This will be the third (or fourth?) blog that mentions Cinco de Mayo in Chapel Hill. I realized when I ate at Cinco last week that I had not written a blog specifically about it, but only mentioned it in my Mexican Food blog, and my post about My Favorite Salads in the Triangle. Cinco deserves its own blog post.
If nothing else, my obsession with this place should tell you it’s somewhere you need to go if you’re in Chapel Hill. With good food, good staff, and a fun environment, what more could you ask for?
The purpose of my restaurant blog is to make me try new things, and to encourage others to do the same. I was in the habit of getting the same dishes every time I ate out, and usually ate out at the same few restaurants each time. Not to say it’s bad to have a regular dish at your favorite restaurant, but the Triangle has a lot to offer.
I asked the waiter at Cinco what I should order. To that he responded, “I can tell by looking at your face you will like Arroz con Pollo (ACP).” I busted out laughing. I’m sure he thought, “Hm, basic white girl… she probably wants ACP and a margarita.”
I explained to him the point of my blog, and that I like to try new things. He asked if I wanted to try something more authentic. YES! And I got started with a freshly-made mojito.
For my meal, the waiter directed me to the “From the Grill” section of the menu. He suggested I try Costillas or La Pina Loca. Costillas are ribs slow cooked in a chile guajillo sauce. It’s served with rice, beans, and lettuce with pico, guacamole, and sour creme.
I chose to order the La Pina Loca. It’s a fresh-cut half pineapple, stuffed with shrimp, chicken, steak (yes all of those, you don’t have to choose), with onions, peppers, tomatoes, pineapple bites, and cheese. It’s served with rice beans, and lettuce with guacamole, pico, and sour cream. It also comes with tortillas. The best part of Mexican food is the huge portions, that leave you with at least one meal of leftovers.
La Pina Loca was delicious, but it’s a little more expensive to order house specials. One of my favorite things about Mexican restaurants is that they’re cheap… if you order my usual quesadilla and snack on chips. House specials from the grill will cost you between $12 and $18. My pineapple (which was worth every cent), is $14.99. The mojito is $6.50.
I love the guys that work at Cinco. I’ve never had bad service, and they all have a great sense of humor. I asked the waiter if La Pina Loca was authentic, specifically asking if it was something I could order in Mexico. He said, “This is Mexican food for Mexicans in America. You won’t find this in Mexico.” My friend Caroline and I were in hysterics.
If you want deals on drinks, Cinco has specials every night. See their drink specials by clicking here. No Mexican meal is complete without queso. Queso at Cinco de Mayo is $3.25.