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“Fresh, flavorful, fast: fantastic!”
Review of Cafe Mexicali

Cafe Mexicali
Ranked #139 of 609 Restaurants in Fort Collins
Cuisines: Mexican
Description: Multiple locations. Another one in Greeley, CO.
Restaurant details
Description: Multiple locations. Another one in Greeley, CO.
Nashua, New Hampshire
Level Contributor
119 reviews
54 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 100 helpful votes
“Fresh, flavorful, fast: fantastic!”
Reviewed January 21, 2013

The Cafe Mexicali has a sign inside the dining room that says, "The only thing that we don't make from scratch is the sour cream, and we're thinking about it!" I've been there four times now, and each time was excellent. I'm especially hooked on the pork enchiladas. The meat's marinade is flavorful, the green chile sauce was tangy without a lot of heat (but hotter sauces are available), the cheese was generous, and the tortillas were hot off the griddle. They are served with lime-infused rice and a choice of pinto or black beans. The side of guacamole is generously proportioned, fresh, and not over-salted.

The cafeteria-style service moves customers along the assembly line efficiently. The meals are placed in deep, round aluminum foil bowls that double as take-home containers with the addition of a lid (available upon request). Except for the crowds of hungry college students, most people find they need to take theirs home because the size is so generous. The last time I ate at the Cafe Mexicali I brought my Mom with me and the two of us couldn't even finish one order of enchiladas. But believe me, we tried really hard to finish our meal. This is not a mixture of bland ingredients that needs hot salsa to wake it up: this is a meal that is very tasty at any level of spicing. And this meal cost us approximately $10 total for the two of us! What a great deal. When you are in Ft. Collins: run, don't walk, to the Cafe Mexicali!

  • Visited January 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Dr-Jill-from-NH
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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63 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Fort Collins, Colorado
Level Contributor
106 reviews
41 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 83 helpful votes
“Fast Sorta Mexican Food”
Reviewed January 15, 2013

The cafeteria assemby-line style service yielded the worst pseudo Mexican meal I have ever had. I ordered the cheese enchiladas, and while the individual ingredients were fresh: dumping a couple of tortillas, cheese, and sauce in an aluminum bowl and putting it under a heat conveyor does not yield an enchilada. It yields a mushy bowl of slop. This was truly mess hall service, with tasteless rice and beans thrown on top. While the line moved fairly quickly at lunch on my visit, I would NEVER recommend this place, nor will I return. There are PLENTY of Mexican restaurants in Fort Collins, both full-service and fast food. Any of these other choices shame the food served at this establishment and are comparable in price.

  • Visited January 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank RoInCo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Fort Collins, Colorado
Level Contributor
6 reviews
4 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Best restaurant in Fort Collins... Maybe Colorado”
Reviewed December 20, 2012

Over the past 6 years, this has become my favorite restaurant in Fort Collins... Maybe even Colorado. It is a TexMex or more appropriately Cali Mex style restaurant, so don't expect authentic Mexican, but don't let that deter you from going when you have a craving for Mexican as it doesn't disappoint.

My favorite is the Grilled Chicken smothered burrito. I get it with chips instead of the lettuce and pico de gallo. The reason is that Cafe Mexicali has the best sauces of any restaurant I've been to... Anywhere. I'll usually get the green chili and medium creamy habanero sauce mixed inside and outside the burrito. It is a magical experience!

There are tons of hot sauces available in bottles to add to the flavor... But to be honest, I've never once used one because the flavor of the house sauces are so amazing I haven't wanted to mess it up!

And the people are great! I don't know anyone personally who works there, but every time I get great service! On Monday's kids eat free with the purchase of an adult entree, and the kids quesadillas are quite big for my kids (5 & 2) so we usually have leftovers to dip in the extra creamy habanero sauce we get. There are lots of other great items like the quesole (rolled up quesadilla type thing that is served with a sauce, sour cream and guac I believe).

So if you haven't tried this place and live in Fort Collins, or are visiting, do yourself a favor and try one of the best restaurants in Colorado. But if its dinner time, call ahead and order for pick u, and just find a table when you get there (it's served in to go tins whether its eat in or take out) because the line can get long! Enjoy!

  • Visited December 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Twilly7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Fort Collins, Colorado
Level Contributor
25 reviews
17 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Great food and prices”
Reviewed December 11, 2012

Out of the numerous Mexican restaurants in Fort Collins, this one continues be in my family's rotation the most. The food is made from scratch, and you can really tell the difference. The sweet pork and white (creamy habanero) sauce are amazing! My favorite entrees are the Ensalada Mexicali and Quesolle which are both totally unique to Cafe Mexicali.

  • Visited November 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank redbird3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Colorado
Level Contributor
34 reviews
13 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
“Best sweet pork and Creamy Habanero Sauce”
Reviewed December 11, 2012

Cafe Mexicali is, by far, my favorite Mexican eatery in town! Their sweet pork enchildas with Creamy Habanero Sauce, served with either black or pinto beans is outstanding. Hubby usually gets the sweet pork burrito, while our friend gets the quesole. The tortillas are made fresh - you can often see them making them as you wait. It is ALWAYS busy, so be prepared to wait in line, but it worth it. They have limited outdoor seating and it is on College Avenue - the main busy street through town, but we go for the food, not the atmosphere. They even have a small kids menu available and often do fundraisers to support the community. Great food, check it out!

  • Visited December 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank skycolorado
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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