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Reyna's Mexican Restaurant - Tinton Falls

equal_Mark May 25, 2014 12:26 PM

Hmmm, a couple doors down from my podiatrist. Been open about a year now. Especially like the sound of the Chili Toreado side on the Specials Menu to go with my Tacos. May have to take one for the team...

http://www.reynasmexicanrestaurant.com/

 
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  1. c
    coldsolderjoint RE: equal_Mark May 25, 2014 08:54 PM

    Interesting, on my radar now. Looks like more of a Tex-Mex menu, but that is what my wife and I like.

    1. d
      doggiedoc RE: equal_Mark May 25, 2014 09:48 PM

      I've never been myself but a friend of mine can't stop talking them up. Christina (Manager? Owner?) is said to be a very warm and accommodating hostess & is willing to tailor a dish to one's tastes. Word of warning, don't go if you're in a rush. Apparently everything is made to order and it can sometimes take a while for the food to come out...eager for your review!

      1. equal_Mark RE: equal_Mark May 26, 2014 08:20 AM

        Went for dinner last night. Got there about 6pm and was sort of surprised to find the place packed. This included a party of nine that was just being seated when I arrived. The place remained relatively full the whole time I was there, and was doing a steady takeout business as well. Seemed unusual for a sunny, beautiful Sunday evening in the middle of Memorial Day Weekend.

        Was immediately brought out a basket of chips and salsa. The salsa was more of a chunky tex-mex style than the thinner versions featured at many "mex-mex" type of places where it is meant more to be spooned onto the food as opposed to scooped up with chips. I felt it could have been spicier, but it was well made and flavorful with bits of peppers, onions and cilantro.

        I ordered the Tacos al Pastor which is my benchmark for most Mexican places. I had noticed that the online menu offered tacos with a choice of "Soft Corn Tortillas" or "Home Made Soft Corn Tortillas." This distinction was not made on the paper menus in the restaurant, but when I mentioned it to the server I was told that they were indeed available but would take a bit longer to prepare. I decided to go for it anyway, picturing the help out back grinding the dried corn into masa with an oxen powered grinding stone to fashion my "Homemade" tortillas...

        Also ordered the Chili Toreados, Spicy jalapenos grilled and served with lime and tamarindo sauce to go with my tacos (peppers were roasted and split lengthwise). Also got a small side of guacamole (note that guac appears in 4 different sizes in both the Sides and Dips sections).

        All in all everything was quite good. The portions were large and nicely spiced. The "Homemade" tortillas were a bit thicker than the standard issue commercial ones and seemed a bit more prone to splitting. As mentioned above there was a bit of a wait given that the dishes are prepared to order and the place was packed. Bill came to $20 before tip. The servers were exceptionally nice and had a thorough knowledge of the menu. Look forward to working my way through the menu...

         
         
        1 Reply
        1. re: equal_Mark
          Tapas52 RE: equal_Mark May 26, 2014 03:26 PM

          Nice review Mark......I'll have to hit this place soon also.

        2. CatLadyJan RE: equal_Mark May 26, 2014 12:10 PM

          We have eaten at Reyna's twice. The food is delicious, very good portions AND made from scratch, so if it is busy you may have to wait but it is worth it! Delicious!

          1. m
            melinge RE: equal_Mark May 29, 2014 06:05 PM

            I love Reynas!!! The food is excellent!!! I recommend everyone try this place. I eat here every chance I get!!!

            1. c
              coldsolderjoint RE: equal_Mark May 30, 2014 06:57 AM

              My wife and I dined here last night and had a great meal.

              Started off with Picaditas with shredded chicken. It was very flavorful and tasted homemade. I have never had these before.

              My wife had the steak and pineapple quesadilla which was excellent. I like Al-pastor tacos, but the combination of steak and pineapple was unique and delicious.

              I had a grilled steak chimichanga. The portion size was amazing. It was actually two chimichangas on the plate. Enough for dinner and breakfast, and you guys know that I do not eat small portions. The steak was perfectly cooked, and very tender. Lots of cheese and peppers and onions. The rice and beans where also well prepared and seasoned. It seems like at a lot of places, they are an afterthought.

              I wanted to try the sopasillas, but by that time, we were full, and I was alrealdy taking home most of my dinner. I had eaten the better half of two baskets of chips and salsa during the meal as well. The chips are fresh fried and delicious. The salsa provided is a chunky "tex-mex" version, but it tasted fresh and very good. Lots of chopped veggies in it.

              All in all, I would really like to return and try other things. We enjoyed this food much more than many of the other tex-mex places in the area.

