Tonight I visited El Centro, a Mexican restaurant that opened this past May in Boston's South End neighborhood. A few weeks ago when I posted a review of Zocalo, I admitted my lack of experience eating Mexican. I recognize a second visit to a Mexican restaurant does not make me an expert so take this review with a grain of salt.
First impressions of this restaurant are of a cozy, bustling place that is comfortable but not fancy. The staff was friendly and attentive despite being very busy. Main dishes cost between $15 - $23 and most starters cost from $5 - $10. A dinner for two including a shared appetizer, two main dishes and shared dessert is approximately $50 - $60 (drinks and tip not included).
The food was flavorful, good portions and arrived promptly. I've included pictures of both our main dishes (a traditional chicken plate and a chiles rellenos stuffed with ground beef). Although I like the look of El Centro and the food was good, I don't feel like it was a great value. Prices were comparable to dinner at Zocalo which provides a far more elegant dining experience if you are hungry for a Mexican dinner. I'm sure I'll end up going back (friends will inevitably want to try El Centro), but I won't be the one making the suggestion.
Pictures of our dinner: chicken and rice in a mole sauce and chiles rellenos stuffed with ground beef were $18.00 each.
El Centro is located at 472 Shawmut Ave in the South End (617) 262-5708