Edit: what the crap I didn’t title my damn entry.
This past weekend we were looking forward to plundering the Asian markets, but unfortunately the car decided to have an electrical short, so we did a whole lot of not much this weekend. And depending on how large the bill is for that electrical short, we may be doing a whole lot of not much for the foreseeable future.
On Saturday we decided to venture out to the local “Mexican” restaurant, Cilantro. I had been sort of wavering on the authenticity of the place (not to mention the fact that they close for “siesta” on Sundays? Um, what?), which is one of the reasons why we haven’t been even though it’s less than a 10 minute walk from our house. If you visit their website, you’ll notice that it says “The Taste of Mexico!” next to some rockets shooting out of… hamburgers.
One of the big questions posed by the potential diner is, “how do you define an authentic Mexican restaurant?” Does the restaurant NEED Mexican cooking staff? Most would say this is necessary, but as my guacamole (and, in general, Mexican cooking) will show you, a person does not need to be Mexican to grasp Mexican cooking.
Well, whoever is cooking at Cilantro does not grasp Mexican cooking. For the “basics” (burritos, tacos, etc), Cilantro does an OK job. I ordered Chiles Rellenos, which is a pretty common dish. It was not very good. My chiles were soggy, and there was nothing in the cheese to anchor it in the chili, so whenever I cut into it a blob of cheese would plop out onto my plate, surrounded by soggy poblano juice. Also, the beans were canned, and the salsa was so mild even Vic was eating it.
You know, I really don’t have a problem with canned beans if you’re cooking at home and don’t feel like taking 5 hours to make some refried beans. But damn, if I’m plunking down $10+, there had better be some house refried beans on my plate you lazy bastards.
The tragedy of it all: their margaritas are AWESOME! So if you’re in the Homewood/Flossmoor area and you need a margarita, hit up Cilantro. Unless it’s Sunday, or after about 9:30PM. Cilantro is only open until 10, 11PM on Fridays — but not Saturdays.
Final verdict: Underwhelming, Americanized Mexican food. Not recommended unless you eat elsewhere and are just heading over for the margaritas. Seriously, Pepe’s is more authentic, and probably less expensive.