Zocalo Cocina Mexicana, Back Bay, Boston

Zocalo has become one of my standard go to for Mexican fare. As a result, this will be my third review, second visit in a group, but fifth time patroning. The service is consistently attentive, the manager/owner is always present and the restaurant seems to be full every evening I have been there. The menu features tortilla soup and ensaladas, corn masa items including tamales and flautas.

The dining space has artwork, dangling lights, silver orbs and sleek, wooden planks on the ceiling. The atmosphere is very colorful, eye-catching and I especially like the Latin music.

Zocalo Margarita and the neon green lit bar

On the brick walls rest several colorful little pigs. For the holidays, red santa hats adorn their heads.A grapefruit juice with a twist of lime and a Zocalo Margarita El Jimador Silver Tequila, Fresh Lime Juice and Citronge by Patron for $9.25.The fresh made guacamole with avocado, lime, tomato, onion, cilantro and spices are served with crispy corn tortillas and is a must get for $9.90. It definitely is made with love. I spotted one of the preparers dancing with passion to the music as he was mixing the guacamole. The complimentary salsa is also pretty tasty. I couldn’t stop eating it and I’m pretty sure our group asked for several refills. The guacamole is smooth, lightly spiced and flavorful.I had the Baja-style tacos with beer-battered fish or shrimp tacos, with pickled cabbage, cilantro pesto, chipotle mayonnaise, toasted black sesame seeds on handmade corn tortillas for $9.95. I liked the lightly sweet green salsa dipping sauce and the mayo and pesto on top of the tacos. I would get these again.I tried the Quesadillas Mexicana at Ole Mexican Grill, Somerville and could not help but get the Mexico City-style corn masa turnovers, stuffed with chile poblano, pickled jalapenos, and Oaxaca cheese. The quesadillas were served with refried beans and chile pasilla for $9.95. The pocket of crispy masa is filled with a great warm chili cheese f illing and the Oaxaca cheese and jalapeno is just to addictive. This is my favorite dish by far at Ole and Zocalo.I also enjoy Zocalo’s chile rellenos, roasted poblano chiles: one stuffed with mixed Mexican cheeses, spinach, raisins and toasted almonds; the other with braised pork. The chiles are served on a roasted tomato sauce with plantains and Mexican rice for $19.95. The plantains were caramelized and creamy, I loved them.

The cheese and spinach oozed out with every bite.

Two guys in our party enjoyed the Chicken Tacos al carbon, ‘fajita style’ tacos. Soft flour or corn tortillas, cheese stuffed poblano peppers, two salsas, frijoles charros, guacamole and sour cream, chicken breast with chile guajillo adobo marinade and grilled onions for $22.95.

Finally for dessert, we all tried the tres leches. The milk soaked cake with lightly sweetened whip cream and fruit was tasty, but something seemed missing, maybe more liqueur?

Overall, a great dining experience.  I definitely would like to try the three queso fundido, enchiladas and I’ll have to come back for the Mexican style quesadilla turnovers.Zocalo Cocina Mexicana on Urbanspoon

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