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Jan 28, 2011 04:02 PM

Bueno's Marlton. Not really.

Tried a second new restaurant for the week. This one was very dissapointing. Bueno's Mexican in Marlton, open two weeks in the old Hardshell Cafe site. Walked in to a cold restaurant and had food that didn't warm me up. The wait staff seemed poorly trained. Only two servers and one didn't remember the second of two specials. Listening to the other server being unable to describe dishes made me think it was not going to be a promising run. Our server described the restaurant as authentic Mexican...everything is fresh. Apparently authentic doesn't refer to flavor - the dishes were all underseasoned.
The best of the night were the fresh nacho chips and the flan. Inbetween the plates were not up to the standards of some of the other "real Mexican" places such as La Esperanza in Lindenwold and the still missed Mexico Lindo in Camden, Two salsas came with the nachos, a verde and a mild red. I asked if they had anything that was a little hotter and the waitress offered to bring Tabasco. I guess that was the authentic Avery Island district of Mexico. After my wife suggested some chopped peppers they did bring out some freshly chopped Habaneros which did make the red salsa much nicer.
I ordered one of the specials which was a Shrimp Burrito. For $15 it was quite small and needed the addition of Habeneros and Jalapenos(which were from a bottle-not fresh) to give it some flavor. As I got to the end of it, I bit into a shrimp that was undercooked. When I pointed this out to the waitress her reply was that the others were probably done ok because I would have tasted it otherwise. She claims she knows this because she eats a lot of seafood. I am thinking that since there weren't many shrimp and they were small (31-40 size) I may not have bitten into any others and eaten them whole so therefore not noticing the texture being off.
I was so turned off by this response that even if the food was good, I would not be back but the food would not draw me back either. Instead of going for good (Bueno) I will keep going for Hope (La Esperanza).

La Esperanza Restaurant
40 East Gibbsboro Road, Lindenwold, NJ 08021

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  1. My husband and I decided to try this place with some friends recently and LOVED it! This restaurant is as authentic as it gets! My mom's whole family is from Mexico and we are BIG fans of mexican food and have been to Mexico many times and this place is the real thing. The menu is extensive and the people were very nice, ready to explain any questions we had about the menu. The restaurant was a pleasant environment and we loved that it was a BYOB. Our portions were large and tasty. The mole poblano was just like the mole we have in Mexico and the Guacamole and Queso Fundido were fresh and great appetizers. My friend eats spicy too, and they gladly brought us fresh jalapenos when asked. The tequila ice cream was delicious and big enough to share! When we went they also had two servers as well, but I'm sure this is because they are new and are still seeing how things run. Overall, by the end of the meal we were all stuffed and happy :) We will definitely be returning to Buenos!

    1 Reply
    1. re: MJ06

      Maybe they are getting their act together. I hope they do because I would love a second good mexican restaurant to choose from.

    2. I was always afraid to set foot in the restaurant that used to be in this space - Gagan Bistro ("gaggin" ugh). But my husband loves Mexican so we tried Bueno's on Tuesday night. We walked into a clean, nicely decorated (for a strip mall) restaurant. It was completely empty at 7:30 pm. We got what appeared to be fresh tortilla chips with a salsa verde upon sitting down. The salsa verde was watery and did not have much flavor. We ordered iced tea, which was a little bitter, but the refills were free. Our waiter was good - no complaints there and I'm usually picky about waiters. We shared an order of the queso fundido as an appetizer. It was a dish of pure melted cheese with a splash of red sauce on top which I could barely taste. It came with only 3 tortillas, not nearly enough for all that cheese. For the entrees, I had the tacos de bisteca (steak tacos, sorry if my spanish is off) and my husband had tacos carnitas (pork tacos). The menu said they came with a spicy sauce, pico de gallo, onions, cilantro and a side of rice and beans. The plate arrived with three tacos (doubled soft corn tortillas) open with piles of meat in each one. The steak looked kind of like thick steak-ums. Almost like it was boiled. The rest of the plate consisted of two slices of tomato atop some shredded lettuce, three lemon wedges (WTF - on beef?!), a tiny cup of minced onion and cilantro, a spot of reddish rice and dried out dookie pile of mashed black beans with a corn chip sticking out the top. And another cup of the bland salsa verde. So I went about constructing my taco, putting a little of everything inside. Take a bite and it's the most bland meat I've ever had. Like something you'd get in a school cafeteria - that grey, fatless, cardboard style meat. It didn't taste like it was cooked with any seasoning whatsoever, not even oil. My husband's plate looked exactly the same, but his pork was a bit more attractive (and tasty) because it still had some fat on it. After dumping all the stuff they provided, plus some salt and pepper, on to the tacos, they were edible, but that's about it. We didn't order dessert. I'm hoping the chef or owners read this. I'd go back to this restaurant because it's very close to my home, we like Mexican and there's a lack of good Mexican food in the area. We had high hopes for Bueno's but unfortunately I couldn't recommend it to anyone.

      Bueno's Mexican Cuisine
      150 Rte 73, Marlton, NJ 08053

      1 Reply
      1. re: iktomi

        Just tried Bueno's last night, and we LOVED it. Brought a bottle of wine and enjoyed complimentary fresh, crispy chips with salsa verde and pico de gallo to start. Were greeted by a very friendly server who informed us about the Wednesday special: All You Can Eat Enchiladas! For $15.50 pp, we had our choice of enchiladas prepared with our choice of sauces (mole, roja, verde) complete with sides of rice, beans and salad. We could continue to mix and match until we were full. The enchiladas were wonderful: juicy chicken, creamy cheese, and flavorful sauce. Our server continued to check on us throughout the meal, but gave us our space to chat and enjoy our meal. Luckily, we saved room for dessert. Tequila Ice Cream! Wow, it was wonderful: creamy tequila ice cream served on a crispy flour shell complete with a carmelized banana and cinnamon. It was perfect. Not too sweet. My only complaint, it was too big to finish. Next time, I'll split it with someone else! All and all, we had a great time and will definitely be returning.