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Good Mexican in Cincinnati?

I started a similar thread a year or so ago but thought this was worth revisiting (because it is indeed a never ending quest!).

A few years ago dh & I made it a practice of trying all the local mexican restaurants. Our favorite is (and has been for quite a while) Rincon in Eastgate (near the Biggs). Really good chili verde, tamales, chili colorado, mole and enchiladas.

It seems new mexican restaurants are springing up in Cincinnati every day and it is hard to know which to try. I live north of the city (between montgomery & mason) and we haven't really found anything around us we like (we are giving El Toro a try tonight). Didn't care for Fiesta Bravo at all.

So whaddya think? Found any really good mexican food in Cincinnati?

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  1. We like Rincon very much and are also fond of El Ranchito on 5 Mile (Anderson Twp) and Habanero in Clifton.

    1. I make no claims of authenticity on any ethnic restaurants, as I have done very little international travel, but I do know what I like:

      1) The small chain called Acapulco - good, cheap, friendly service, fast. Locations I know of are in Fairfield and Milford.

      2) Rio Grande in the lower part of the Newport shopping center

      Oddly, I have had VERY bad experiences at both Rincon and El Ranchito, but I have also heard others praise the food at both places since then, and more than once. Maybe it is time for me to re-visit.

      1. I like El Ranchito, though I think their margaritas are tasteless. We tried Los Portales at Skytop, the foot of Mount Washington, and didn't care for it. I like the fajitas at Margarita's, everything else is run of the mill. I'm also a fan of La Mexicana in Newport, and a couple of years ago I ate at a hole-in-the-wall in Florence called El Pueblito that I thought was pretty good.

        But I still haven't found anything that blows me away. After getting an uninspired meal at Los Portales (basically, it was a shrimp stir-fry on a tortilla), I began to wonder if the owners of Mexican restaurants are doing what their Chinese counterparts have been accused of for years -- toning down the food for gringos. I just don't get the sense that what I'm being served is authentic.

        1. Chain-wise, I like Abuelo's. Don Pablo's is okay, too. I wouldn't make any claims of authenticity for either. Having never lived in the Southwest, I probably don't know what real, excellent, authentic Mexican food is anyway!

          Of the independents, I think the place at Winton and Kemper is the best I've tried. Unfortunately I can't remember the name. Rio Bravo, maybe? Anyway, they have a shrimp quesadilla to die for, and everything tastes like cooked from scratch.

          1. Just thought I'd update this thread w/my feedback on our latest mexican experience. We ended up going to Palacio Azteca - it is in a hotel off Mason-Montgomery. You would have to be looking for it to find it. Dh knows the owners - they are former employees from Rancho Grande who decided to start a place on their own.

            It was pretty good - better than many others I have tried but not as good as Rincon. I just had a chicken enchilada and chili relleno. Not particularly spicy (and I LIKE spicy) but I imagine that is in order to appeal to the masses. Dh had chili verde and really enjoyed it. Worth a try if you are looking for something new!