Cinco Mexican Cantina Restaurant

Last night my husband and I dined at Cinco.  This restaurant has 4  locations around the Atlanta area.  We dined at the Akers Mill Road location.  The atmosphere of this restaurant inside was really nice.  I really liked the decor and there is dining available on the rooftop too.  I did some research ahead of time and found out the that chips, salsa, salads and tacos requested using corn tortillas were gluten-free.  While I was there I asked if the braised beef enchiladas were made with corn tortillas and I was told they were so I order that and a Cinco Margarita.  They make the margaritas pretty strong, but I enjoyed it.  The salsa served with the chips was smoky and had just enough kick that you could feel it, but not too potent.  We ordered guacamole to start and that arrived late…..about 2 minutes before our entrees.  The service at this location is just plain slow.  We were scheduled to see a show after dinner so I had to be forceful in asking where our guacamole was and in requesting the check. 

The guacamole was okay.  It could have used some salt.  As a matter of fact, many items could have used some salt in my opinion and there are no salt and pepper shakers on the table.  The enchiladas were pretty good.  I enjoyed the meat, but I would’ve liked to have seen a little more sauce on the plate.  They were served with black beans and jalepeno corn.  I can attest to the fact that the corn was fresh since I found a few corn silks on my plate.  The beans could have used more seasoning. 

All in all I think this restaurant was an experience that just lacked a little more flavor.

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Beef Enchiladas

My Mom and brother love mexican food.  If they could they would probably choose to eat it every night of the week.  Over the weekend we decided to tackle making enchiladas with a homemade simple enchilada sauce.  The result, according to my mother, were some of the best enchiladas she has ever had.  I think these would be even better made with shredded beef or chicken, but we made them with ground beef.   I served them with spanish rice, black beans and some homemade guacamole.

Enchilada Ingredients:

1 T vegetable or canola oil

1 lb ground chuck or sirloin

1 1/2 c chopped yellow or white onion

12 corn tortillas

3 c shredded cheddar/jack cheese

2 T sliced black olives

3 scallions thinly sliced

Preheat oven to 350 F.  Spray a 13X9 pan with non-stick cooking spray.  Brown beef in oil and then add onion and cook until softened.  Drain off fat.  Add 1/2 c enchilada sauce to 13X9 pan.  Assemble enchiladas by adding beef mixture and about 1 T of sauce inside.  Roll up enchiladas and place seam side down in 13X9 pan.  Drizzle with more sauce and cover with foil.  Bake for 30 minutes and then remove foil and add cheese, olives and scallions and bake for 5 more minutes or until cheese is thoroughly melted.

Enchilada Sauce Ingredients:

1/4 c vegetable oil

2 T all-purpose gluten-free flour (I used Bob’s Red Mill)

2 T chili powder

8 oz can tomato sauce

1 1/2 c chicken broth

1/2 tsp ground cumin

1/2 tsp garlic powder

1/2 tsp onion powder

1/4 tsp salt

Heat oil in large saucepan over medium heat.  Whisk in flour and chili powder.  Reduce heat to medium and continue to whisk until lightly browned.  Gradually whisk in tomato sauce, broth and other spices.  Stir until smooth and continue to simmer over medium heat for 10 minutes.  Sauce should become slightly thickened.