Sunday, August 03, 2008

Long Overdue for Another Visit - Cielito Lindo

Still a fantastic Mexican place. And one that we had inadvertently forsaken for quite a while. My hubby and I met 007 there last night.

It was too blazing hot to eat outside, but the blond booths and the cool interior beckoned us. I’m still fascinated by the alcoves giving homage to various icons.

Cielito Lindo continues to concoct a kick-ass margarita. All of us were partial to the Gold variety: 1800 Anejo and Cointreau on the rocks generously served in a water glass. Mmmm! We had also forgotten that the salsa contained a slightly smoky flavor which added to our delight. For starters we shared the guacamole. The perfect cool, creamy dish to begin the evening with lots of avocado chunks and the right balance of cilantro and salt.

For dinner 007 ordered her favorite (mine as well!): Talapia Verracruz – fish served with an olive and caper verde sauce. She declared it as good as ever. My hubby turned out to be in a tamale mood, which was, quite frankly, bizarre. Every time he had ever had tamales he had not cared for them. The masa was always too heavy and overpowering. Well, not this time. The masa was more akin to a light and tasty cornbread encircling a tasty pork filling. We were very impressed with the texture and the taste. I opted for the Carne Asada Tacos – spicy pork with cheese and pico de gallo. I had my choice of soft corn or flour tortillas. I chose the corn because I had the option. Very satisfying. All dishes came with Spanish-style rice and we had the option of a side of refried beans, black beans, or a black bean/corn/carrot salad.

While we were enjoying our dinner, a couple of guys walked in to pick up a catering order. Some other lucky Richmonders were also eating well this evening.

Cielito Lindo
4702 Forest Hill Ave.

Cielito Lindo Mexican on Urbanspoon


Jennifer said...

It's 4702 Forest Hill, not 3900. The margaritas are good, though!

pjpink said...

Oops! Thanks for catching the typo. It has now been corrected.

RVA Foodie said...

Would you say this place is more akin to Casa Grande/Mexico, Chili's chain, or La Milpa?

pjpink said...

This place is much better than Casa Grande/Mexico. Let's not even compare it to Chili's. And I have not been to La Milpa.

tbsamsel said...

It's not La Milpa-ish at all since you can't get menudo or caldo and their carnitas are cut too regular. Carnitas should have the texture of pulled pork with some crispy bits (La Milpa has it that way..). It's a bit gringoized, but we like it since it's close by. It's also a whole lot better than the Mexico/El Paso/Casa Grande glop, though.

I wish they had Bohemia (a beer). They have Bohemia at Los Amigos (the old Steak & Ale on Midlothian).

Janet said...

It's a nice place (definitely not the in league of LaMilpa) with a good atmosphere and a good menu. We are also guilty of not going there as often as we should and it's the one place I splurge on margaritas and they also have killer guacamole.

RVA Foodie said...

Thank you TBS for broaching the "gringoized" subject. I haven't been to Cielito Lindo, but just passing by I get the vibe that I might be subjected to Baja Bean (old menu) or Banditos style perversions of the mexican staples. Personally, I don't expect authentic Mexican in the States (except on Hull Street). Being from California (until 9 yrs old) I've got a fondness for Mission style burritos (Cafe Ole!) and exotic fruity salsas on top of everything. But, more often than not, the independents aren't much different than Q'doba or at best, Baja Fresh. Cielito Lindo, here I come to taste for myself.

liz said...

We are also big fans of Cielito Lindo and miss seeing them on Saturdays at the farmer's market for their breakfast burritos! We haven't been to La Milpa, I guess we'll put it on the list!

tbsamsel said...

There are Mexican/Guate eateries on Jeff Davis, btw. And a huge latino market called The Big Apple down there.. they sometimes have culantro, an herb which is sortof like cilantro, but not..

And sometimes they have fresh chipilin..

The Big Apple is owned by Koreans, BTW..