling windows, takes away from the intimate feeling. And, at least the one time I've been, the number families with squalling babies, or bringing grandma who has never had Mexican food in her life out for dinner, was way more than I'd seen at the other two locations. —bionicsimmons


2013-11-07 12:29:17   neva, eva again. —jeanettejeanette