We tried the Largo restaurant in this Pinellas County chain of four for lunch today. The food was very good, service just fine, clean premises. We split chicken flautas and chicken enchiladas, $7.50 each, and would happily order either or both again. Of particular note was the fact the chicken seemed to be all white meat, well seasoned and very flavorful, the sour cream sauce on the enchiladas was wonderfully rich, and the guacamole was excellent.
Here is the element I am unsure about: value. They charge $2.00 for the chips and salsa. This is a moderate size basket of chips, and a little pot of quite spicy thin salsa, as well as a little bottle of table salsa, the kind made mostly of canned tomatoes, with some cilantro, green onion, chilis, not fresh salsa made from raw tomatoes and onions, but very tasty, fine. For $7.50 for each entree, you choose ONE side, so if you get the rice, you don't get the refried beans too. SO, one of us ordered rice, the other beans, and we shoveled portions of our respective sides across the table. The sides were not especially large, we would have easily found room for both rice and beans on each plate. Adding rice or beans to the meals would have been an additional $2.00 each.
We love Caramba's on Drew Street in Clearwater, and to satisfy our Mexican craving would likely have gone there, but they are not open for lunch Saturdays. The same entrees, priced at $5.75 each, include rice AND beans, as well as chips and salsa.
If absolutely pushed on the issue, and specifically with respect to these two entrees, having had both at Caramba's and at Carmelita's, I'd have to say Carmelita's had slightly better food, maybe slightly better quality ingredients, preparation. But, is Carmelita's so much better than Caramba's it is worth the difference in price? $17.00 vs $11.50? Not so sure.
Carmelita's Mexican Restaurant
7705 Ulmerton Rd
Largo, FL 33771-4574