Mexican Food in Monmouth County


“Chupacabra” tacos (veal and goat, @joonjoon!!) at Barrio Costero today and Thurs.

(Junior) #104

Had some friends over they wanted Mexican so I recommended Lino’s. Similar to my previous two visits I just wasn’t impressed with the food. I got the Lino’s trio; chicken, ribs and chorizo. The chicken was very over cooked and dry as were the ribs. The chorizo was fine but only 2 pieces of cut chorizo. The rice and beans on the side were pretty good, out of the 4 of us nobody raved about anything. On the plus side dinner for 4 with 1 appetizer (fried jalapeños) came to $53. so at least it’s a very affordable mediocre experience.


That’s a bummer to hear about Lino’s. I was just today thinking of giving it a try.

We just learned that one of our favorite Mexican joints in West End, Viva Bigotes, closed. Great food, great family.

(Evelyn C. Leeper) #106

Give it a try. Junior isn’t saying anything has changed; he just seems to have a different opinion from many of the rest of us.

(David) #107

The difference between Lino’s and, imho the two better joints, IMG and NOTB, is that at Lino’s you can sit comfortably and get chips and salsa while you peruse the menu. For example, I would not take my mother in law to IMG or NOTB.

(Junior) #108

I’ve only eaten at NOTB on a couple of occasions so I can only speak about that location, but there is one other major difference between NOTB and Lino’s. The food doesn’t suck at NOTB! I mean if you want to bring your mom to Lino’s, hey more power to you, I just hope your mad at her for something when you bring her cause you ain’t doing mom any favors!!

I originally went there at least 4-5 years ago because someone (@MZ? or @corvette_johnny?) was bragging about their rotisserie chicken, cooked on an open flame pit right in their kitchen. Well the first night I went there were no chickens on the pit, the pit wasn’t even lit and the chicken I received was dry and rubberish. The second time I think I got something else and I still wasn’t impressed. Now with my to go order, the pit again didn’t have any chickens on it, don’t think it was even lit, and the chicken and ribs were both very dry and rubberish.

{{shrugs}} Maybe it’s “just me” but I really don’t care for the place out side of it’s price point which is EXCELLENT.

(Tom T) #109

Recently had Lino’s takeout for a dozen people or so over the holidays and we didn’t have any complaints, only compliments. Cooked on a wood flame so the white meat can be dry I’ll admit…but I’m not a white meat guy :smiley: . I’ve had not so great ribs from him, but the last ones were nice for what they were (not bbq 5 hour cook style). Probably been a half dozen times and as far as non-fried takeout chicken goes, it is our go to. I like his green salsa as well. The red tastes muddy to me.

I’ve said in the past I have a previous relationship with Tino, the owner here so I’ll say it again in the interest of full disclosure.

(Junior) #110

Comments like this is exactly why I have tried their chicken so many times! lol The Lino’s trio which I ordered came with two pieces of chicken, a drum stick and thigh.

The rest of the orders were:

Chimichanga(?) Funny I use to work at Chi-Chi’s back in the mid 80’s (Woodbridge Location) and I thought this was their creation, I didn’t know it was an actual Mexican entree. The person said it was too doughy and not enough meat/stuffing.

Chicken Fajita: Was good but it came with peppers, onions and mushrooms. I’'m not a fajita expert but the person who ordered it was turned off by mushrooms. In fairness the menu only specifically says peppers and onions with melted cheese.

Enchilada’s: these were a hot mess. Hot spicy and just a general mess way too smothered in lettuce (cabbage??) and whatever else. It really didn’t look very appetizing and it was a tad too spicy for the persons liking.

We had the roasted jalapenos’ which were simply roasted halved jalapeno’s. I wasn’t sure what to expect and I was the only one who had the palate to enjoy these. I actually used a tortilla and took two peppers, the toppings from the enchilada some extra sour cream and made a wrap out of them.

We also ordered the roasted cactus which they were out of.

(David) #111

I’m in Red Bank a lot. My go to for any pick up run is NOTB. If not there, then I am getting a media kilo de al pastor wrapped with salsa and tortillas from IMG. So I was happy to head back to Lino’s as the third leg of our recent crawl. I thought it was just because I had eaten six tacos al pastor after a single carne asada already, but I was not as into the food at Lino’s. My choice of wing piece from the chicken portion of our huge platter must have been a good one because all that wing skin fat kept that wing really tasty. I just thought that after our grabbing the last five seats in the house around the kitchen counter at IMG, Lino’s was more like an americanized restaurant when we sat at a nice table and were given free salsa and chips. The fact that I had a separate conversation in Spanish with one of the guys up front disabused me of this, but overall Lino’s was not in the same league as NOTB and IMG.

(Roland) #112

Anyone familiar with Cielito Lindo? Looks like they moved their Manasquan location. To Asbury Park and it just opened up where the short lived bagel store on Main between 4th and 5th was.


Tom is there anyone else doing wood around here? (Sans the local american BBQ spots, rodizio and salt creek lol)

It seems like a dying art. Granted I’ve had some dry chicken at Linos, generally it is tasty stuff and I use the salsa to moisten it, or some hot sauce . I’m also a green and not a red fan there.

My friend is from Sonora and we go to the local Mexican spots frequently. Can you guess what tacos are her favorite and from where? We’ve had a lot of varieties from all the aforementioned places. I’ve personally had a lot more than we have had together.


I was under the impression it was an Arizona-Mex creation.

Chi-Chi’s, yikes!

(Tom T) #115

Was not doubting your experience, at all. Just wanted to give a voice to my experiences.

I think the only other things I’ve had were tacos al pastor and chorizo which were ok and good, respectively. Also, his calda , a thin tomatoey soup with meat and veg…huge bowl. Apparently a Mexican hangover cure, as well. Not mine, I need grease the day after.

(Tom T) #116

Although I have not been into IMG yet, I would not dispute anything you say. I love me NOTB tacos. Lengua, tripe…when they have them.

(Tom T) #117

Not to my knowledge. Is the Fresh Market guy still doing bbq? Maybe there??

I wouldn’t have a clue, but I’m intrigued :slight_smile:


Tom her favorite (or one of them) is the chorizo at Linos. It’s funny because that is probably my favorite one too. I didnt tell her…she just tried them and really liked them.

@goodparmesan you were right about the tamales at La Chaparrita. I went today and they were sold out by the time I got there which was like 10 I think.

I got the chorizo and eggs and my friend got the quesadilla tinga. I opted for a mexican coke and my friend got some fresh squeezed OJ. Note the cup of arbol chili :wink: the queso fresco was on point! The chorizo was good but I’m not accustom to mixing in the meat with the eggs. Next time I think I would ask to keep them separate.

(Junior) #119

How the human mind works I would love to know. I’ve been meaning to post, but have forgotten until just now, something interesting I noticed when I ordered from Lino’s. If you google them they come up with the normal google results. (see pic) However when you click the “website” button on the right side there…it takes you to our old friend Equal-Marks web site!!! How they do that? Anyone ever hear from that guy ?

(David) #120

Too funny! I haven’t heard from Mark maybe since our Chowdown at Ada’s in Long Branch.

(Junior) #121

Who are the other fine gentleman with you? (Lady I assume is Ada?)

(David) #122

That is indeed Ada. Mark is on my far right, @marlboroman is on my left and the guy in the middle is Brian Yavin, one of the original Chowhounders and an author/photographer of food. Not pictured, but taking the shot is my daughter.