In 13 years of reviewing restaurants, Ive never been to one with a Mexican buffet. So naturally I was intrigued to see what was on the steam tables at Cinco De Mayo.
A number of Mexican restaurant favorites (fajitas, tacos, enchiladas, chimichangas) were present. And whats more, the quality of the food was better than I expected.
The buffet at the restaurant, in the Concord Mills mall area, is divided into three sections one with taco fixings, another with various meats and entrees (think enchiladas) and another with condiments and desserts. Id like to see a little better labeling of buffet items especially the meats. I had to ask my server to identify a couple of the proteins (which include a soup containing pigs stomach).
On the best of days, the food at many Mexican restaurants can be heavily sauced, leading to a soggy product. But the cooks at Cinco de Mayo showed restraint, which was nice. But when it came to the chimichangas, it really didnt matter since they were snapped up almost as quickly as they were put out. The chicken chimi, topped with a little bit of lettuce, tomato and queso, had an incredible amount of meat inside.
Even the bean and ground beef enchilada managed to retain a crispness around the edges.
There was a chicken and broccoli combination that worked well in either the flour tortillas or the flour tortilla shell used for taco salads. It was so flaky and light, I could have eaten it by itself.
Whether it was in chunks or in strips used in the fajitas, the beef didnt fare as well. I had to pull the beef chunks apart before I could use them as a filling. The beef in the fajitas was a shade on the chewy side, which was a shame because the peppers and onions had a lovely caramelization.
The pork stomach was part of a soup called menudo, which can be topped with cilantro and jalapeno. Its probably one of those things thats an acquired taste, but if youve never had it, give it a try.
You can order off the menu at Cinco De Mayo, but the buffet isnt a bad way to go. I can eat a little of a lot of things, and I know that, for the most part, they are all done well.