Papá Gallo Cocina Mexicana: Lynchburg’s Intersection Between Tradition and Innovation

by | Apr 2024

PAPÁ GALLO Cocina Mexicana is located inside River Ridge Mall but should not be mistaken for an aspect of the food court. This restaurant is well-designed, has a classic and vibrant aesthetic, and has a friendly staff. The atmosphere is lively, with the staff celebrating birthdays with sparkling cake candles and music. When we arrived, we were led to a cozy booth with a view of the entire restaurant. 

For an appetizer, we chose the chips and salsa platter that includes four of the eight salsas on the menu. We decided to order mango habanero, “Rango,” avocado salsa, and Molcajete salsa. Though they were all delicious, the Molcajete was a favorite and very reminiscent of our dining experiences in Puerto Rico. I am not exaggerating when I write that Papá Gallo has the best tortilla chips of any restaurant I have tried — they are thin, crispy, and incredibly seasoned. 

For the entrees, I went with a waitress’s recommendation — the “Birria Quesa Tacos” with consomé, and my husband ordered the bacon-wrapped “BTO Momia.” The tacos were incredible alone, but the consomé was the star of the show. It added depth and richness to the tacos that differentiate it from similar dishes. 

My impression of Papá Gallo was that the atmosphere was the perfect balance. The music is lively but not loud. The restaurant was busy, but our wait wasn’t long. From the environment to the food, it was a great dining experience. There is one thing that I can guarantee — they have made a repeat customer out of me. GN 

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