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“Don't Quite Get This Place”

Gina's Mexican Cafe
Ranked #26 of 331 Restaurants in Nanaimo
Price range: $0 - $12
Cuisines: Mexican
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Families with children
Dining options: Breakfast, Late Night, Dinner, Lunch, Reservations
Reviewed July 27, 2008

Gina's looks like many real Mexican restaurants these days; lots of colour and tackiness that works in a private home. So, I thought there was much hope for dinner (and a 20 minute wait.) The first sign that something may not be quite right (besides no Mexicans working the dining room), was that the margarita's (which are actually reasonably priced) were made from frozen Minute Maid limeade concentrate. After waiting for our table, we sat in the back room where at sundown, it was like a sauna (the windows were only open a crack at the top.) A bowl of nacho chips were placed on the table with fresh (and good) salsa. Note, only the first bowl is included with dinner.
I ordered chile rellenos and my date had a combination of an enchilada and tostada. What I was served was actually not a relleno, but unbreaded jalapeno poppers. The correct pepper for this dish is a poblano pepper; big, not too hot, with a hint of green pepper sweetness. I had 3 jalapenos stuffed with cream cheese. Really, really bad stuff! The tostada was OK, but very skimpy. The enchilada was very good: very close to authentic. The rice was served hot and the side of beans were also well done. Looking at the dishes on other tables, I could tell that Gina's has redefined what Mexican food should be. The flautas (which should look like a tightly rolled, open-ended fried crepe) looked more like a chimichanga. The burritos looked more like wraps and were folded incorrectly.
Service was a bit slow, but the place was extremely busy and the waitress had a nice attitude.
Gina's, while it isn't bad (it's not great either), just does not measure up to being a Mexican restaurant. Other places that have similar menus describe themselves as "southwestern" or "Tex-Mex". Be careful of what you order; it may not be your idea of what the dish actually is or what it should be.
In short, there are things on the menu that ARE good, but too many items that are no better than Chili's or even Taco Bell. The food is good at best. This restaurant is as Mexican as Pizza Hut is Italian.

2  Thank roccoz18
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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A TripAdvisor reviewer on Facebook
Reviewed February 29, 2008

The most amazing mexican food I have ever had!~!~!

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This review is the subjective opinion of an individual contributor and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor reviewer on Facebook
Nanaimo, Canada
Reviewed January 29, 2008

You sure get alot of food for the price.

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A TripAdvisor reviewer on Facebook
Reviewed January 19, 2008

If you want Mexican you want Gina's! Make sure you get one of their margaritas and if with friends get a pitcher of margarita. good value

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This review is the subjective opinion of an individual contributor and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor reviewer on Facebook
29
Reviewed December 28, 2007

Fun, casual mexican food. Bring your appetite!!!

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This review is the subjective opinion of an individual contributor and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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