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Mango's Grill, Salvadoran-Mexican on Route 1 and Cherry Lane in Laurel


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'juliusc91 said:

Went to Irene's again last night. Got mostly the same stuff I got above. Still great. a buddy got the plantains and beans dish, best sweet plantain I have had. Pupusa was hot and fresh and amazing too. The price/quality ratio is ridiculous here--5 dudes stuffed to the gills for like 45 bucks.

Have you tried Mango's next door to this place. I've been there a few times now and it is quite good.

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This place is consistently solid. The same folks are *always* there whenever we go. My only nit is that sometimes you need to remember to ask for what the specials are (in case they do not remember to offer them up!), but do get the goods on the specials as they often eclipse the rest of the menu. Went last night and again had their seafood fajitas. lobster, scallops and shrimp served up with onions, tomatoes, guacamole and your choice of flour or corn tortillas. If you like margaritas, they do a tasty rendition, but I am no expert. Note to self. Do not order the pitcher (of margaritas) unless there are more than 2 people drinking...Oy!

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This place does not invent new gastronomia. It does not test the culinary bellweatherliness. No. It is not the best food on the planet, not even as Mexican or El Salvodoran food. But.....

It is solid. Reliable. Tasty. Good. Delicious. Friendly. Comfortable. Tasty. Good. And quite reasonable. Remember to check the specials. Meander through the menu -- from good things you will not always find to things that seem more common to a Don Pablos, at least in name if not in delivery (thankfully). Worth a stop, a look and a taste.

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They took over the old India Gate space and did a pretty complete renovation on the space. Couple that with the curb appeal the shopping center owner is doing (fears of the new Laurel Town Center rebirth?) and this place is on solid footing, backed up by its solid cooking and friendly staff.

Honestly, while the regular menu is quite good, I always wait for the specials, because that is where these folks shine. :) So go! Try them!

That being said, there are an awful lot of newer mom & pop type restaurants developing and opening in Laurel of late, partly because of the large population of Hispanic immigrants, which I see as great. More places to try. For now, my favorite is Mango's, though. 

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Went again recently. They were PACKED. :)

While I opted for their (almost always on the specials menu) seafood fajitas platter, my wife tried their crabcake special - it was good, but quite rich. I spied a table next to us where the couple both ordered the same seafood soup/stew that I almost ordered (almost because I decided not too since it was too hot for soup!). Might have to try that soon as it looked really good.

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I got takeout from here last week. Didn't have a menu on hand so the guy on the phone helped me order. I ended up with the Mango's Grill Combo, which was a bit of everything: shrimp, steak, and chicken fajitas, rice, pico de gallo, guacamole, beans, and a roasted pepper, with 3 steaming hot tortillas on the side. Everything was solid and the meat was still tender by the time it reached home. A little expensive at $18, but enough food for two meals. I'll definitely be back to try their specials next time. 

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On 6/8/2015 at 10:19 PM, Shaho said:

I got takeout from here last week. Didn't have a menu on hand so the guy on the phone helped me order. I ended up with the Mango's Grill Combo, which was a bit of everything: shrimp, steak, and chicken fajitas, rice, pico de gallo, guacamole, beans, and a roasted pepper, with 3 steaming hot tortillas on the side. Everything was solid and the meat was still tender by the time it reached home. A little expensive at $18, but enough food for two meals. I'll definitely be back to try their specials next time.

THEY DO CARRYOUT?!?!?!?!?!?! How did I not know this?!

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On 6/8/2015 at 8:47 AM, Pool Boy said:

THEY DO CARRYOUT?!?!?!?!?!?! How did I not know this?!

Went here again the other night after not having gone in far too long (before going to see the Inside Out movie). It was pretty packed. People of all ages and ethnicities. People there for large family meals. Couples sharing a bite. A nice slice of Laurel life was here.

I veered away from the 'used to only be a special, but is now on the regular menu' go to dish, Fajitas del Mar (which they do so well). I need to try more of their menu so I went with Mariscos Saltado (shrimp, scallops, calamari and mussels in a broth with tomatoes, onions, garlic - served with good rice and a side of beans (also good). They offered and I took some tortillas but they were not necessary. Pretty good flavor, especially the broth, the mussels and scallops. They used pre-split but shell on shrimp, which is a mistake. The shrimp are overcooked and a pain to deal with due to the split and shell on. I'd much rather they keep the shrimp whole and shell on but that is me.  Their tortillas are excellent, and the salsa they serve with it is very good.  The guacamole is not nearly aggressive enough, but acceptable.

My wife's crab enchiladas were really great - definitely recommended.

They make pretty good margaritas, but nothing magical.

The service is really good though. It's a small, close knit group with the same people running it for years. Always friendly, always helpful and always responsive. Parking is easy. The refresh of the shopping center was done at the same time as the new giant development accross the street at the site of the old mall went in. Very glad to see these folks weather the closure of their old location and take the place to the next level. Sure, there's room for improvement, but I have a lot of menu to get through to find all of the easter eggs.

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We went again recently to dine in the restaurant. Packed. It is still good, and still worth seeking out if you are in Laurel for any reason.  I still have not done carryout, but we noticed this time quite a string of people coming to do just that.. We both decided to move this in to our carryout rotation post haste.

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18 hours ago, Pool Boy said:

We went again recently to dine in the restaurant. Packed. It is still good, and still worth seeking out if you are in Laurel for any reason.  I still have not done carryout, but we noticed this time quite a string of people coming to do just that.. We both decided to move this in to our carryout rotation post haste.

Pool Boy, has Mango's Grill already moved, or are they still in their original location?

Screenshot 2016-06-05 at 09.52.55.png

Never mind - I see from HowChowBlog's May 30, 2012 post that this occurred several years ago, and they just haven't updated their website. The restaurant is indeed right on the corner of Route 1 and Cherry Lane.

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Correct. Several years ago I am sure, someone acquired the land and buildings at the intersection of Route 1 and Rt 198 right in the heart of Laurel. There were a few things there - Mango's (in a tiny, tiny space), a check cashing place, a former Kenny Rogers Roasters that had been converted in to an Irene's (of Wheaton fame) and then this hideous, horrible, ugly, falling apart 3 or 4 story 'office' building (it had boards up in several windows, the AC was provided by random window mounted units, and was in a general state of disrepair -- I often wondered if anyone still went in to the building and worked there and always thought no, that is not possible...).

Anyway, someone must have bought everything up, did not renew any of the leases as they came up, tore everything down and put a super huge Walgreens on the sight (a significant improvement). Aside from that parcel being redeveloped in to something new and useful, Mango's landed in the old India Gate space at the intersection of Route 1 and Cherry Lane (YAY!). Irene's ended up near the Home Depot at Route 1 and Route 197 (I think it replaced an Asian Buffet place). The check cashing place disappeared (yay!), and that horrible ugly building was gone gone gone. As a side note, while it was too bad India Gate disappeared, the coming of Curry Leaf just down the road was a beacon of light (and that place is in my regular carryout rotation).

Mango's did a refresh of the India Gate space and really expanded the seating. A lot of the same people who were at the old location migrated to the new location and they expanded staff to manage the additional demand. I am really glad they are doing well.

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