Sunday, January 11, 2009

Cilantro's - Watsonville, Ca

In the tradition of El Palomar Santa Cruz, Cilantro's has set a new standard in Mexican cuisine by combining authentic recipes with the unique abundance of locally grown produce and freshly caught seafood from the Monterey Bay. The Espinoza family has cooked generation through generation pumping out great food for the masses. Cilantro's is located at 1934 Main Street in Watsonville, the same shopping center as Nob Hill.

My mom had just gotten back from Texas and was craving some good Mexican food. Can you believe there was not a good place to eat Mexican in Milsap or Mineral Wells? Anyhow, good chips and salsa is what Cilantro's is best known for. We have been coming here, or their sister restaurant - El Palomar located in Santa Cruz for as long as I can remember. The salsa is great, and the chips are served warm. Excellent.

When ever my family comes to Cilantro's we usually get Jose's Special Appetizer to share because it serves at least two people. It is an exquisite combination of charbroiled snapper, skirt steak and sauteed prawns served with handmade corn tortillas and refried beans. It is priced at $15.25 and is such a good deal for the quality and amount of food you receive. Today my mom and I did things a little differently though. I ordered the Chicken Tortilla Soup and was overwhelmed by the amount of food in the bowl. Huge pieces of chicken, generous portions of avocado, cubes of queso fresco and plenty of strips of corn tortillas floated in the spicy broth. I ate and ate and ate but I swear the bowl was never ending. I ended up making a small dent into the soup - too large of a portion for me! My mom ordered the Baby Greens Salad and added Carne Asada to it. The salad was a fresh baby green spring mix with almonds, gorgonzola cheese and crisp apples tossed in a citrus vinaigrette then topped with chipotle chips. She requested blue cheese to be on the side. The salad looked beautiful. And she seemed to really enjoy it.

The meal was not the best I have ever had there but I blame myself for ordering something new. I wanted to try some thing new and it ended up a bad idea. I just really enjoy Jose's Special Appetizer. I was shocked to see on the bill that my Mom's salad was $15.25 and the side of blue cheese was 75 cents. For the same price you could get the Special Appetizer, which serves huge amounts of carne asada and two types of seafood. The pricing was inconsistent. However, I will return for the chips and salsa alone. Oh and maybe for a Margarita as well. 1.5 thumbs up.


ChristianZ said...

Hi Melissa, I don't know of an e-mail address for you so I think I can only contact you by leaving a comment here. Just letting you know that I've added you to my new site:

Yes, it looks horribly underdeveloped now but that will change as time goes on.

Also wondered if you knew about FoodBuzz.

Anonymous said...

Dang girl! That chicken tortilla soup looks awesome! I am always looking for a traditional tortilla soup like the ones I had in Oaxaca, Mexico (not the thin chicken broth based kind). Keep up the posts girl! They are so fun to read. My only wish is that I lived closer so I can actually try some of these yummy restaurants out!