cbw_chowfan is from Southern California, and knows good Mexican food when she tries it. So she was thrilled when she heard about South Boston’s new Mexican spot, Papagayo, but cautiously so: “I know what I’m up against in Boston (i.e. mostly terrible Mexican food).” With that in mind, she rates Papagayo a yes: good prices, a nice space, great drinks, low prices, and food that is mostly great.

Both of the appetizers that cbw and her husband ordered were hits, particularly the queso fundido: “Do not think ‘orange’ and ‘from a jar,'” orders cbw. The dense cheese is studded with chorizo and served in a cast iron pot with tortillas. Guacamole is made to order, and the chips and salsa are above par. hotoynoodle went to the soft opening and agrees: “killer tortilla chips.”

There is a whole section of blended drinks on the menu, not the most telling sign of an authentic Mexican spot, but cbw was thrilled with the flavor of her pomegranate margarita, if not the temperature: She’d ordered it frozen, yet it arrived melted, with floating ice cubes. But it sure tasted a lot better than her entrée, the beef enchiladas, which seemed stale and canned, accompanied by dreadful rice. cbw’s husband was much happier with his fish tacos.

The service was a bit weird, with jumps and pauses, but cbw is willing to give the place another shot: “There’s enough to love already and enough potential that I’m going to go back a few more times (after they settle in) and wish them good luck.”

Papagayo [South Boston]
283 Summer Street, Boston

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