I was torn between a Chile Relleno and a big Skirt Steak, so I was looking for a Mexican or Cuban place in the area that I hadn't re-visted in a while. I decided to go back to Cielito Lindo Dos; I'd been there when they first opened and the fact that they're still open was a good sign.jump-->
One thing that's changed is the music; it's LOUD festive music now, Mexican music in Spanish. Better than Katy Perry. I'd forgotten one key issue with the place, which is that it's very dark in the dining room. Ask for a booth in the exterior section by the windows; by the time I remembered it was too late to move. Inside is about the same; again, the odd decor is ideal for a Mexican restaurant and simple seemed creepy when this place was Palm American for a few months.
Cielito Lindo Dos Dining Room
You get chips; fresh, thin chips with mushy salsas. The hot salsa had a nice little kick without being obnoxious. I like salty chips and these weren't.
Cielito Lindo Dos Chips and Salsa
The special I had in this place last time was unremarkable; their menu describes the Churrasco as "a juicy skirt steak, unless you're from argentina, you've probably never had a steak like this, with chimichurri sauce". Too good to pass up. It was $17, so I figured is was a full skirt in a place like this.
The group behind me was trying to figure out how the Burger Battle was worth $40; and there is simply no math that justifies paying $40 for 2 beers and some burgers, particularly when like no good restaurants are doing it this year. I felt like saying something, but I didn't.
When they put the steak in front of me, I was disappointed.>
Cielito Lindo Dos Churrasco
Yikes, why was I paying $17 for this? Trying to pass this off as an "Argentinean" skirt is scandalous. I had to salt it; the steak should be marinated and shouldn't need seasoning, it was a skinny little thing; although it was properly medium rare.
A great chimichurri would have saved the day, but this was one of those versions that look good but didn't taste right; too vinegary and not garlicky enough, probably made with cheap oil. It was also too sweet; Argentinean sauce is much better than this.
Cielito Lindo Dos Chimichurri
The beans were good, and the steak passable. But this dish should be $12, not $17.
I've now had 2 dishes here that weren't very good; They're officially off my radar.
The long-time home of Mi Casa, Su Casa has re-opened as another Mexican restaurant with the short-lived Palm American Grille in between. It's interesting that the decor of this place just didn't work as a "regular" restaurant, but how a few "authentic" mexican pieces and some plastic Corona bottles hanging around can make it seem pretty cool for a Mexican restaurant. They have festive music playing and it's a pretty nice atmosphere overall.
They've replace the too-small TVs that Palm American had with 42" flat screens which is a nice touch as well. This place is a sibling to the original Cielito Lindo in Pompano Beach.
They start you off with some chips, accompanied by regular and a hot salsa. The chips are pretty good.
I ordered the Ropa Vieja lunch special, which includes rice, black beans and soup of the day. My soup choices were chicken rice or chicken noodle unfortunately; I would have like a bean soup.
I didn't want noodles (or rice), so I just had the broth. Not great and not terrible. It was ok.
Service was a bit uncomfortable; my server seemed nervous and tentative. My iced tea ($1.50 with lunch) was delivered without any ice. Not melted. Just warm. There were only 3 tables at 2:30pm but he seemed unable to keep up. My food came out fairly quickly.
The portion was fine for $7.99. The ropa vieja was more like beef in gravy; it wasn't the worst I've ever had and it was passable. The beans were good and they gave a good portion.
I'm not sure how this place will do, but it's an OK place for a budget lunch or dinner. They have specials during the week ($1.99 Margaritas on Mondays) and an extensive menu.