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“Abuela's Cooking”
Review of Cafe Carlos

Cafe Carlos
Cuisines: Mexican
Restaurant details
New York
Level Contributor
166 reviews
109 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 79 helpful votes
“Abuela's Cooking”
Reviewed 13 November 2013

This Mexican restaurant doesn't look like much on the outside. In my experience, those are usually the best Mexican restaurants. Café Carlos doesn't disappoint. We were waited on promptly and friendly by a very nice man. The food was excellent, just like grandma would make. The price was right for the quality and portions. I took half of my burrito home.

Visited November 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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61 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Rating summary
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
Burlingame, CA
Level Contributor
20 reviews
14 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“I wish we lived closer!”
Reviewed 5 September 2013

This mom and pop Mexican place is just right. Pepe greets and seats; then buzzes around from table to table, doing all the right things; taking orders, bringing chips and salsa and drinks, serving orders, filling waters, refilling drinks, more chips? Salsa? Is everything to your liking? Bueno. Brings the check; cashiers you out. I only hope I can be as spry when I get to be his age. What a gem. And then there is his wife Flor in the kitchen. She is like a machine. She cranks food from that kitchen like there is no tomorrow. Good food. Just the right taste and texture. Just like you wish you could make at home. Large portions. Just like at mom's, you don't leave hungry. A little hard to spot, but definitely worth the stop. We'll be back.

  • Visited September 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank nothingformal
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Wherever I happen to be...
Level Contributor
35 reviews
23 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
“Mexican-Japanese-Italian fusion?”
Reviewed 23 June 2013

We were visiting family in the area and decided to try this place based on the good reviews. There were two vegetarians and two carnivores in our party. The service was friendly and the restaurant is a cute little place.

One of the vegetarians thought the enchiladas and the mild salsa were too spicy, but the salsa reminded me of marinara sauce. It seemed to have basil or oregano in it. I could be wrong, but that was what I tasted.

We ordered the beef, chicken, and shrimp fajitas. The shrimp was very good, but the beef tasted like it had been marinated in teriyaki sauce. The chicken was just so-so.

The next time I'm in Scotts Valley, I will consider eating here again, but I would only order a shrimp dish. We really enjoyed the shrimp.

Visited June 2013
1 Thank Hobbit1973
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Santa Cruz, California
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Cafe Carlos is the real deal”
Reviewed 19 June 2013

This old school mexican restaurant is run by a married couple. The husband is the front of house and his wife does the cooking. They are good at what they do and they are SO nice. I love the picture of them hanging up when they were a young couple. The food is the BEST Mexican food I've ever had, anywhere. You wouldn't think so, to look the building. Clean and cute, but older building. They have been in Scotts Valley forever. Most of their business is Catering for large events. They also have a fairly large area for group parties, both inside and outside. But they are so happy when you come in and sit down. Homemade tortilla chips, salsa and guacamole. Now they are surrounded by a Jack in the Box and a gas station, so it's harder to find. Just go, you'll always return. I always get the Chicken Enchiladas. I think about getting something else, but they call to me. A great place to stop and eat coming or going from Santa Cruz.

  • Visited June 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank SCGal72
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Temecula, California
Level Contributor
11 reviews
6 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“Real surprise in Scott's Valley!”
Reviewed 5 November 2012

My wife and I were traveling through the Santa Cruz redwoods and spent the evening in Scott's Valley. Searching for a good Mexican place after hiking in the woods was a good prospect. Like others have mentioned, you will need to search for the restaurant because it is located behind the Chevron station off of Scott's Valley road. The food and service were both great. It is a family run place and the owner takes the time to greet each and every person in the restaurant. You can tell all the locals because he knows the all by name. My wife had enchiladas which she said were the best she had ever had. I liked the chips and two salsas that you get along with your meal. The best Mexican places have really good retried beans--these were exceptional. Great time at Cafe Carlos.

  • Visited October 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank Robert G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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