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“great food, great atmosphere, beware the wine sneakiness”

Criollo Latin Kitchen
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Ranked #11 of 349 Restaurants in Flagstaff
Certificate of Excellence
Cuisines: Latin
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Business meetings, Romantic, Local cuisine, Bar scene, Special occasions
Dining options: Dinner, Breakfast, Late Night, Lunch, Reservations
California
Level Contributor
36 reviews
21 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 45 helpful votes
“great food, great atmosphere, beware the wine sneakiness”
Reviewed September 18, 2011

I followed Yelpers' advice and had the pork belly tacos with jalapeno glaze, local pork, and homemade tortillas. I was not disappointed. The meat was perfectly prepared, extremely flavorful, and the sweetness of the jalapeno glaze was fantastic. Great little corn tortillas, and excellent pinto beans. My husband had fresh, sustainably harvested breaded catfish which was, again, perfectly cooked (although he found the sauce a little bland). The atmosphere is superb for drinks or dinner, with exposed brick walls, art, and excellent lighting.

I'm docking a star for wine sneakiness: I did not notice that the menu had three prices for certain wines. I only saw the cheaper price on the left (which I assumed was for a glass), and the expensive price on the right (which I assumed was for a bottle). Actually, the price on the left is for a 3oz pour, and the middle price is for a regular glass. OK, so it's up to me to read the menu correctly. However, since the wine I chose was being substituted with another, I asked the waiter if the substituted wine "would be the same price, $5.75 per glass". He said, "yes". My husband and I each ordered a glass. When we got the check, we saw that the wine (a mediocre malbec) was actually over ten bucks a glass--more than my pork belly tacos. When I asked the waiter to fix the "mistake" on the bill, he was very polite but we still had to pay. I felt that the waiter misled us, and the price for wine was disproportionately high compared to the price for food. Other than the wine scam, the service was excellent. I'd go back for the food...I just won't order wine. They do advertise a $3 margarita happy hour with $2 tacos. THAT sounds like a good deal.

  • Visited September 2011
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank gcfoodie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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720 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
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English first
Scottsdale, Arizona
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“So yummy we went back the next day.”
Reviewed September 16, 2011

We quite enjoyed Criollo. Our favorite dish was the wild salmon tostada, though we liked everything we tried. Delicious, fun, relaxed atmosphere. Sat at the counter in the window with our toddler and did a little people watching. Liked it so much we went back the next day for appetizers on our way out of town.

  • Visited September 2011
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank nuthatch12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Phoenix, AZ
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Fabulous and unique flavors in a great little place!”
Reviewed September 13, 2011

Stopped at this little restaurant while visiting Flagstaff a couple of weeks ago because of many great reviews. Wow, were we impressed. I enjoyed salmon on a wonderful little tortilla with a who knows what sauce on top and flavors I couldn't pin down. Rates as one of the best salmon dishes I've ever eaten and that says a lot! Wine that was recommended was a red from Mexico that all raved about. 5 family members at dinner all left saying we will come back soon.

  • Visited August 2011
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank suzanny14
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Tucson
Level Contributor
289 reviews
137 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 225 helpful votes
“Excellent Latin Fusion”
Reviewed September 1, 2011

We ate at Criollo our last night of a three night visit, having hit the brewpubs the two nights before and wanting something different (and better) for dinner. Criollo is the sister restaurant to Brix, which is a very pricey, but probably first class (for Flagstaff), restaurant a few blocks up the hill from the Historic District. Criollo, on the other hand, is quite moderately priced and is located on San Francisco Street, only a half block from Route 66, right in the heart of the Historic District.

I had the Slow Cooked Short Rib, which was a surprising large, yet incredibly tender, piece of meat, with a spicy mole sauce, and topped with just a bit of pineapple salsa, a few pickled onions and a sprinkle of peanuts. It was outstanding! My wife had the veggie chile relleno and proclaimed it tops as well. Someone on TripAdvisor had recommended the chile chocolate cake, so we ordered that. While it was disappointingly small, the flavor was wonderful, leaving a nice burn in the back of the throat.

Our waitress was very friendly, chatty when she came to our table, but not bothersome at all.

Criollo was our dining highpoint and is an affordable alternative to it much more expensive sister, Brix. Our only complaint was that the seats by the windows, whre you can people watch on San Francisco Streeet, had way too many flies to contend with, so be advised!

  • Visited August 2011
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank TucsonCurt
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Phoenix, Arizona
Level Contributor
116 reviews
67 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 152 helpful votes
“Bustling, delightful downtown restuarant”
Reviewed August 8, 2011

My wife and I dined here on a Saturday in the middle of the Arizona Cardinal's training session held in Flagstaff. Criollo's is on San Francisco Street in the heart of Downtown Flagstaff. Apparently they do not accept reservations for less than six, but when I went on line a request, I received a prompt e-mail response, saying the on-line reservation system was only for its sister restaurant, Brix, but that they would make a reservation for us none the less. This is excellebt service, which was carried out when we showed up.
The service was quite good, although our server got hung up with a very chatty couple when we qwere waiting for our check. The menu is eclectic, with a slighht emphasis to the latin side. There was only one vegetarian dish for my wife, but she enjoyed it. I had barbecued duck, served with quinoa, a South American grain which worked very well withy the sauce. My wife had a very goood salad and I had an excellent chicken tortilla soup. I indulged in a delightful cjocolate dessert. The restaurant also serves mini-glasses of wine for $3.50, which Edith enjoyed. Criollo's is not large, and essentially is a storefront looking out on the street. Weboth enjoyed our meals, and would highly recommend Criollo's to one and all.

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

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