Manchester - Baldwin's and El Mexicano (long)
We were up in Manchester, NH this weekend to see a concert. Dinner before was at Baldwin's on Elm. I was a little wary after seeing a couple of recent negative reviews, but we had a very nice meal, and would definitely go back. The amuse was duck with a soy glaze on a taro chip - very simple, and very tasty. My husband loved his foie gras appetizer, especially the combination with the strawberries and balsamic glaze. Mine was the special of seared tuna with a chive and cilantro vinaigrette. The accompanying taro Anna was especially good, a crispy take on the traditional Pommes Anna. We also both enjoyed our dinner - his was the crab-stuffed trout, mine was the Roasted Duck Breast and Confit with red-wine poached figs. Both very good dishes although I couldn't finish mine, had to save room for the rice pudding spring rolls! A nice wine choice, service was excellent, and dinner was finished off with a final complimentary treat - a truffle-like dessert of two balls of moist lemon chiffon cake dipped in white chocolate. Great meal all around.
Lunch the next day before heading back to Boston was El Mexicano - truly a "jewel" as one Hound said. We haven't found anything like this in Boston, we were quite jealous. I think there were only three tables and a lot of people came in for take-out. We over-ordered (and I was glad they forgot my tostada de ceviche as I couldn't finish what we got). We had:
Menudo: Very good although missing the traditional hominy, served with lime wedges, chopped onion, and fresh cilantro. We usually like dried oregano with it too, but it was delicious and we ended up taking an order to go.
Carnitas Gordita: Yum. The red hot sauce on this was especially tasty.
Chili Relleno Burrito: Our mistake in ordering, we were thinking more along the lines of a chili relleno with a smear of refritos, all wrapped up with a flour tortilla that is common in the El Paso area. We ordered the burrito without rice, but there was still too much filling so that the chili relleno got lost in it. The pepper was nice and spicy tho, and as burritos go it was very good.
Deshebrada torta: This was great also, lots of shredded beef, and the usual toppings of beans, lettuce, tomato, cheese, and crema. The bread was softer, definitely not a bolillo and the owner said telera, but I thought telera usually has a harder crust. This bread was soft, almost eggy, but delicious nonetheless.
To go: Menudo, a Milanesa torta, and a piece of Tresh Leches.
We really thought this place was great. The owner was very nice, every single person who came in was Latin, which is always a good sign - we heard no one speak English while we were there. And the menu is huge - tacos, sopes, tostadas, tortas, burritos, enchiladas, quesadillas, gorditas. Even breakfast looked good including my favorite - Chilaquiles Con Huevo. There are lots of authentic Mexican dishes - Menudo, Pozole, Mole, Milanesa, and Cocteles (shrimp and shrimp and octopus). They have so many choices - carne asada, carnitas, chorizo, chili verde, al pastor, lengua, and even buche and cabeza de res. I wish Boston had a place like this, there are no truly Mexican hole-in-the wall places here (or we haven't found them yet!), the closest are mainly little Salvadoran or Columbian places that also have some Mexican dishes on the menu. Thanks for the heads-up on this place - what a find!!
This place is worth going out of your way to find. You have to want truly authentic Mexican food, and not be looking for a pretty table setting. It's tucked away in a Manchester neighborhood on a street that is hard to park on during the winter. But it's worth the effort. The food is very good. I'm so glad they are here!
I've been here. The food is quite good. The rice could be a little less dry, but it's very tasty. I generally get the chorizo tacos and rice. I'm not a big fan of the beans.
There's a little place just off elm street which I can't remember the name of which serves similar food. I think I liked the beans better there, but I did not like the rice as much, and I recall the tacos being a bit soggy. I would rate El Mexicano better for food, but the other place better for atmosphere and location.
We went there shortly after they opened, very nice people, we really enjoyed the food. I love good mexican. Hermano's is still one of my favorites (they have this garlic lemon sauce that I just love), La Carrata's is a close second with Cafe Azteca in Lawrence. We need to do Cafe Azteca a few more times, loved the first time.
Just an update - I had El Mexicano's for lunch - carnita's gordita and a carne asada gordita - both fantastic, very very good - chips and salsa was great to. It's definitely going into the lunch rotation and next week I am going to go by and try and catch breakfast.