              8 Replies
              1. re: coldsolderjoint
                equal_Mark RE: coldsolderjoint May 30, 2014 07:34 AM

                You're not the only 'Hounder that was there last night... :-)

                1. re: equal_Mark
                  Tapas52 RE: equal_Mark May 30, 2014 09:07 AM

                  Its on my radar for Tuesday lunch.. ;-)

                  1. re: equal_Mark
                    c
                    coldsolderjoint RE: equal_Mark Jul 5, 2014 06:59 PM

                    Had another great meal last night at Reynas. We did our BBQ on Thursday, and decided to take it easy last night. We brought some people with us, a little soft sided cooler with some beer, and had an awesome meal. Had the albondigas for an appatizer (chicken meatballs).. they were served with roasted red peppers, and were amazing. I've never had this dish before, but the nice crisp sear on the outside, with the well seasoned meat on the inside and the contrast of the pepper was amazing. I wish I had a sub roll and just put like 8 or 10 of these bad boys on it.

                    Had the al pastor tacos which where excellent. Served with a chopped/cubed pork and pineapple, and a steak burrito.

                    Finished up the meat with both a cannoli burrito (which I guess is not authentic, but it was great. And sopapillas, I've never had this dish before either, but it was fried flat dough, sweet, but not overly sweet, with some powdered sugar and whipped cream on top.

                    I thought the delicateness of the dough was awesome. Almost like a breakfast food.

                    Can also be served with ice cream or their fried mangos.

                    Service was great, and the food even better.

                    Other's in our party remarked how their "usual" tex-mex place is no longer their favorite.

                  2. re: coldsolderjoint
                    Barbarella RE: coldsolderjoint May 30, 2014 10:03 AM

                    I was there last night also, around 7:30 . I had the mariscada borracha ( drunken seafood) and hubby had the fish tacos. No apps just chips and salsa. All were very good.

                    1. re: coldsolderjoint
                      j
                      James Cristinian RE: coldsolderjoint May 30, 2014 10:15 AM

                      Two minor quibbles, chimichangas are not Tex-Mex and most authentic Tex-Mex salsas are not chunky.

                      1. re: James Cristinian
                        equal_Mark RE: James Cristinian May 30, 2014 04:40 PM

                        All the Tex-Mex establishments I am familiar with in this area offer chunky, tomato based salsas made wit cooked tomatoes, diced fresh onions and chopped cilantro. These salsas seem to be mainly offered as a dip to be scooped up with fried corn tortilla chips.

                        Most of the salsas served in more authentic Mexican establishments are thinner, chile based sauces using mainly either dried red chiles or pureed green chiles with tomatillos & lime juice. They are meat to be spooned on to the food served to enhance the flavor. The dried tortilla chips are pretty much a Tex-Mex affectation and many restaurants in Mexico don't even serve them.

                        There is another subset of Cal-Mex cuisine which often features a fresher Pico de gallo or Salsa fresca which features fresh, uncooked tomatoes, onions, chiles and cilantro.

                        Of course there are many variations among establishments and many types of salsas can be mixed and matched, but the distinctions noted above are the ones I've been made aware of.

                        1. re: equal_Mark
                          h
                          Herm RE: equal_Mark May 30, 2014 04:53 PM

                          I agree =Mark, and I agree that that is the way it's usually presented to us here in NJ. James' profile states that he is from the Great State of Texas, and while I enjoy reading his take on it, (which may well be correct) it's not the way it is around here.

                          1. re: equal_Mark
                            equal_Mark RE: equal_Mark Jun 1, 2014 01:58 PM

                            Talked to one of the servers on a subsequent visit, and they also offer the thinner, chile based salsas (roja and verde) in a range of heat levels. Salsa chipotle is also available. They seem to be purposely blurring the line between Tex-Mex and straight Mexican and will accommodate most any request. Maybe I can lean on them to add a Mexican Coctel de Camerone to the menu... :-)

                      2. Tapas52 RE: equal_Mark Jun 4, 2014 09:41 AM

                        We were able to have a late lunch at Reynas yesterday since I was in the area.
                        Upon walking into the empty space at 4pm the atmosphere was cozy nice wood grain furniture, colorful walls, etc. But the service was a bit lacking at best,…….to start off I had to go in the back fridge and get my own soda as the waitress seemed like she didn’t want to be there very weird…waiting for more friends to arrive I sat and looked over the menu noticing that for a “TEX-Mexican restaurant the prices were a bit overpriced,
                        but I was there to eat so what the heck. Oddly as =Mark mentioned in another post there was no Mexican Shrimp cocktail or (“Cocktail de Camarones”)…….the waitress finally came back & started taking the order, halfway thru she got a phone call and was gone at ;east 5 min as we waited…….when I asked her what was the difference between the Guacamole & the “Tequila Guacamole” she said “not to be sarcastic sir but there’s Tequila in the Tequila Guacamole”! Also we ordered a LARGE Guacamole for the table and when it came out it was the same SMALL Size as the so-called Large?
                        So were off to a bad start but we were hungry and finally put our choices in .
                        I ordered the Chorizo, & Chicken Empanada appetizer it wasn’t bad but drenched in cheese sour cream which I’m not fond of as it softens the crunch factor of the outer shell….also the Grilled Jalapeno appetizer which was probably the best thing on the table…had a nice Char, served with Pico de Gallo and lime & extremely Hot just how I like it. Following that I ordered the Tacos Al Pastore marinated seasoned Pork with grilled Pineapples in a Home made soft Taco shell not bad but a delicate shell you had to be careful when holding so it didn’t break apart. We were surprised when we asked for some hot sauce green & red they brought out little shot glass size cups and charged us for them too, most places I go its complimentary on the table? All in all it was just OK for me. Glad I could now scratch it off my bucket list. In the end $75.00 wasn’t worth it IMO.
                        I will say that during the meal the night waitress Christine came on duty and was so friendly and informative to us, a complete turn around from our first server.
                        The Mexican Places in Long Branch, La Valentina, El Oxaqueno, etc, have nothing to fear…lol they are far better & authentic in so many ways.

