Cielito Lindo Cafe & Taqueria
Sometimes the tastiest Cheapeats discoveries are made in the unlikeliest locations. So it is with Mexican restaurant Cielito Lindo, located just off the Henderson offramp on the Northwestern motorway in Auckland.
If it had not been for a “heads-up” from fellow foodie Nick, we would not have known about this newcomer on the Mexican food scene.
Cielito Lindo is the realisation of a dream for business partners Eliseo and Angel. It is more of a food bar/takeaway, but there are a couple of nicely presented tables to eat at. As you walk inside you will be warmly welcomed, and you can peruse the menu displayed on the wall.
This is the place for homemade, filling Mexican food, with a few twists to surprise you. I enjoy tacos so ordered one with shredded beef cheek filling (Cachete $4.70), and the other with Mexican cactus (Nopales $4.70)! Apparently this is a very popular taco filling in Mexico, but rarely seen here. In the interests of research I also ordered a Tinga (chicken) burrito ($13.90).
The tacos arrived in short order and were delicious. These are made with soft corn tortillas. The beef cheek filling was meltingly tender, just the way you want it. The cactus filling was unusual, but I liked it. The cactus pieces had a texture slightly resistant to the bite and were quite mildly flavoured. They looked similar to pieces of cucumber. Eliseo offered pico de gallo (salsa fresca) to give the tacos more “zip” in their flavour.
The chicken burrito was securely wrapped up for me to take home, but I sampled some of it while I was in the restaurant. It is a tasty combination of chicken, beans, pico de gallo, cheese, Mexican rice and sour cream and is truly a meal in itself. Popular with the workers in the neighbouring businesses.
Cielito Lindo is literally open all hours at present, until Eliseo and Angel determine when their patrons most wish to visit them. Take a drive and make this homely Mexican food discovery for yourself.