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Latin Lesson

A Mexican hole in the wall that's keeping it real



rom the food on your plate to the paintings and pictures on the wall to the plates themselves, El Centro is all about authenticity. This is real Mexican, not the Americanized version, with particularly great enchiladas. The man behind this little hole in the wall, hidden away on a side street, is a former contractor who traveled his native Mexico to furnish the place, which he designed himself, importing everything from the ceiling tiles to the water pitchers to the door of an old Mexican bar to the original Mexican art and photos on the bright yellow and red walls. Even the bathrooms boast murals of desert scenes. But mostly it’s about the food, with touches that include real Mexican desserts like churros rellenos con chocolate; rotating flavors of sangria, including spice and frozen; Tecate, Modelo Especial, Tarro Chelado and other Mexican beers; and a weekend brunch with huevos con machaca banados en salsa tatemada y frijoles. Shelbourne


Shawmut Avenue is a transliteration of “Mashauwomuk,” the Algonquian word for the original peninsula on which Boston was established.