                        Now what’s the next place on my list?……

                        4 Replies
                        1. re: Tapas52
                          equal_Mark RE: Tapas52 Jun 4, 2014 12:22 PM

                          I agree that the Mexican places in Long Branch that you mention have nothing to fear, mainly because A) Reyna's is not in Long Branch, and B) none of those places are Tex-Mex. Reyna's prices are pretty much in line with the other Tex-Mex places in the area (which also don't offer Coctel de Camerones or the red or green chile based salsas).

                          The initial service was pretty iffy and I don't get that prices being totaled were not on the check, but this was a separate issue involving a specific server. I'll be headed back to check out some more of the menu items.

                          1. re: Tapas52
                            Tapas52 RE: Tapas52 Jun 4, 2014 12:30 PM

                            BTW $75.00 was for 3 people,...... But for me it's well worth the extra miles to go to LB for better food. Just seems that the so called "TEXMEX" style traditionally all tastes about the same as most all the SAME ingredients are used in everything drenched in cheeses with the only difference being the outer casing. I have a few Mexican friends that laugh at TexMex food saying that it's mostly an "Americanized version" created to suit the masses & US Pallate. Just like the Chinese did with Egg Rolls, Chix chow mien etc, etc, ..
                            Anyway I can always say I was there.

                            1. re: Tapas52
                              j
                              joonjoon RE: Tapas52 Jun 5, 2014 11:34 AM

                              Just checked out La Sierra El Comedor in Asbury. Interesting place...they have the usual mexican stuff plus a buffet tray of other goodies. I didn't really recognize any of it but came away with some pork mole and a tripe soup. And they have a pretty decent roast chicken too. Give it a try if you're nearby, it's at 813 Main St.

                            2. re: Tapas52
                              j
                              joonjoon RE: Tapas52 Jun 5, 2014 09:50 AM

                              I've been going to a place in Asbury and enjoying it. I forget the name but it's on 420 Main St, where Cotija used to be.

                              Also really enjoyed Queso in Lincroft. It's like Chipotle with a bigger selection. Try their Habanero sauce...it's hottttt!

                            3. equal_Mark RE: equal_Mark Jun 21, 2014 06:05 PM

                              Went back to Reyna's for dinner with a friend tonight and am happy to report that the food and service are top notch, but that for the first time I got to sample some of the dessert fare.

                              I'm not normally a dessert guy but my friend ordered the Hazelnut Cheesecake and all I can say is that it was... Stunning! My companion's sister had been a pastry chef at Montrachet back in the 90s, and has a good notion as to what constitutes great cheesecake. Turns out the Desserts at Reyna's are prepared in-house by Christine, who is also a server/manager/take care of most everything person there. Bravo! (oh yeah, the cheesecake portion was humungous!)

                              DESSERTS

                              FRIED ICE CREAM.........4.95
                              FLAN...............3.95
                              MEXICAN COFFEE FLAN.......4.95
                              COCONUT FLAN......4.95
                              MANGO FLAN...........4.95
                              SPICY FLAN...............4.95
                              HOMEMADE CHEESECAKE............3.95
                              HOMEMADE STRABERRY, RASPBERRY OR BLUEBERRY CHEESECAKE............4.95
                              HOMEMADE BAILYE'S CHEESECAKE.......4.95
                              HOMEMADE PEPPERMINT CHEESECAKE....4.95
                              HOMEMADE HAZELNUT CHEESECAKE.....4.95
                              HOMEMADE MARGARITA CHEESECAKE...4.95
                              HOMEMADE PUMPKIN CHEESECAKE......4.95
                              SOPAPILLAS..............4.95
                              SAUTEED MANGOS, BANANAS OR PINEAPPLES OVER ICE CREAM.......................4.95
                              *some specialty desserts available seasonally

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