Now, if you are looking for GOOD Mexican, try Cielito Lindo. Since we were roundly disappointed in a Mexican meal in Salem over the weekend at Cilantro, we were still craving GOOD Mexican, so we visited Cielito Lindo.
The fresh guacamole of smashed avocados and cilantro with chopped onion and tomato chunks was as good as ever. It is dramatically presented in a generous "molcajete", a volcanic stone bowl -- or mortar without the pestle -- that resembles a garden hypertufa planter, with the result of making the contents feel as natural as eating "en plein air". While one order is plenty to share with a number of people, the two of us managed to polish it off readily enough.
We also relished sharing a hot bowl of Pozole soup which seemed intentionally over salty, just right to spice up a cold night. An intensely rich, dark broth, the soup has small chunks of meat -- though originally human, is usually pork -- and enough soaked, whole hominy kernels of maize, to make it a hearty first course. The restaurant's helpful manager came over to confess that this soup is traditionally considered a perfect "morning after" cure for a night of heavy partying, especially with an extra dash of hot sauce....
Regrettably, we decided to forego our favorite pan-seared tilapia, with it's amazing chipotle cream sauce, "Pescado Jose", for a couple of enchiladas that were dull and regular, if they weren't served with the perfect complement of delicately fried plantains, overlaid with a lace of cream and fresco cheese. Unfortunately, the mole sauce on the "De mole enchilada" was a real let-down, tasting more like a standard powdered cocoa afterthought, rather than a truly integrated spicy chocolate sauce.
Other than leaving with a desire to drink a gallon of water following the intentionally salty fare, we had no other serious complaints.
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