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Chilangos in Providence?

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HI There,
What do you all think of Chilangos on Manton Ave? I hear it's the best authentic Mexican food in town. Do you agree?
How's the atmosphere? Do they rush in and out? Or can you sit and talk for awhile.

Thanks!

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Chilangos
447 Manton Ave, Providence, RI 02909

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  1. The food is a notch below the best in town, wherever that is. Still pretty good though. I keep going back because the vibe is such good friendly fun. Sit and talk and have another margarita.

    8 Replies
    1. re: atheorist

      Quote: "The food is a notch below the best in town, wherever that is."

      This statement is a bit confusing. Could you elaborate?

      1. re: bewley

        I punted because I am not an expert on Mexican Food. I have had more awesome food at El Rancho Grande and Taqueria Lupita in CF (Oh! those fish tacos one time... but not another). There are other places I have not tried that get praise here. Yet I keep going back to Chilangos when I want to be certain of enjoying a leisurely meal.

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        Chilangos
        447 Manton Ave, Providence, RI 02909

        El Rancho Grande
        313 Plainfield St, Providence, RI 02909

        1. re: atheorist

          I don't mind Chilango's at all! And you're right about being able to have a leisurely meal there. I wouldn't have dragged my opinion of another Mexican place on here, but since you mentioned Taqueria Lupita, I had to add my two cents. We had recently started going there again but after last Friday night, it is now crossed off my list! Horrible, horrible, horrible. My husband's tacos were absolutely dripping grease that even he had trouble eating them. And the thinness of the meat in my torta de milanesa de res was absolutely embarrassing. The serving of chips was paltry and when we saw that we were charged for a second serving, we were pissed because they were also over-fried. Sooo disappointing.

          Still like the tortas at Tierras Hispanas on Broad Street in CF, but their service is mind-numbingly slow!

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          Chilangos
          447 Manton Ave, Providence, RI 02909

          1. re: GabachaYucateca

            Although Gabacha may not like it that way, other Chowhounds should know that proper Milanesa is pounded paper thin and lightly breaded. It's also not "Mexican" food, being found on menus from Mexico to Tierra del Fuego. In fact, it probably came to Mexico via Argentina and to Argentina via Italian immigrants. Milanesa->Milan. My experience at Taqueria Lupita has always been good.

            1. re: kcward

              While I love to eat (as most do), I'm not too worked up about the fact I may not be a "chowhound" because I was unaware of the origins of Milanesa. I have eaten Milanesa (as Mexicans prepare it) and this was the first time it was pounded that thinly! So thanks for the background.

              There were so many other issues with Taqueria Lupita that the fact I am misguided as to what milanesa should be like is such a small point!

              I also don't sweat the whole "authentic" Mexican food thing too much...if I like it, I like it...especially since this is the type of food I end up eating 85% of the time.

              1. re: GabachaYucateca

                i concure. i happen to love rancho grande, i'm not losing any sleep cuz some people who appear to know more @ mexican food than i do think it's lousy. in my work, people often look to me for "approval" in regards to wines they drink. "is this a good bottle of wine?" "do you enjoy it?" "yes" "then i guess it is, isn't it!" eat, drink, and be merry!

                1. re: GabachaYucateca

                  No worries, Gabacha, I'm not kicking you out of the gremio, I said "other chowhounds" not "real chowhounds." Having lived in Mexico for many years, and for many years before in Brazil, I've had Milanesa made good, bad, and ugly. If you go to a good butcher in DF and ask for a cut to be prepared "a la Milanesa" they'll pull out that toothy hammer and start pounding. If you say stop too soon, you'll get a short (or long) disquisition on how if it's too thick, the breadcrumbs will burn before the meat is cooked through. Street stalls and low end restaurants buy the meat unprepared to save time and money. They'll cook off some portions and keep them warm in a steam table or warmer (if you're lucky), where the meat cooks to completion (or over-completion) without the breadcrumbs burning. Arguing about "how Mexicans prepare it" is a non-starter, like arguing about the best pizza in the NE, since in Mexico, as anywhere with any dish, there's the good, bad, ugly, and" WTF were you thinking?" It does strike me, however, the contradiction between emphasizing having eaten Milanesa "as Mexicans prepare it" and not sweating "the whole "authentic" Mexican food thing" since it seems like you sweat it a lot. It just doesn't seem right to me to diss Taqueria Lupita for doing Milanesa right.

                  1. re: kcward

                    I'm not dissing Taqueria Lupita for "doing it right"....I was dissing the place for several other reasons which I mentioned above! I shoud have also mentioned that the breadcrumbs were blackened and the bread burned!

                    I mostly bought Milanesa as my choice for comida corrida from dozens and dozens of places and in the occasional taco, and had very, very rarely had it so thin and that's why I thanked you for your background. When I say I don't sweat the authentic thing, I mean that we frequent places that "true" Chowhounds hate, such as Cancun and El Tapatio.

                    I've now got quite a bit of background on Milanesa, thanks...but I am so pleased that the Milanesa that I buy from the ladies selling comida corrida from their kicthens is inauthentic, as I find it much tastier!

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                    El Tapatio
                    214 Grand Ave, New Haven, CT 06513

      2. I've always enjoyed the food at Chilango's... although if I want something with chorizo in it, I usually head to El Rancho Grande

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        Chilangos
        447 Manton Ave, Providence, RI 02909

        El Rancho Grande
        313 Plainfield St, Providence, RI 02909

        1 Reply
        1. re: malyna

          just went to chilango's again recently... i had the lengua tacos, it was out of this world good

        2. The simple authentic food is as good as anything you can find in delicious little hidden places in Mexican communities in CA. The atmosphere is great - lots of hand-carved wood (carved by the owner!), friendly people working there, just all-around a warm familial environment. A few years ago they removed some of my favorite things from the menu in lieu of some more expensive and more gringoified dishes (camarones a la diabla?) These are mediocre - stay away. Huaraches, pambazos, tacos, gorditas, enchiladas... those are where the delicious lives. Especially anything with mole - they do it very well. If you go for lunch (so they told me last time I went) you can still find the old menu. The tequila that Carlos (the owner) makes, Casa Vieja, is delicious as well.

          Only loses a star because of the ill-advised change to the dinner menu a few years ago.

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          Chilangos
          447 Manton Ave, Providence, RI 02909

          1 Reply
          1. re: Ygorl

            They undid the "ill advised change."