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“Mexican Without 10lbs of Cheese”
Review of El Carnicero

El Carnicero
Ranked #6 of 143 Restaurants in Lakewood
Certificate of Excellence
Cuisines: Mexican
Restaurant details
Reviewed May 1, 2014

We crossed over the imaginary line from the East side to the West side to check out this relatively new eatery in Lakewood. Housed in an old bar this restaurant delivers! We started off with the classic guac which was creamy and well seasoned with crunchy chips to scoop up every last drop. Try the short rib tamales. Packed with flavor these will knock your socks off! The order arrived with a red mole like sauce and a green sauce will not leave you hungry. Portions were generous and the flavor off the charts! The Steak taquitos were delicious but unlike my tamale order, very light on the portion. The service was slow and friendly but it was mid afternoon on a Sunday and we were in no rush. While this was our first visit to this eatery I can tell you we will be back! It so nice to have a mexican food option without 10lbs of cheese!

1  Thank Jon L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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89 - 93 of 101 reviews

Reviewed April 15, 2014

This is one of a long line of newer restaurants that seem to care more about having a trendy, cool atmosphere and an interesting sounding menu than they care about actually serving decent food. The menu is strange (wild boar) and sounds pretty unique and different, but nothing on it actually tastes good. The only exceptions are the guacamole and the margaritas. If I wanted to have drinks and guacamole, this is the place. If you want a decent meal, skip it. Like someone else mentioned, the food is way over salted. I even like salt, but this was ridiculous. One of the salsas and the chimichurri fries we ordered were literally not edible because of the salt. The chips were over-salted too. My shrimp taquitos, on the other hand, were super bland. The turkey mole was also no good. Both the shrimp and the turkey tasted old, like maybe they were cooked and then were re-heated. The drinks and guac were delicious, the service was good and the staff was super friendly.

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Thank cibber93
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 29, 2014

We visited for the first time on a Friday night. It was busy, but the man behind the bar (I don't remember his name -- tall, horn-rimmed glasses) took the time to explain the margarita menu to us. We ended up with his recommendation, the original, from scratch with chile-lime salt. OMG. I went in not even wanting a margarita because Cleveland's winter is still holding and i was freezing. But this margarita put me back on the beach in Cozumel. It was outstanding. I rarely order a margarita in a restaurant -- and if I do, it's only after I know it is fresh (whoever invented margarita mix should be strung up). I will NEVER hesitate to order a margarita at El Carnicero. Guacamole and salsa were just as impressive, too. We had other plans for dinner, but we'll be back here many times. Like so much of Lakewood, nice mix of people in this restaurant..young, old, gay, straight, black, white, etc.

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Thank amagar
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 9, 2014 via mobile

El Carnicero is another standout restaurant by chef Eric Williams. Mod mex...not your typical taco (go somewhere else if that is what you are after). Great, fresh ingredients, and guacamole flavors that are fun and tasty, you must give it a try! The taquitos are yummy and the tamales have great flavor. Did I mention the guacamole?!? Yum....smoked salmon!!

Thank Tnab
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 29, 2014

As a native Texan, I grew up on great Tex-Mex, and El C has become one of my favorite stops for freshly and creatively made food in Northeast Ohio. The tamales are just fantastic (I've tried several kinds at this point), the homemade guacamole is better than anywhere else (the goat cheese guac is awesome) and it's just such a welcome change from the more standard Mexican fare you get elsewhere. I also love the wrap-around bar(s) and the wrestling motif - it's a lively, interesting place, and regularly crowded (and commensurately noisy). I've had nothing but attentive and engaging service. To other reviews, parking is indeed an adventure (though it's relatively easy to find on-street parking within a short walk if you just look around) and I've been consistently surprised how fast a meal can get expensive (the margaritas are excellent, but no bargain), but the overall experience has consistently been very good. Between this and Momocho, it's two damn good choices for fresh interpretations of modern Mexican.

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1  Thank Cowslower
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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