A group of us had dinner at El Beso in the Greenfield Plaza off 76th St. (located in the former Champps building).
The place was packed yet our party of 6 only waited about 15 minutes, long enough for a margarita at the bar. They have house and premium tequilas available, we ordered Hornitos Sauza margaritas which are $8.50 per glass vs. the house which is $6. Unfortunately, the drinks were disappointing as they weren't very strong for the price, Mexican beer is a better value yet still pricey at $4 each. There are plenty of free chips and salsa for you as you wait. The salsa is OK, just mild, nothing memorable.
When we sat down for dinner, we paged through the extensive menu. The prices are about what you'd expect these days from a popular Mexican restaurant, which is to say it's not cheap. Most entrees are $12-$18. There is a lunch menu for about $8 which I'd like to try sometime.
One of our group tried the hot baby back ribs - there were three peppers next to the item on the menu and were indeed quite hot, yet tender, fall off the bone rib meat, which was enjoyed by our cast-iron stomach diner. Others had typical dishes all with rice and beans which were described as average. We also shared an order of guacamole which was good.
I tried the Caldo de Camaron (shrimp soup), which is a great alternative to heavier dishes. Most every Mexican place around town makes their variation, and some of my favorites are at La Perla and Botanas but unfortunately El Beso's shrimp soup is very disappointing (and very overpriced!).
The shrimp are much too small, the broth is spicy and plentiful, but lacking in vegetables, especially fresh avocado slices (there were a small amount of diced peas and carrots that didn't look fresh, more from a bag of frozen p&c).
The shrimp soup comes with a plate of diced onions and cilantro to add to the broth but over all it consisted of too much broth, about 12 tiny shrimp and no avocado. Because of this, I don't recommend any one ordering this dish at El Beso, especially for $13.95. The extra large bowl doesn't help make the pee-wee sized shrimp look any better and after finishing the last of the shrimp, I kept trawling the dark red broth for more but kept coming up with an occasional little pea or carrot. La Perla and Botanas offer much much better.
Overall, I'm not sure I'd go back, considering the prices and crowds (maybe lunch). Service is good, but the food and drinks can get very expensive, especially for a family. Mexican dinners used to be a great deal but suddenly have become a high priced meal, which is a shame.
It was noted that the place is owned by a Greek family (who own El Fuego on Layton by the airport) and no Greek restaurant is complete without a dessert counter, which is featured in El Beso. I'm not sure about the little frosted cakes with realistic lip-kiss marks but there are other desserts featured.