16604-109 Av NW
Tue-Wed,Sun 11am-6pm; Thu-Sat 11am-9pm
In the west end of Edmonton there’s a strip mall. Next to the Mayfield Inn, long ago, there was a Mexican restaurant out here before Mexican restaurants existed. It was my first experience with Mexican food that wasn’t fast food, and it was delicious. A whole different world of flavours. I loved eating there. Unfortunately, the owner, tired of Edmonton winters, retired, and went back to Mexico.
Years later, word came out that there was a new Mexican restaurant open in the same strip mall. I was hoping some of the magic had rubbed off on the new establisment: Mexico Lindo.
Clean and a bit spartan, there’s a bit of an odd feel about it. However, the service is friendly and warm. I’ll take service over atmosphere any day.
The menu is sadly what one would expect in Edmonton – a greatest hits of Mexican. In order to change the culture here, I keep hoping for restaurants to make the leap and provide a smaller, more focused menu – where they do a few things really well, rather than provide a multitude of options to consumers. The “all things to all people” approach that i dislike.
One of the really interesting things on the menu is an agua fresca you don’t see in Canada very often – it usually starts and ends with horchata – but they have agua de jamaica here. Made with hibiscus and ginger, it’s a floral, light, refreshing beverage. Not for everyone, but i enjoyed it.
We try a sampling of dishes – to mixed success. The tostadas de pollo are a massive concoction – a plating of chicken, beans, lettuce, tomato, onion, feta, and sour cream. The tomatos are out of season, and taste like it. Everything else is fresh, but awkward to eat, with no real distinct note. These aren’t as much tostadas as much as salad on fried tortilla. My dining companion does quite enjoy them though.
We also order soft tacos – which could be close to excellent, but fall short. The tortillas are really dry, with an astringent texture. The meat is decently cooked, but a bit bland. The punchiness that i look for in soft tacos – the contrast of rich, braised meats contrasted with the freshness of citrus, cilantro and onion, and the texture of carmelized bits of meat and radish, is completely missing.
Dessert comes in the form of Churros with Mexican Hot Chocolate. A bit doughy, but fresh. Once again, decent, but not as good as it could be.
All things told, Mexico Lindo is 1000% better than the Mexican restaurant in the same strip mall of my youth. They prepare things fresh, and with obvious care. Unfortunately, my expectations for Mexican food have increased more than that over the same period. There’s nothing wrong with Mexico Lindo, but it doesn’t inspire me to visit again. Which is a bit disappointing, but often par for the course in Edmonton.