By Douglas W. Motley
The long-awaited opening of Crestline’s newest restaurant, Carnaval, took place on Friday, Jan. 22 on Waters Drive, across from the U.S. Post Office substation in Valley of Enchantment. Formerly known as Chef Cindy’s, Carnaval offers a unique menu of authentic Mexican food, which is based on the style of cooking that originated in the Mexican state of Guanajuato.
Chef/Owner Henry Enrico has 15 years of experience in cooking Guanajuato-style meals, which are not to be found anywhere else on the mountain. Asked how Guanajuato cuisine differs from other traditional Mexican foods, Enrico noted that, while flautas, tacos carne asada and enchiladas rancheras are popular in Guanajuato, most states in Mexico have their own specialties.
As an example, he said the state of Sinaloa, which is adjacent to the ocean, specializes in seafood. Meanwhile, in the northern state of Chihuahua, beef, particularly T-bone and sirloin, are quite popular. The beef is also plentiful, owing to Chihuahua’s inland, desert rancheros.
Enrico pointed out that all the meals and sauces he serves are made from fresh ingredients, using his own personal recipes. When asked what inspired him to become a chef, he responded, “I always liked cooking and the satisfaction I get from knowing the customers are enjoying their meal.
They don’t even have to tell me, I can see it from the expressions on their faces.” He added that the restaurant was named for the traditional Mexican Carnaval festival, which precedes Easter.
Carnaval is open daily from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. for breakfast (only available until 11 a.m.), lunch and dinner, for take-out only until further notice, due to current county and state restrictions. Orders can be called in at (909) 698-1025.