Midweek in the afternoon, people peek through the window of Raul’s Mexican Grill on Glen Street in Glens Falls. Their faces are hopeful, as they confirm the site is open before wandering in for fresh Mexican cuisine and, most likely, a margarita.
“We have a loyal following,” said JK Camp, Raul’s fairly new general manager. Prior to working for Raul’s, JK was a longtime manager of Adirondack Pub & Brewery in Lake George.
“We’re going to be okay,” shared JK, referring to the the restrictions placed on restaurants with COVID-19.
JK shared that his hiring at Raul’s is indication the restaurant is doing well, as Raul’s founder and owner, Russell Porreca, needed assistance to handle the demands of the business. Now open for 14 years, Russell has grown Raul’s from a small eatery to an expanded operation and full service bar. Even in 2020, Raul’s has maintained a steady flow of lunch, happy hour, and dinner customers, along with increases in takeout orders.
A Fresh, Fantastic Kitchen
Asked why people love Raul’s, JK responded quickly: “Our kitchen crushes it.”
Executive chef of 11 years, Lucas VanScoy, and his culinary team work around-the-clock to bring vibrant, fresh flavors to their customers.
“We have no microwave. We have no freezer. Just a cooler,” shared JK on the restaurant’s commitment to fresh ingredients. “People ask why our guacamole never browns. It’s because we are hand-making the guacamole fresh all day long.”
Raul’s fresh Mexican fare includes dishes such as Beef Brisket Burrito (Seasoned chopped beef brisket with cheddar cheese, caramelized onion, and tomato, served with salsa fresca), Goat Cheese Quesadilla (Goat cheese with sun dried tomato, Spanish onion, cheddar cheese, mild chiles & cilantro), and their very popular Fish Tacos (either wild-caught, Faroe Island grilled salmon or shrimp with cheddar cheese, lettuce, tomato, red onion, avocado, lime & salsa verde). Their creative specials (think sharkbite tacos or Thanksgiving burritos) are always a hit too.
Raul’s offers a variety of of vegetarian, vegan and gluten free options, and has a large children’s menu too.
Lucas shared that Raul’s chose to initially close when COVID hit in March. The team took a few weeks to deep clean the restaurant, plus rethink operations, and transition to increased takeout.
Since re-opening on Cinco de Mayo (one of their top-selling days of the year), the business has carried on, opening the adjacent space (which housed the original Raul’s, and later, the Chicken Shack). This space added an additional 400 square feet to better allow for social distancing, and safely accommodate patrons.
“We can easily and safely accommodate large groups in that space,” said JK. “We can have up to eight people at the bar, as well.”
The team is also excited to now offer online ordering.
The eatery continues to offer 20+ tequilas, including the premium Cincoro Tequila created by Michael Jordan and other basketball legends. (JK says there have been a lot of curious taste testers that have come by to try the new brand!)
Raul’s margaritas (in their many flavors like Mango, Cranberry, and Habanero-Peach) continue to be a top order, plus patrons enjoy $1 off all house margaritas, bar drinks and appetizers from 2-6 each day for Happy Hour. A rotating roster of ten beers on tap is also available.
With holidays around the corner, JK shared that gift cards to Raul’s (and fun merchandise too!) can be purchased onsite.
Here are just some comments from the public on the popularity of this neighborhood nook:
“Best Mexican food that I have eaten! The chips were homemade and the queso was excellent as well. I had a steak burrito and was happy that there was a huge quantity of steak in the burrito. Huge portions and excellent service. If I am in the area again, we will be stopping back here to eat for sure!”
“It is always a great meal at Raul’s. Homemade chips and salsa could be a meal. I daydream about their Margaritas! Fun to sit outside and people watch.”
“I have been going here since the restaurant was just a counter window for takeout. Fresh used ingredients everyday, the best handmade margaritas and tacos that are consistently delicious every time. Try my favorite, Jerk Chicken Tacos. Or with their own homemade habanero sauce, you can make anything your own. You will not be disappointed.”
Raul’s is located at 164 Glen St. in downtown Glens Falls, and is open every day but Tuesday from 12-9 p.m. Follow the restaurant on Facebook, or on Instagram at @Raulsmexgrill. You can now order online at their website.
Special thanks to Della Auto Group for supporting this story.
Says Christopher Della Bella: “Raul’s has been a favorite for Mexican fare and margaritas for the Della Bella family for a very long time. With outstanding locally crafted dishes and always a smiling face to greet you, it is a great place to come relax and sit down on the circle in downtown Glens Falls. Russell always makes us feel at home upon arrival and the Mexican food is always on point!”