We were in Ensenada in May 2004 and had spent much of the morning shopping. Given that the food on the cruise was not particularly good (especially for lunch!), I coaxed Mike into having lunch in Mexico. A lady in one of the stores we visited recommended El Cid and we figured it was as good a choice as any.
El Cid has a long menu featuring Mexican specialties from several regions as well as more prosaic fare (Continental dishes, sandwiches and even burgers). It also features a couple of dishes from the book "Like Water for Chocolate." Prices are similar to those of American restaurants - a lunch of two appetizers, a main dish and a few sodas came to about $35, so the restaurant is probably quite expensive by Mexican standards. You can probably find a better value if you spend some time looking; we obviously didn't.
I was very pleased with the fresh guacamole I ordered. It was a very generous portion and I was quite full after eating it along with the tortilla chips, but it was so good that I didn't want to let any go to waste. It tasted very fresh, but I think I may have liked it even more if it had more lime.
The queso fundido was also good, though it had such a thick layer of grease on top that it made it a bit hard to eat. I'm not sure it's worth ordering.
We ordered the "Azteca" Beef Filet (beef filet on cactus slice, with grilled cheese in tomato & chipotle sauce) at the suggestion of the waiter and it proved to be a very good choice. The steak was very thick and juicy and the chipotle sauce was very tasty. I had never tried cactus before and it was fine, though too fibrous in consistency for me. It tasted very good with the chipotle sauce, though.
We didn't go into the restaurant, so I don't know how it looks, and instead had lunch under a canopy on the sidewalk. We enjoyed being able to have dinner outside and still be protected from the elements. Service was very good. Our bilingual waiter was very helpful with his recommendations and when he noticed that our beef was too rare for my taste, he quickly offered to cook it a bit more. The steak came back still medium rare (which I wasn't expecting), so we were quite pleased.
Avenida Lopez Mateos, #993
Ensenada, B.C. Mexico
011 52 (646) 178-2401