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Zocalo in Brighton - any good?

Just read a review of Zocalo in Brighton in the Improper- they gave it good marks, but they usually grade a little easily -
anyone been there ?

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  1. yes. try the guac or the ceviche both of which are amazing and done tableside- they have really delicious sangrias as well. I love it!

    1. It has been a few months since we were there, but I remember enjoying the mango sangria and the chili rellenos.

      1. Yeah, when was the last time the Improper slagged anyone?

        I thought Zocalo Brighton was solid for upscale Mexican, with great guacamole, decent sangria, very good, friendly service. But I was hoping the food would wow me more: it was good but a little on the dull side. They manage the parking decently, always a problem in that neighborhood. Details of my last visit here: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/341287

        1. wow - detailed review ! I will definetly have to check it out for the guac and sangria !

          1. It's a great place, their sister restaurant is in Arlington Center. Some of the more authentic Mexican with great flavor. I think they may have the best Chile Rellenos in Boston and an awesome mole sauce.

            1. If it's anything like the one in Arlington, I'll dissent: I hated it. The food was bland except for vinegary tanginess. I would have prefered the chips and salsa I could buy at the supermarket.

              3 Replies
              1. re: fenian

                I had also read bad things about Zocalo in Arlington. Checking out the two websites, it looks like the Arlington restaurant has a somewhat more casual menu (burritos and enchiladas dominate), and is unlicensed. Is that right? Or are the two really very similar?

                1. re: fenian

                  I thought it used to be good and really enjoyed the Chile Rellenos with Mole Sauce. I took a friend there about 6 months ago and was embarrassed. The Chile Rellenos were greasy and tasteless. Normally, I'd give a restaurant another chance but it was so bad, I haven't had the heart (or stomach) to return.

                  1. re: FoodTruth

                    Have to agree with fenian. I went to Zocalo about two months after they first opened up in Brighton because I'd heard the Arlington location was good, and all three of us dining were shocked at how bad it was. It's been a while, but if I can recall the guac was fine but nothing special. The vegetable stew we envisioned would be thick with hearty vegetables was bland and had only zuchini and carrot. A chicken dish was as dry as it gets. The much hyped enchiladas were also dry and not very flavorful. Really, we spent most of the meal aghast at how bad it was. It may have been too soon to go, since at that point they were still brand new. But since they do have another location, I find it hard to cut them so much slack.

                2. I go to Zocalo about twice a month, and it just seems to get worse. Portion sizes get smaller, quality has been SIGNIFICANTLY decreased. I got the tacos chorizo, and what was once 2 large flavorful tortillas of multitude of high end ingredients, became the same taco you could get at Boca Grande in Brighton, which charges $3.95 as opposed to the $12.95 Zocalo charges. Boca is no pinnacle of mexican food, but for what the owner of this place charges...no way. If the girls are out for nachos, tableside guacamole, and sangria, not a bad place. But for eating enthusiasts, STAY AWAY. Same family owns Ole in Inman Square. You want some good eclectic mexican, thats the place to go.

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: Rahul Singh

                    DISREGARD PREVIOUS REVIEW.
                    Updating my review from 6 months ago, the taco de chorizo isnt my favorite, but their entrees such as Legumbres en Pipian, the classic Carne Asada (red snapper), the pozole (mexican stew), and the quesedillas are all winners. Tasty and fresh guacamole is made to order, available table-side or even takeout. Much better than I had remembered, and definitely worth a trip. Great drinks too.

                    1. re: Rahul Singh

                      We finally made it the Arlington location (it's near home), and had a great time. The hostess/waitress was incredibly nice and welcoming, and accommodated our group when several friends wandered in and wanted to join the party. The chips and salsa were excellent, and the guac was good and fresh but needed salt. In fact, I'd say that was one theme of the evening -- under-salting. (Frankly, I'd rather have that than oversalting -- you can always add it -- tho we had to ask for a salt shaker since they don't live on the tables.) The beans in particular needed salt.

                      Everyone enjoyed their meals, with shout-outs going to the chile rellanos and the enchiladas. I had the special green mole & chx, and it was really flavorful. I also liked the nopales app.

                      The atmosphere was very enjoyable, the service was great, and the food was good enough for us to add it to the local rotation. I mean, it's Boston -- aside from a very small number of good Mex/SouthAm joints (Taqueria La Mexicana and Lupita for instance), I've decided to be satisfied with decently-ok Mex joints.

                    2. Ok, I've been here 3 times over the course of the past year. I went because I liked the food I have gotten at Arlington. Unfortunately, the food and service in Brighton is so terribly inconsistent I'd strongly avoid Brighton for good.

                      The first time I ate at Brighton, my food was just plain cold! I figured because it just opened they must be "working out the issues". So I went again in October and the food was actually quite good. Unfortunately on my 3rd trip in December the food plummeted to a new low that was just revolting!

                      I'd suggest sticking with Arlington.