Manzanillo's Cucina Mexicana, or Manzanillo's Mexican Kitchen, is located in North Naples in the space formerly occupied by EVOO.
Their website describes their food as "authentic and traditional". I was anxious to try it.
In their dining area you have the choice of dining at a booth, table or the bar.
Chips and salsa were brought to our table.
This was served with an Ancho Chili salsa. Ancho chilies are dried Poblano chilies. Both the chips and the salsa were quite good, with the table ordering quite a few extra orders of salsa.
A number of entrees were ordered at the table. One of my dining companions ordered Enchiladas with Mole.
In traditional Mexican cooking, enchiladas are corn tortillas wrapped around a filling, in this case one was chicken and one was steak. Mole is a complex sauce of up to 30 different ingredients with ground peppers being the central ingredient. Sesame seeds, dried fruit, Cloves, Cumin, Cinnamon and chocolate may be added to some moles.
The enchiladas were served with Queso Fresco. This cheese is similar to Ricotta, in that the curds (milk solids) used as cheese are separated from the milk liquids, or Whey. Rice and Refried Beans served in Tortilla Bowls finished the dish.
Another dining companion ordered spinach and grilled chicken enchiladas.
These were topped with a Salsa Verde or green salsa, sour cream and cheese. Salsa verde is all about Tomatillos. Rice and refried beans also were served.
I ordered the steak Fajita.
Fajitas are grilled meats served with tortillas. In my dish onions and peppers were grilled along with the steak. Somehow, my server forgot the tortillas which was o.k. by me. Rice, refried beans, sour cream, red (tomato-based) salsa and Guacamole were served with it.
I have sometime wondered what the difference was between real Mexican Cuisine and Tex-Mex. Tex-mex is an Americanized Version of Mexican cuisine. The differences are primarily in the meats, cheeses and toppings used. Ground beef, yellow cheeses and sour cream, respectively, are examples of this. Nachos, fajitas and chips with salsa are also Tex-Mex inventions. From Manzanillo's Menu, it would seem they have somewhat of a Tex-Mex slant in their cooking.
Although their food was good, it was not very different from other "Mexican" restaurants I have been to in the area. Would I go back? Perhaps, but not in a rush.
That's that for another review on forks.
Manzanillo's Cucina Mexicana
13240 Tamiami Tr. N. Ste. 205
Naples, FL 34110