The first thing that hits you about the interior of Mexico Lindo (Spanish for beautiful Mexico) in Methuen is the explosion of color.
Tropical azure, cherry, palm and gold adorn nearly every surface of the restaurant's decor, framed by splashes of terra cotta and bronze. Custom-painted scenes of Mexican birds and roaming horses decorate the seats of each of the 24 tables and booths.
Owner Ramiro Flores of Methuen opened the eatery last fall, offering traditional favorites like burritos, tacos and quesadillas.
"There was no Mexican restaurant (in Methuen)," Flores, who grew up in Mexico, said through a translator. "I thought it would be nice to come to this area where there are more Latino people rather than Mexican."
He's been a chef for more than 14 years, here in the United States and Mexico. He trained his nephew Juan Gonzalez to be the chef at Mexico Lindo, though Flores still pitches in occasionally.
More about Mexico Lindo
Address: 5 Pleasant St., Methuen
Opened: Nov. 5, 2006
Hours: Monday through Sunday 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. (The bar is open later.)
Menu highlights: Carne Azada, steak broiled to order, served with guacamole and warm tortillas; Arroz Con Pollo, sliced chicken breast; Cerviche, white fish and shrimp flavored with lime, cumin, celery and cilantro, served cold with tostadas.
Prices: Range from $7 to $16 for entrees
Signature drink: Sangria, from a secret recipe developed in Mexico City
About the chef: Flores's nephew Juan Gonzalez, whom he trained himself.
Takeout: Entire menu available.
Kids menu: A choice of taco, burrito or enchilada served with rice and beans.
Entertainment: Mariachi music on Thursdays beginning at 6 p.m.