Su-Th 9:30 AM - 10 PM; F-Sa 9:30 AM - 12:00 AM
(609) 392--0789 Website Google Maps
Gravitas: Decor: Cost: Proximity:
A charming dive just south of the border with Trenton, Mexico Lindo is another worthy addition to the growing list of Mexican restaurants in town, serving up authentic, home-made specialties at prices that out-of-towners find astonishing.
Check out the Carne Enchilada de Cerdo in the header image: this is a grilled, marinated pork dish (similar to Al Pastor or Carne Adobada you’ll find on other menus). Mexico Lindo’s is superb (one of the best): charred on the outside, but still moist, infused by a flavorful marinade. Served with black beans, rice, homemade tortillas, and a nicely prepared salad, it makes a hearty meal for $10 (as of August, 2015).
Or these Enchildas Verdes… chicken meat wrapped in a soft corn tortilla, covered with a tangy green salsa specially prepared using tomatillos, cilantro, and chicken stock. Fabulous, flavorful without being hot. Check out the same dish at a couple of the other great Mexican restaurants in town (e.g. Tierra Maya or Chenche y Chole) and decide whose you like the best. Personally, I wouldn’t pick Mexico Lindo’s, but I wouldn’t argue if you did, it’s that good.
The decor is charming, with bright colored table cloths and primitive, hand-painted murals on the wall. Yes, it’s a dive, but one where you feel a decided pride-of-place. Yes, there is a big screen TV on the wall. But unlike most restaurants in town where the screen is tuned to telenovelas (Mexican soap operas) or music videos with blaring audio, every time I’ve been to Mexico Lindo, the screen has been showing soccer matches with the audio turned low.
Mexico Lindo serves two, home-made salsas with chips at the beginning of your meal (and the salsas can serve as a condiment when your food arrives). Both are green: a hot (though not overpowering) salsa made from jalapeños and tomatillos (left), and a mild but very flavorful green salsa made from cilantro, tomatillos, onions, and garlic (right). Both are great, particularly the mild one.
What’s not to like? Not much. Presentation of the meals isn’t quite up to the standards of the best Mexican dives in town. Service can be indifferent: the kitchen is completely hidden, so it can take a while for someone to notice your arrival. I’ve been served by two different waitresses, neither of whom spoke any English. It’s not a problem, per se: the menu itself provides English translations, and for ordering, I’ve perfected a menu Spanglish over the years for just such situations. But if that makes you uncomfortable, you may want to try some of the other joints in town where the owners speak fluent English.
Note that if you approach this restaurant from Trenton, 206 is divided once you hit Hamilton, and you can’t make a U-Turn for about a quarter of a mile past Mexico Lindo. Your best bet is to turn left a block or so after Pat’s diner, then turn right to continue south on Genesee St (which parallels 206), turning back to 206 at Lily St.