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Carlos Bar & Grill

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CARLOS BAR & GRILL For locals with a taste for Mexican that goes deeper than the warmed-over "numero treinta y siete" at El Microondas, Southwest Little Rock is invaluable, with its abundance of Mexican groceries and taco trucks dotting every other corner. So when a veteran of Las Palmas opened Carlos Bar & Grill, announced in the Executive Inn lobby with a crooked, hand-painted sign outside the entrance, it caught our attention. The staff immediately brought us chips and the usual accoutrement — the salsa was fine, if a bit watery, same for the queso — as well as a strange, light green dip, part avocado, part tzatziki sauce, that was a mystery to not only us, but the waitress as well. We looked on the brighter side and decided it was a special mix from scratch instead of an anonymous muck. The chili verde plate came out, green as the plain and soaking everything, as well as our beef and chicken enchiladas. Both dinners were underwhelming, but edible. Here's hoping the newest addition to Southwest's treasure trove of south-of-the-border authenticity only has a few "new restaurant" kinks and scrapes to attend to. On the bright side, the margaritas are hefty and cold, not to mention a head-vibrating brew that may be the single strongest in town. 2600 W. 65th St., 501-562-1551. LD Daily. $-$$. Beer, wine and tequilas.

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