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“Nuvo Mexican” 4 of 5 bubbles
Review of Alto Cinco

Alto Cinco
Ranked #25 of 681 Restaurants in Syracuse
Price range: US$0 - US$12
Cuisines: Mexican, Southwestern
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Cheap Eats, Kids, Child-friendly
Dining options: After-hours, Dinner, Lunch, Breakfast, Brunch, Delivery, Full Bar, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Takeout, Waitstaff
Skaneateles, New York
Level Contributor
34 reviews
27 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“Nuvo Mexican”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 25 June 2014

If you're looking for the typical mexican food experience, you will not find it here. I would call it more Mexican inspired. The flavors types are the same but used in a more creative and vibrant fashion. The cat fish is perfectly prepared and served in all of the burrito, enchalada and taco applications. The guacamole is bright and flavorfull. Do not forget to order it as a side. Everything I saw that came out of the kitchen looked wonderful. They have a fair wine list and offer lots of selections of beer. It could be called pricey, but with 50% of my tab taken up with two glasses of wine, the food was totally worth the $$. We sat at a table outside and our server, Stephen, was engaging and took good care of our needs. I will be back.

  • Visited June 2014
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank bortzmyan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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258 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    116
    90
    34
    9
    9
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Italian first
  • Any
English first
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“This IS NOT Mexican food!”
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 24 June 2014

My husband and I visited Alto Cinco for the first time a few weeks ago. We had not had any luck finding an authentic Mexican restaurant in Syracuse, and had high hopes. Sadly, and as it turns out not too surprisingly, we were disappointed. I'm not sure if their chefs have ever eaten authentic Mexican food before, but the flavors and absence of spices in both of our meals are reflective of their lack of experience. Oh, and don't let anyone tell you that it's really more "Spanish" cuisine than Mexican, because that's a load of garbage as well!
We started by ordering margaritas, which were the saddest drinks I've ever had. Have you ever heard of a margarita made with wine rather than tequila!?! If not, don't try it. Not even a little! To be fair, I did not see on the menu that they were made with wine rather than tequila, so that's my fault. But, the fact that they are offering such a terrible version of a classic is totally on them!
We started with chips and house made salsa, which tasted like tomatoes. Just. Tomatoes. There was absolutely no heat from peppers and no other seasoning to be found. We probably should have just stopped after that, because the house made salsa is usually a pretty good reflection of how delicious the remainder of the meal is going to be.
I ordered one of their specials and my husband ordered a "covered" burrito. My dish looked terrible and was much more like a dip for chips than an actual meal. My husband's burrito was dry, completely under-seasoned, and had a green chile "cover" that contained about 1tsp (LITERALLY) of green chile that was mostly chile seeds. We ended up sending both of our dishes back and asking for our check. What followed was supremely frustrating!
As I have been a server/bartender in the past and my husband is currently a restaurant manager, I completely understand that it is not our waiter's fault that we did not enjoy the garbage coming out of the kitchen. Which is why we fully intended on paying for the food/drinks that we tried to consume and leaving him a 20% tip for his decent service. We waited several minutes before he returned to our table to tell us that they had comped the entire meal and we had no check to pay. We politely thanked him, but insisted that we pay for, at the very least, the items that we had consumed. He refused to bring our ticket to us and walked away, albeit very politely. As we had no cash, and our server refused to run our card for any amount, we left without leaving a tip, which only aggravated the situation and made us feel like complete jerks!
I understand how customer service works, but at no point am I ever planning to return to Alto Cinco no matter how much food they are willing to comp! The food is absolutely terrible and this establishment should not be advertising themselves as a Mexican food restaurant.

  • Visited May 2014
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
3 Thank Alicia M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Rochester, NY
Level Contributor
766 reviews
447 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 256 helpful votes
“Not Your Typical Mexican Fare”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 16 June 2014

While passing through town we checked out TripAdvisor and decided to stop based on their unusual take on Mexican dishes. Unfortunately we hit the Saturday evening rush and since we did not want to wait 40 mins for a table we ate at the bar - which we have no issue with... normally. The problem was the two bartenders screwed up our order and it was never placed with the kitchen. After finally inquiring after 20 mins they put the order in and we ate almost an hour after arriving. They did comp our drink and appetizer with no prompting on our part. Though I do think that charging for the chips (nothing you would not find at any other Mexican place) was a rip-off though the tasty homemade salsa was worth the cost.

Anyway the Jerk Chicken tacos and the Catfish tacos were quite good and with different ingredients and flavors than your typical tacos. The only negative was that the chicken was a bit dry.

Because this place was a different type of Mexican, if I were in town again I would give them a second chance to make a better impression...

  • Visited June 2014
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank Fondue4two
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Syracuse, New York
Level Contributor
16 reviews
10 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Great food - especially brunch”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 8 June 2014

I love this place - especially since they expanded in size. I really enjoy the burritos for dinner, but I had a breakfast burrito for brunch a few weeks ago and it was especially phenomenal. Great beer choices, high quality ingredients, and good ambiance. Highly recommend.

  • Visited May 2014
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
1 Thank Cassie M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Burlington, Vermont
Level Contributor
165 reviews
122 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
“Really nice lunch”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 June 2014

Had lunch here while visiting town. Did not disappoint. Had the jerk chicken tacos which were very tasty. I still think it is a tad overpriced as I did when I lived in Syracuse, but the food was good and it was not crowded for lunch, so I enjoyed it.

  • Visited May 2014
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank vthereandnow
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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