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El Centro Area Restaurants

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Recommendations?? Need to be in El Centro in mid-April.

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  1. If you like south-of-the-border Mexican seafood with a focus on shrimp, I just had a very good meal at Mariscos Puerto Nuevo.

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    Mariscos Puerto Nuevo
    201 N Imperial Ave., El Centro, CA 92243

    3 Replies
    1. re: BeenThereAteThat

      Their seafood cocktails are excellent. Last time there I had the shrimp stuffed fish fillet that was wrapped in bacon and broiled with a cheese sauce--outstanding! I look forward to going back.

      1. re: NVJims

        I'll be returning next month. I hope it's as good as it was earlier this year!

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        Mariscos Puerto Nuevo
        201 N Imperial Ave., El Centro, CA 92243

        1. re: NVJims

          Major changes--Mariscos Puerto Nuevo has changed hands and location. It is now at 201 N.Imperial Ave right next to Brunners Inn--the sign is hard to see. The seafood cocktails are still excellent, but the rest of the food has gone downhill somewhat. The new restaurant is larger. The quesadilla especialla de mantiray was soggy with grease and tasted more like pulled beef than stingray. The shrimp stuffed fish was served with the 'stuffing' on the outside and was very salty, though that may have been from that batch of bacon.

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          Mariscos Puerto Nuevo Bar & Grill
          , El Centro, CA 92243

      2. Go to Celia's on Adam's Avenue (west of Imperial Avenue) for some good, diverse Mexican food. How long are you going to be there? Because, for the most part, the predominant type of restaurant there is Mexican food.

        The China Palace has good Chinese food and a steak house on the other half of the building. The Hacienda Restaurant has good Mexican food too as does Jalisco's and Las Salsas on 4th street. Around the corner from Las Salsas, where the road turns into Adams Avenue is a place called the Tropicana. They have some delicious Pancit there and a dish called Inihaw Beef, which is strips of sirloin in a hoisin/soy sauce type of sauce served with rice. Their Chicken Chop Suey is good there too. Not much in the way of atmosphere, but always consistent flavor!

        Burgers and Beer is the local hangout. It can be pretty loud in there!

        My new favorite is in Imperial (5 miles north of El Centro). Take a left (East) at the stoplight on the road to Brawley. At the first corner is a place called Johnny's Burritos. They make the BEST machaca burritos and they also serve these crinkle cut fries with melted jack cheese sprinkled all over. Wash it all down with their delicious Sweet Tea served with crushed ice and lemon. Heaven!

        1 Reply
        1. re: LisaSD

          It's hard to go wrong with Mexican food in El Centro, but I second Celia's. Their refried beans -- obviously cooked with lard -- are outstanding. I like to make my own bean and cheese burrito with a flour tortilla and an order of beans.

          Anywhere in the city be sure to try the puffy, cheese-filled "special quesadilla."