just celebrated its 20th anniversary, and it’s easy to see why the
restaurant has been so successful, despite being in an industry known for
rapid turnover. The atmosphere is funky, with blue-tiled tables. Overhead,
festive piñatas bob in the breeze, strewn up next to strings of chile-pepper
lights and Mexican beer flags. Friendly, low-key servers wear T-shirts
that read, “Juan tequila, two tequila, three tequila, floor.” The
margaritas are cold and the food is served in huge portions. It’s
basically a party waiting to happen: Just add friends and mix.
some Mexican restaurants take the easy way out and just slather everything
with cheese and rice, Cisco’s bumps it up a notch with quality
ingredients and thoughtful recipes that nod, appreciatively, to the
cuisine of our island region. For example, we ordered the Crab Nachos
($13.45), and it did not disappoint. The crispy chips were covered with
huge pieces of real crab, a pile of guacamole so high I could barely see
my friend across the table, and, with the perfect local touch, a pineapple
salsa for extra kick.
guess it goes without saying that we ordered a few margaritas; hot Mexican
food just screams for the salty/sweet, cooling contrast of the drink.
Cisco’s serves them in sizes ranging from a petite 8 ounces on up to
60-ounce pitchers. Standard size is 16 ounces, so that’s what we stuck
with. After all, we had a review to write. The restaurant also has a great
selection of Mexican beer, including Corona, Tecate and Negro Modelo, as
well as “gringo beer.”
our entrees, one of us tried the sampler option, which allows you to
choose two ($11.95) or three ($14.95) items. The Chicken Tamale and Chili
Relleno with cheese were good, but it was the Kalua Pig Enchilada that
truly shone. It was an interesting way to fuse local cuisine into a
Mexican dish, and it’s a successful pairing of flavors and textures.
also tried the Burrito Del Mar (one for $13.45 or two for $15.45), a flour
tortilla filled with sautéed mahi mahi, shrimp, tomatoes, olives and
capers and covered with a white cheese sauce. I was getting full, but I
couldn’t seem to stop eating this.
Vegetarians have plenty of options at
Cisco’s, as many of the dishes are available with beans or vegetables. I
wish I could say there’s something here for lighter appetites, but I
have to be honest, this is the kind of place where you can go in with the
best of intentions and then just can’t resist the heaping plate before
you. Better to give in, I say. Relax, order a margarita, try a Bullfighter
Taco or a burrito. As they say, Cisco’s is “nacho ordinary Mexican