I'd been to this place once before, and I didn't really care for it. I was in the mood for some latin food, and I was driving in the area. They've changed their sign; it used to say "Cuban and Latin Food", but now it says "Cuban and Mexican" food.
My first time here they sat me in a booth right in front of the door with an empty restaurant; and they tried to put me in the same booth this time. No, I said, How about back there? There was a 2 year old running around up front, and I wanted to be away from that scene.
Fuego Latino Inside
It's a deep restaurant; it reminds me a little of LaBamba. I got some Iced Tea and they brought out some chips. Decent chips, but the salsa was as bad as any I've had. Probably out of a very, very big jar.
Fuego Latino Chips and Salsa
They use lime instead of lemon, but they have Splenda. They play latin music with spanish lyrics here. They've changed the menu, and they don't put olives in the ropa vieja anymore, so I ordered that. I would have gone for Mexican, but I wouldn't call it a Mexican menu. No Chile Rellenos or Enchilladas.
The food came out quickly.
Fuego Latino Ropa Vieja
I don't like plantains, so I asked for extra beans, so they gave me a big bowl of beans. After assembling everything together, it was a pretty hearty lunch.
Fuego Latino Ropa Vieja
As Ropa Vieja goes, this was pretty tasty. Often it's too bland, but this had a good amount of seasoning along with some onions and peppers. When I was done I'd had plenty of food.
The experience was tarnished with the baby whose mother was parading him around the room and laughing and shouting at every move he made. Between the crying, adoring yelps and the inane banter, it was like eating in a stranger's house. Not particularly inviting.
I'd had the Steak Julienne previously and I didn't think it was very good. This was a bit better.
I'd heard about this place a while back and I'd planned on trying it a few times; but something kept coming up. Today I felt like some latin food, so I headed off to commercial.
The place is in a pretty run-down center with a Gold's Gym. Inside it's all wood; like an old Rustler or Longhorn Steakhouse.
t's a very big place, so I wasn't pleased when they sat me right up front. It seemed that they were seating people so it would be convenient for the servers rather than comfortable for the customers. There's no reason to seat people so close at 3pm that they have no privacy.
They put olives in their Ropa Vieja here so I ordered their Steak Julianne, which is described as marinated skirt steak with green and red peppers and onions. They brought out a big basket of chips and a bowl of salsa; the salsa was fresh but it was just a tomato puree with some cilantro thrown in; and it was too watery.
The food came out pretty quickly.
Fuego Latino Steak Julienne
t hadn't occurred to me that this was really fajitas without the stuff that comes with fajitas. The first thing I noticed is that they don't know how to cook; skirt steak should be sliced across the grain and this had been chopped with the grain; you'd think that people who run a restaurant would bother to learn some basics. Another annoyance was that the bowl of beans didn't have many beans in it; it was mostly liquid and didn't even have 2 tablespoons of beans.
Taste-wise, the steak had a good flavor and they didn't scrimp on the red peppers as many places do; but it would have been a lot better if they sliced the meat properly or gave me a full bowl of beans.
This place is a perfect example of a place that just doesn't pay attention to details to make a dining experience the way it should be. Most of the annoyances were minor; but when you add them all up it just left me with a negative impression.