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Cielito Lindo Mexican Restaurant Review
A taste of Mexican in Argentina.


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The Cielito Lindo Mexican Restaurant address is El Salvador 4999.  Monday thru Thursday it opens at 8:30 p.m., but on weekends the opening time can be a little earlier depending on the crowds.

Craving some spice in your cuisine?  Then head to Cielito Lindo for some spicy salsa.  Yes, it is actually spicy.  Now it isnít going to win any Texas hot sauce championship, but it is the closest thing Iíve come to hot Mexican since my plane landed in Argentina.

Cielito Lindo is located on the corner of El Salvador and Thames in the trendy district of Alto Palermo.  The restaurant fills up fast, so if you want a good seat you must arrive a few minutes before the doors open and stand in line with the locals.

Since the restaurant's square footage is equivalent to that of a college dorm room, they cram all the tables together, leaving you with little room to breath.  If you are a party of four there are some decent tables available without having to rub elbows with strangers (try upstairs).

Cielito Lindo Mexican Restaurant in Buenos Aires, Argentina
Cielito Lindo Mexican Restaurant

If you are a table of two, there are two options.  Take one of the minuscule tables for two and hope for the best, or sit near the wall at a table for six.  Now, they wonít leave the other four chairs open and let you have all of that space, but they do leave the two center seats free so you actually have a little room to place your drink.  The table for six is made of three small rectangular tables pushed together.  If you take the two seats by the wall, they will pull the last table about an inch down and just seat it, leaving the middle table as a buffer.  It is like you are sitting at a large dinning table with strangers, but at least there is an empty seat in between you and them.

The restaurants dťcor is a cross between an art gallery and a tourist shop.  Posters of Famous Mexican art are hung on the walls, while bold colored streamers hang from the ceilings.  Fortunately the restaurant is so small you canít help but to check out the people rather than the decorations.

We were lucky to be the second oneís seated in the restaurant, so I picked my table and enjoyed the few minutes of calmness.  We were quickly given menus and the server was very attentive for the first 15 minutes.  We were able to order our drinks, then our dinner, and receive our drinks before the crowd arrived.  Unfortunately, we didnít get our nachos appetizer before the waitress was swamped, so we sat there watching plates of freshly fried tortilla chips being served to other tables before catching the serverís eye and reminding her of our appetizer.

I recommend trying the nachos with beans and cheese.  Usually I am a fan of guacamole, but for some reason the Argentine avocados don't have much flavor.  We had the nachos and cheese; the cheese is a white cheese which completely covers each chip, so I thought it was a little much.  The nachos with beans and cheese is served more like chips and dip, with a scoop of beans and a little cheese in the center of a plate of nacho chips.  Anyways, the best part of the nachos is the salsa, so whatever you choose just make sure to place a large spoonful of spicy salsa on top.

We were a little lost when it came to the menu.  My boyfriend has a great Spanish conversational vocabulary, but his food knowledge seems to be limited to meat and potatoes.  So, we were at the mercy of the reviews we had read before coming to the restaurant and ordered the two most suggested items, the tacos al pastor and the cordero a la jalisco.

Tacos al pastor means something like the tacos of the shepherd.  They were soft flour tortillas with chopped meat.  On the side were diced tomatoes, white onions and cilantro.  The taco shells were very tasty, more like something you would find at a hole in the wall in San Diego than the bleached-flour shells from Taco Bell.   I thought the tacos were delicious, of course I piled on the salsa.  I would have loved a little sour cream or guacamole, but just a little taste of Mexican in Argentina was enough to satisfy my craving.  This dinner is a little small, so if you are a big man I suggest including a side of rice.

Cordero a la jalisco translates to lamb of Jalisco.  Jalisco is a state in Mexico which borders the Pacific Ocean.  I personally am not a fan of lamb; it just has a different taste than cow.  The dish looked like roasted lamb, which is pulled apart and smothered in red sauce.  It is not a spicy dish, more of a smooth bean like flavor.  My boyfriend loved it, but found it impossible to eat rolled into the small tortilla shells provided.  He ended up shredding the tortilla shells and eating it more like a goulash.

Overall we were very happy with our Mexican experience at Cielito Lindo.  I wouldnít recommend it for someone who was only spending a week in Buenos Aires, but if you are here for some time it is a local favorite.  Every other person who walked in the door would hug or kiss a waitress, but they were still stuck at cramped tables Ė no VIP service here.

Many of the locals think the prices at Cielito Lindo are too high, but our dinner with two bottles of imported beer was only 64 pesos about $20 USD.

Our Tab

Servicio de mesa (table service) 1 peso
Tacos al pastor 16 pesos
Cordero a la Jalisco 27 pesos
Corona Beer - 2 x 8 pesos 16 pesos
Water 4 pesos
Total 64 pesos


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