Des Moines has its share of Mexican restaurants, and while diners may have already decided on their favorite, Cabo Sol deserves a fair shot.
The restaurant, 5010 Mills Civic Parkway in West Des Moines, is owned by Jesus Herrera, who also operates Islas del Pacifico, 1434 Des Moines St., in the Capitol East area.
We visited Cabo Sol in its suburban strip mall location on a recent Sunday during the lunch rush. The parking lot had a healthy flow of traffic, and inside, the small dining room was nearly full.
The din created by the diners is exaggerated by high ceilings, so don’t expect a place for quiet conversation.
We were seated in a corner booth, giving us the perfect view of the bright dining room. The walls are bright orange and yellow, and the multicolored booths, unusual chairs and colorful tiled tables are vibrant without being tacky.
Each corner of the dining room has a television, which were all tuned to sports during our two visits. A small bar with limited seating is positioned at the rear of the dining room.
As is expected at a Mexican restaurant, we were quickly served tortilla chips and a flavorful, house-made salsa. We splurged for the cheese dip ($2.99), a white-hued queso in line with what’s served at other restaurants.
Ecstatic to see chorizo options outside of the usual huevos con chorizo variety, I opted for the queso con chorizo ($7.99), described as grilled chorizo served with shredded cheese and served with tortillas, rice and beans.
While I did not see the shredded cheese, the chorizo arrived bathed in the restaurant’s cheese dip, so it was hard to be disappointed. I scooped the chorizo and cheese mixture into a warmed flour tortilla along with a helping of rice and beans and ate it like a taco.
The chorizo had just the right amount of spice, though its inherent greasiness paired with the richness of the queso may not make it a meal for everyone.
The rice was flavorful and the beans were standard. Overall, I was pleased with my dining choice and have since been back for a second helping.
My dining partner is a huevos rancheros enthusiast and has traveled around town in search of his favorite. The Cabo Sol offering ($6.99) arrived as expected, with a couple of Mexican-style eggs covered with ranchero sauce and served with rice, beans and warm flour tortillas. While it may not have been groundbreaking, it fared as well, though he quickly wished he had ordered a chorizo-style dish.
While Cabo Sol may not replace your favorite or more convenient Mexican restaurant, it’s definitely worth a visit. It was certainly tasty enough that it will pull us out of our neighborhood and into West Des Moines on future occasions.
Find it: 5010 Mills Civic Parkway, West Des Moines
Hours: 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 11 a.m.- 9 p.m. Sunday