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Jul 26, 2013 10:23 AM

Lino's Mexican Cafe

Didn't feel like cooking with all the heat last week so I stopped by Lino's Mexican Cafe in Red Bank. I have been meaning to check this place out for a while. First they are cooking with an open fire and had no air conditioning, so not the kind of place that you where you want to eat in when having a heat wave. Decor is minimal.

But then there is the food. I ordered the Mexican bbq for two for $ 15.99 to go since this is the specialty of the house. First of all, this is a lot of food. The platter included shrimp, beef short ribs, carne asada, pork ribs and a half chicken with black beans, yellow rice, guacamole, grilled cactus, grilled onions and grilled jalapenos. Plus 12 flour tortillas. If you are not starving, this could easily feed 3-4.

While waiting for the takeout I hit the cash machine and stopped by Jaunito's bakery to get some tamales. They were out, so I got the chicken enchiladas to go instead at $ 6 for four.

The meat had been grilled indirectly over hard wood coals and was well seasoned with a delicious smokey flavor. Gauc was fresh and maybe a little lemony. The grilled vegetables were also good, although I find nopales (grilled cactus) to be an acquired taste that I am still working on. Beans and rice needed seasoning and were a little disappointing. Also, they did not include salsa, which I just can't understand. The Jaunitos enchiladas worked well with the rest of the menu though.

SO, for $ 22 total this was a ridiculous amount of food and was a delicious alternative to take out pizza. I would definitely order from Lino's again.

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    1. Nice post with Lino's now sitting on a very very short list to be tried out. It sounds delicious. Thanks.

      1 Reply
      1. re: JustJake

        If one cannot trekk all the way to NJ ...what is the very best Manhattan mexican that you can recommend....similar to Lino's ?

      2. Thanks for telling us about this place!!

        We got take out for dinner tonight. We got the same parilla platter and a chicken quesadilla. This place is legit.

        It does take awhile. But I believe they were cooking our meat to order. The lady who took our order spoke English very well, so calling ahead should be no problem.

        Our food for $16 was served in a shallow half catering tray. They are definitely giving u plenty of food.

        Our rice was pretty well seasoned and we got two soufflé cups of sauce/salsa.

        The orange sauce was insane hot and the green sauce was pretty hot.

        I think our tortillas were corn as opposed to flour.

        I normally don't eat a lot of bone-in barbecue stuff but this food had me nawing on the bones.

        This isn't fine dining as u noted, but it's great dining.

        1. This place has been on my radar for a while now. Last night I tried the Parilla Mexicana as well. The OP pretty much summed it up. It is a decent amount of food for the money. The short ribs were probably the worst of the bunch but they were still OK. The pork ribs were really good and quite tender.

          For 15.95 this is a nice pick up for 2 people.

          I loved the fact that they actually have like half a chord of wood sitting inside the building next to the fire pit. lol

          The fire definitely makes this place pretty hot. In the winter this place will be a better dining location.

          Did anyone get a salad? It said on the menu it came with a salad but I didn't get one. (this is the mexican BBQ dish I am referring to.)

          2 Replies
          1. re: corvette johnny

            There was lettuce and tomato in the container with the Quesadilla.. I assumed they put it in there to save a container, but now looking at the menu again, that also comes with "salad". but it was literally just lettuce and tomato

            1. re: coldsolderjoint

              As an update...

              I have had 3 of the same dish and all 3 were tasty and consistent. Check this place out folks. For 15 dollars you basically have enough for for 4 meals, or one very hearty meal for 2 people.

              I plan to dine in here as soon as we get some cool weather so I can try the chips and salsa.