We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Great guacamole!”

El Centro Mexican Restaurant
Ranked #568 of 3,227 Restaurants in Boston
Cuisines: Mexican
Neighborhood: South End
Restaurant details
Neighborhood: South End
Eugene, Oregon
Level 5 Contributor
66 reviews
39 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
“Great guacamole!”
Reviewed April 2, 2012

One of the best guacamole's I have had! We went later in the evening for drinks and a snack and it is a great place with a cool painted mural in the back.

Large, delicious margaritas... would have given it five stars, but things were a little pricy. $10 margarita. I would go back for sure!

Visited March 2012
Helpful?
Thank Sone-a-rone
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

62 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    27
    25
    5
    3
    2
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • Danish first
  • English first
  • German first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Boston, Massachusetts
Level 2 Contributor
7 reviews
6 restaurant reviews
“Food was good, but nothing to write home about”
Reviewed March 27, 2012

I was excited to try this new corner Mexican restaurant. I found the food good, but it didn't stand out as being particularly great. I would recommend this place for a low-key night out, but not for a special date.

Visited March 2012
Helpful?
Thank MarieC86
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Boston, Massachusetts
Level 6 Contributor
146 reviews
127 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 54 helpful votes
“An Authentic Mexican in the South End”
Reviewed November 10, 2011

Located on Shawmut Ave right across the street from Orinoco’s, El Centro is a tiny little neighborhood restaurant. The door leads right into the restaurant, which I can imagine in the bitterly cold winters could be problematic. Our night was cold but the restaurant was so packed you really didn’t get a lashing from the wind each time the door opened.
The small room is decorated with light yellow walls covered with brightly colored paintings of famous Mexican singers and actors. Tiny tables covered nearly every part of the restaurant, which I would say seats about 60 people total. We got there around 7.00pm and every table was taken and mostly with young couples with kids. A little off-putting for me as I am less inclined to dine at restaurants with kids running around. We were seated very quickly at a small table against the wall and touching distance from a family of three. I did have to ask them to get up so I could squeeze into the table. This is as cozy as it gets.

We ordered what looked like fun Margarita’s on the rocks both with salt. I loved the traditional huge margarita glasses, unfortunately the taste was less desirable. The margarita tasted like orange/lemon juice with club soda and only a glimpse of tequila.
The menu really does look traditional with lots of interesting items from the well known Enchiladas and Chimichangas to Corn dough tartlets and Ceviche. We decided on sharing a few things starting with the Gaucamole El Centro. A large bowl of deliciously creamy, slightly tangy gaucamole with savory ground chorizo and wonderful, salty fresh chips. Super filling and very tasty.

We then ordered the Mini Tamales, Chile Poblano and Ceviche. Probably a little too much food but a super and interesting selection of tastes. The tamale and ceviche with more chips came out all together – our table was starting to get a little over crowded. Just as we started to dig in, the Chile Poblano came out so we asked them to take it back until later in the meal.

The tamales “a dish made of masa (a starchy dough, usually corn-based), which is steamed or boiled in a leaf wrapper” were surprisingly tasty. I have had tamales in the past there were very dry. Not the most desirable dish to look at but these were cheesy, moist and very fresh tasting.
The shrimp ceviche was a huge portion of large and plentiful chunks of shrimp and finely chopped vegetables and avocado. Wonderfully seasoned with hints of cilantro and coriander with a tart but quite mild citrus juices. Probably my favorite dish of the evening.

Before we had finished they brought out the Chile Poblano again on a burning hot plate and looking a little dried out – it had obviously just been kept hot for us so I thought it would taste dry. I was wrong, it was cheesy goodness with tasty refried beans and a spicy tomato sauce. I would have eaten so much more but by this time, we were so full that we were just picking at our dishes.

With all the dishes coming out so quickly and the large line that was forming with people waiting for tables, I thought that we would have been rushed to leave. Not the case at all. We were left to enjoy a glass of Sangiovese and a great catch up after a long week of work.

I did read a lot of reviews about how slow the service is at El Centro. My opinion is that it is more service of chaos than slow. We did have to flag a waiter down each time we wanted something but our requests were dealt with immediately from the attentive and very friendly waitstaff. The waiters seem to serve all tables rather have a selection of tables that each one of them look after.

El Centro seems to draw quite a crowd on a Friday evening and once the young families had left, the South End urbanites started to descend upon this noisy, bustling neighborhood place, lining up down the center of the restaurant drinking large Margaritas and tall Sangrias.

A fun locale offering authentic Mexican cuisine.

  • Visited November 2011
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank LifeFoodWine
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Boston, Massachusetts
Level 5 Contributor
57 reviews
33 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
“Outstanding Mexican Restaurant in Boston”
Reviewed October 26, 2011

We went there with some friends and ate family style. Everything we ordered was fantastic, especially the vegetarian dishes. Drinks are strong as well. Not much more to say, we will definitely be back.

  • Visited September 2011
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank nuclear_travels
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Boston, Massachusetts
Level 5 Contributor
55 reviews
33 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
“Favorite South End Mexican”
Reviewed October 25, 2011

Great spot, small place with great authentic Mexican food! Quick service, imaginative decor, love the lighting and the washroom. Small menu, love the tortilla soup, ceviche is my favorite!

  • Visited October 2011
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Kbw511
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers who viewed El Centro Mexican Restaurant also viewed

 

Been to El Centro Mexican Restaurant? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing