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Authentic Mexican in Fairfield or Westchester Counties

E May 22, 2006 05:33 PM

I'm looking for an authentic Mexican restaurant in the area that has any/all of the following:

Tacos al pastor

I'd appreciate any suggestions.

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  1. j
    Jland RE: E May 22, 2006 06:15 PM

    Just had a terrific Mexican meal at a restaurant in Tuckahoe called Poblano Burrito. Not fancy at all, but full selection of well-priced Mexican beers, terrific soft tacos with filling ranging from spicy pork, chorizo, the regulars of chicken and ground beef, and my personal favorite beef tongue. Salsa is fresh and full of cilantro, not even closely proximate to the slop sold in jars. The guacamole was creamy with spice and again cilantro. Grilled beef burritos were very large and inexpensive as well, with well seasoned rice and beans. It is a small place with no ambience, but is a very authentic and well needed addition to lower Westchester.

    5 Replies
    1. re: Jland
      Nancy C RE: Jland May 22, 2006 10:33 PM

      I would LOVE to see more posts on the Westchester County authentic Mexican scene.

      Best place I've found in the last year is over in Sparkill, NY (Rockland County) - small bodega across from the main town square park. Excellent tortilla soup, fresh entrees, etc. and very affordable- would love a place like this in 30-45 minute driving range without the trip across the TZ Bridge! But when I go, I do take along my dad, so that's a nice reason to travel so far for cheap food in a time of expensive gas and tolls.

      1. re: Nancy C
        E RE: Nancy C May 22, 2006 10:51 PM

        Do you happen to know the name or address of the place you mentioned? I don't really know Rockland county too well. If you know the name of a nearby business, I can look up the address to get directions to the general area. Thanks.

        1. re: E
          Nancy RE: E Jun 4, 2006 12:15 PM

          La Bamba is the name - look up Sparkill in old posts, you find some info.

      2. re: Jland
        JMF RE: Jland Oct 5, 2006 08:10 PM

        I am surprised you got a decent meal at Poblano Burrito. I have been going there every now and then since they opened, since I live nearby, and think they are only mediocre. I found an absence of flavor. I only go there when I don't feel like driving to White Plains to places like Veracruz and La Neuva Puebla.

        1. re: JMF
          gordoma RE: JMF Mar 23, 2009 04:29 PM

          I would agree with this. We went the other night. It was ok, better than most (which are horrible), but not great or fantastic. I'll stick with Tomitillo in Dobbs (a five minute drive) vs Poblano which was a 15 minute drive.

      3. c
        cteats RE: E May 22, 2006 08:42 PM

        This was just discussed in another thread on this board. See link below.

        To summarize: Port Chester.

        Link: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/show/...

        6 Replies
        1. re: cteats
          E RE: cteats May 22, 2006 10:48 PM

          I noticed the thread you mentioned, but it doesn't directly address what I'm looking for. I've been to most of the restaurants mentioned in the other thread. While some offer good food, none that I've eaten at have particularly authentic Mexican fare. I prefer the food of Central Mexico (DF, QRO, GTO, SLP). I'm particularly interested in finding someplace that has real tacos al pastor (cooked on a spit, corn tortilla, fresh pineapple, cilantro, and raw onion). I also love barbacoa (cooked in a pit with goat or lamb). I don't know whether there is any place in the area that sells these types of food or not. I don't care much about how fancy the place is. So long is it is clean, I'll eat out of someone's garage if they can sell me good authentic Mexican cuisine. Thanks.

          1. re: E
            adamclyde RE: E May 22, 2006 11:22 PM

            unfortunately, you just won't find exactly what you are looking for in Westchester or fairfield county. 99% of the mexican population out here is from puebla. not places where you will find barbacoa.

            tacos al pastor like you mention are only available in NYC. the link below is a recent thread that captured a lot of the places.

            out here, the places I just mentioned in my post above will get you fairly close, however. We've come a long ways in the past 10 years. however, we don't have a great regional distribution of mexican food out here yet.

            for what it is worth, I don't know that you'll find pit-cooked barbacoa anywhere in this country except texas. I've eaten my way all around california (where I grew up) and I've never seen pit-cooked barbacoa.

            Link: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/show/...

            1. re: adamclyde
              E RE: adamclyde May 23, 2006 08:31 AM

              Thanks for the info. Maybe its time for one of us to start up a restaurant ;-)

              1. re: E
                adamclyde RE: E May 23, 2006 08:46 AM

                trust me... I've thought of this for ages. My dream restaurant out here would be either tacos baja ensenada (in east l.a.) or el gallo giro a southern california chain that has just amazing food (not a gringo place).

                but try tortilleria los gemelos. It is above average and is really competent.

                then, when in queens, check out coatzingo. It really is good, like the other folks in that post mentioned.

              2. re: adamclyde
                markethej RE: adamclyde Oct 25, 2007 08:53 PM

                Are you suggesting that they don't make barbacoa in Puebla? Barbacoa de Puebla is very well known and highly regarded. it is considered one of the basic foods of Puebla! http://www.mexicanmercados.com/food/s...

                1. re: markethej
                  adamclyde RE: markethej Oct 26, 2007 07:24 AM

                  not at all. I'm suggesting they don't make barbacoa here like they do in mexico. At least not anywhere I've ever seen. The barbacoa I've found here has never been much worth eating. Here it's generally glorified stewed goat or pork with loads of sauce, but nothing earthy, smoky or "barbacoa" about it.

          2. a
            adamclyde RE: E May 22, 2006 11:15 PM

            The link cteats sent is a good recap of the fairfield county places.

            in westchester, you sort of have two options. port chester or new rochelle. I'll leave the new rochelle update to Pat Hammond or Kydd or some of our other good new rochelle experts (Pat can tell you about the best pozole around).

            regarding your specific requests, you won't find good or authentic barbacoa around (not that I'm looking for cow head cooked in an underground pit; I just wish we could get a good substitute). el zarape in port chester sells barbacoa. However, it just isn't that good. If you are having a true hankering, it could suffice, but it sure isn't perfect.

            I still think the best tacos (and best all around mexican place) are at tortilleria los gemelos in port chester. the place isn't quite as good as it used to be but is still more consistent and higher quality than any other place around. they've done some pandering to garner a more non-mexican audience (festivities for cinco de mayo, etc.). However, so far, (and luckily) they haven't dumbed down their food. the tacos al pastor are pretty good there. But it is the carnitas and birria tacos and sopes are the best things to get there. I'm not sure how much you really like tacos al pastor. I'm sort of obsessed with them. to be done completely right, they really need to be done on a spit. Unfortunately, you won't find any place around here that does it that way. As far as I can tell, there are less than 10 places in the whole tri-state area that do it that way, and they are all in queens and brooklyn (well, one in manhattan, but I didn't like them, so they don't count). If you want the NYC places, let me know.

            I've also had chilaquiles and pozole at los gemelos. The chilaquiles were pretty good (I had them with salsa rojo) and very spicy. Good stuff. You'll like them. The pozole was pretty good, but not as revelatory as Pat Hammond describes her favorite mexican place in new rochelle. I'd go there first for pozole.

            There are also some mexican places in White Plains. They are small tacquerias, but have some interesting regionally-based mexican (cancun/veracruz) food. That said, I think the places in Port chester are better overall.

            Anyhow, good luck and enjoy.

            14 Replies
            1. re: adamclyde
              Pat Hammond RE: adamclyde Oct 31, 2007 11:35 AM

              The red pozole at The Little Mexican Cafe in New Rochelle is very good, but it's available only on the weekends. I get it at the bar and find that if I want some dried oregano to sprinkle on it, I have to ask for it. I haven't been in yet since the weather cooled down, so this isn't an up to the minute report. I've not eaten menudo in New Rochelle, just Los Gemelos in Port Chester.

              It's with a heavy heart that I report two unsatisfactory taco lunches at El Michoacano. The first time, no grilled onions, but raw instead. The grilled onions distinguish these tacos above others. The second time, just plain dry carnitas. I don't know what's happened because it was the same man working the grill as usual. He recognized me, nodded hello, and gave me dry tacos. I'll go back again. Maybe he's been depressed, or something.

              1. re: Pat Hammond
                adamclyde RE: Pat Hammond Oct 31, 2007 01:30 PM

                wow, I hope it's just a few off nights, but it's not very encouraging, is it? Especially considering mexican places are notorious for their inconsistency from visit to visit, and their all too frequent descent into down hill status. Let's hope that isn't the case with michoacano.

                So is little mexican cafe or mexican corner restaurant your favorite place for pozole? I'd remembered the latter being the place you used to talk up on this board, but your comment above makes it seem like I confused the too...

                1. re: adamclyde
                  Pat Hammond RE: adamclyde Oct 31, 2007 02:26 PM

                  The Corner Cafe for sopes, Little Mexican Cafe for pozole.

                2. re: Pat Hammond
                  laylag RE: Pat Hammond Nov 1, 2007 01:23 PM

                  I have to sadly report that my Michoacano carnitas experience was not so fabulous either. Went it for take-out and ordered a couple of carnitas tacos along with a carnitas sincronizada. Paid and when I returned home I had the sincronizada but no carnitas tacos . Live too far to have gone back. The sincronizada was just okay. The carnitas inside were not particularly wonderful, a little bland, dry and was obvious they had never been crisped. They did send some of the yummy pickled carrots, jalapeno and radishes that were served complimentarily to the diners eating in which was a very nice take-out touch.

                  I too like the pozole at Cafe just a bit better than Corners but my overall Corner experiences have been better. I agree that Corner makes the best sopes hands-down.

                  1. re: Pat Hammond
                    Pat Hammond RE: Pat Hammond Nov 7, 2007 09:45 AM

                    El MIch. is back! I drove by today, not even hungry, but decided to stop in for one carnitas taco to take home. In the car I couldn't resist peeking to see if there were grilled onions. Yes! a whole pile of them. Nice plump taco, not too wet, not too dry. At home, a squeeze of lime and some of their good red salsa, and I was very happy. It was as good as the best I remember. New young man on the grill, too.

                    1. re: Pat Hammond
                      laylag RE: Pat Hammond Nov 7, 2007 10:58 AM

                      Thanks Pat. Will try again.

                      1. re: laylag
                        Pat Hammond RE: laylag Nov 8, 2007 01:45 PM

                        Hope it warrants a trip for you. I always check the bag before leaving, especiallly if they're busy. And yes, Little Mexican Cafe is the place for pozole. By the way, the Corner Cafe also has passable tamales from time to time. Sometimes I just need a tamale and they're scarce around here.

                        1. re: Pat Hammond
                          adamclyde RE: Pat Hammond Nov 9, 2007 03:26 AM

                          have you ever seen any tamale vendors around new rochelle? I don't know I've ever had great tamales from a restaurant. They are always from the nice lady in her cart. Or, as is often the case, the nice abuelita sells them to the local restaurant to resell.

                          Paleteria Fernandez in Port Chester sells some decent tamales, supplied by a nice lady. I wonder if New Rochelle has any sort of thing going on?

                          1. re: adamclyde
                            laylag RE: adamclyde Nov 9, 2007 06:47 AM

                            Adam, Pat, Give Juarez Grocery in Mamaroneck a try on Sunday morning -- trust me. They're good. Get one chicken mole and one dulce. They're from someone's abuelita I'm sure.

                            If there are any like that in New Rochelle, especially on the other six days a week, I'd love to hear about it.

                            1. re: laylag
                              Pat Hammond RE: laylag Nov 9, 2007 12:49 PM

                              I'd really appreciate it if you could tell me where in Mamroneck it is? I'm out of town this Sunday, but I'll go at my first opportunity. I've found they freeze well, and could buy a bunch of them.

                              1. re: Pat Hammond
                                adamclyde RE: Pat Hammond Nov 9, 2007 03:30 PM

                                Pat - here you go: http://www.chow.com/places/12446

                                1. re: adamclyde
                                  Pat Hammond RE: adamclyde Nov 10, 2007 03:24 AM

                                  Thanks, Adam, that's easy! Thanks to Fooddrink, too. Sal's, I know well, and I hear they have a new gelato shop now. Definitely worth a trip!

                            2. re: adamclyde
                              Pat Hammond RE: adamclyde Nov 9, 2007 12:45 PM

                              If there are, I haven't seen or heard of them and I've asked around. But I do get to Port Chester! There might be some in Mt. Vernon, but don't know for sure.

                              1. re: Pat Hammond
                                foodrink RE: Pat Hammond Nov 9, 2007 02:24 PM

                                They are located in the shopping part of Mamaroneck Ave across the street from Sal's Pizza.

                  2. l
                    LisaM RE: E May 23, 2006 08:47 AM

                    There's a little hole-in-the-wall place in White Plains, called Flores Deli. I've only gone twice so far, since I just moved into the area. The first time, I had 2 tacos, one w/steak and avocado, and the other w/pork and nopalito. They were quite good. The second time, I just had tortilla chips and guacamole, as a snack on the run. The chips were freshly cooked and delicious, and the guac, though very tasty, needed a squirt of lemon. The owner was very friendly, and proudly showed me his back garden area, which was small, but looked like a nice al fresco option.

                    BTW, their menu lists everything you mentioned except barbacoa and menudo.

                    Flores Deli
                    10 Cross Street (off Central Ave just north of TJ Maxx)
                    White Plains, NY

                    6 Replies
                    1. re: LisaM
                      adamclyde RE: LisaM May 23, 2006 08:49 AM

                      great tip. thank you. I'll head there for lunch today, if I can get away.

                      1. re: adamclyde
                        fritzy RE: adamclyde May 23, 2006 10:09 AM

                        Please give us a little review, if you have a chance. Also, do they do takeout/delivery? Thanks.

                        1. re: fritzy
                          LisaM RE: fritzy May 23, 2006 09:53 PM

                          I took my chips and guac to go, and their menu states, "Free delivery - $15.00 minimum." I would call and ask how far they are willing to travel.

                        2. re: adamclyde
                          LisaM RE: adamclyde May 23, 2006 09:55 PM

                          I look forward to your review!

                        3. re: LisaM
                          bklynfoodie RE: LisaM May 24, 2006 10:15 AM

                          They also make excellent tortas and cemitas. They're not cheap ($7 or so) but they're enormous and filled with loads of tasty stuff.

                          1. re: LisaM
                            surman RE: LisaM Nov 6, 2009 06:12 PM

                            Flores Deli was renamed Gourmet Laguna over the summer (2009). It seems to have a new chef and a (slightly) revised menu, but largely the same wait staff. The food is very authentic, reasonably priced, and pretty good, but not as outstanding as it used to be. Sit out back if you can.

                            Flores Deli
                            10 Cross St, White Plains, NY 10606

                          2. j
                            jon RE: E May 23, 2006 04:20 PM

                            sorry i dont know the name, but there is a little restaurant in white plains off lake street, i think it's on n. kensico (the first right after texaco if you are coming from north broadway, it's next to a minimart and across from a chinese restaurant). they make terrific tacos. ive had chicken, al pastor, and carnitas tacos. they come on two thin corn tortillas with raw onion, cilantro, a little lime, some hot green sauce, and sometimes advocado. they are delicious, and at $2 each, a good deal. also, if you go for lunch, for $5 you can get a half roasted chicken that they roast in the back, some rice, tripe, tamales, simmering chicken, all sorts of stuff. really good.

                            2 Replies
                            1. re: jon
                              adamclyde RE: jon May 23, 2006 04:27 PM

                              I think it is called la nueva puebla, its a combo mexican dominican place ("carribean mexican cuisine", I think they call it).

                              Pretty good tacos. The other items are mostly dominican in nature, I've found. Their tamales are good - kind of weird, sort of like mexican, but prepared in a dominican way.

                              1. re: adamclyde
                                jon RE: adamclyde May 23, 2006 07:03 PM

                                yeah, that's the name. definitely try the half roasted chicken during lunch. it is fantastic. all of the tacos are made in the back by a little old lady.

                            2. e
                              EAF RE: E May 24, 2006 02:07 PM

                              I think Pancho's Tacos on white street in Danbury has those items.

                              1. C
                                RE: E May 24, 2006 05:42 PM

                                Port Chester
                                Tortilleria Los Gemelos, (914) 934-0372, 167 Westchester Ave, Port Chester, NY 10573
                                Paleteria Fernandez, (914) 939-3694, 33 N Main St, Port Chester, NY 10573
                                El Zarape Restaurant, (914) 933-0363, 24 Grace Church St, Port Chester, NY 10573

                                White Plains
                                La Nueva Puebla, (914) 946-9815, 8 S Kensico Ave, White Plains, NY 10601
                                Deli Flores, (914) 285-1610, 10 Cross St, White Plains, NY 10606

                                New Rochelle
                                La Herradura, (914) 235-2055, 563 Main St, New Rochelle, NY 10801
                                El Gran Rodeo Inc, (914) 633-9211, 390 North Ave, New Rochelle, NY 10801
                                La Flor de Michoacan Corp, (914) 632-7496, 215 Union Ave, New Rochelle, NY 10801
                                Little Mexican Cafe, (914) 636-3926, 581 Main St, New Rochelle, NY 10801

                                Casa Villa Restaurant, (203) 323-1721, 182 W Main St, Stamford, 06902
                                Ole Mole, (203) 461-9962, 1030 High Ridge Rd, Stamford, 06905

                                Burrito Poblano, (914) 337-7900. 85 Main St, Tuckahoe, NY 10707

                                4 Replies
                                1. re:
                                  adamclyde RE: May 24, 2006 05:58 PM

                                  good list - thanks for capturing it in one place. In White plains, I'd also add Veracruz and Cancun Delights. Both specialize in foods from those regions. Not too bad, actually.

                                  There are a few more in Port Chester (kiosko, luis' mexican, las brisas, etc.), but Los Gemelos is still better, than those. Paleteria Fernandez, which you show above, is a great ice cream store. Once it gets gold, they'll start selling tamales and champurrada. Until winter, however, they only sell the ice cream (get the avocado... amazing).

                                  Cancun Delights
                                  16 E Post Rd, White Plains, NY
                                  (914) 686-1603

                                  24 W Post Rd, White Plains, NY
                                  (914) 948-6670

                                  1. re: adamclyde
                                    bklynfoodie RE: adamclyde May 24, 2006 08:10 PM

                                    And here's another place in White Plains:

                                    Sunshine Deli
                                    31A Lake Street, White Plains, NY
                                    (914) 428-1722

                                    The place has a Mexican name, too, I'm not sure what it is. Pretty good tacos, tortas and pozole. They have a bunch of other dishes, too, including some interesting vegetarian options.

                                    One caveat: Never, ever get your food delivered. The deliverymen tend to get lost easily.

                                    1. re: bklynfoodie
                                      bklynfoodie RE: bklynfoodie May 26, 2006 03:13 PM

                                      Found out the Mexican name: La Picara. And they have another number you can use, too: 914-328-0904.

                                      They do offer barbacoa, but only on weekends.

                                  2. re:
                                    laylag RE: Oct 22, 2007 12:44 PM

                                    In New Rochelle I'd also most definitely add Mexican Corner. I've had consistently excellent food there. Little Mexican Cafe has been great and not very good on different occasions.

                                  3. p
                                    PBnBanana RE: E Oct 6, 2006 12:41 AM

                                    Try Guadalajara on route 9 in ossining. Nice place, good food, good service, great sangria!

                                    1. Marge RE: E Oct 6, 2006 02:43 AM

                                      I couldn't disagree more! Can't comment on the sangria, but the food, which is far from authentic, is mediocre and exorbitantly overpriced. I also found the service to be abysmal.

                                      2 Replies
                                      1. re: Marge
                                        JMF RE: Marge Oct 6, 2006 03:59 AM

                                        Which place are you talking about?

                                        1. re: JMF
                                          Marge RE: JMF Oct 6, 2006 11:49 AM

                                          Sorry, Guadalajara on route 9, recommended in the post just above mine.

                                      2. k
                                        KarenNYC RE: E Feb 21, 2007 09:38 AM

                                        there are a few good places out and about but the one I did not see mentioned above is Sunset Grille in White Plains - very tasty. I also like Casa Maya central avenue in Hasrtdale/scarsdale.

                                        2 Replies
                                        1. re: KarenNYC
                                          laylag RE: KarenNYC Oct 22, 2007 12:47 PM

                                          Karen, I've seen a lot of really negative posts about Casa Maya - seems similar in style to Tequila Sunrise in Larchmont (which I strongly dislike) and is not Mexican but Tex-Mex, Americanized and not good. I know we agree on Nessa so am wondering what it is you like about Casa Maya. Care to share more info?

                                          1. re: laylag
                                            surman RE: laylag Nov 6, 2009 06:14 PM

                                            Must agree with Laylag -- Casa Maya is Tex-Mex, and not very well done Tex-Mex at that.

                                            Casa Maya Mexican Grill
                                            706 Central Park Ave, Scarsdale, NY 10583

                                        2. m
                                          M. Dery RE: E Aug 5, 2007 07:35 PM

                                          Crossposting my review of an awesome Mexican restaurant that is NOT in Fairfield or Westchester but well worth a drive, if you're seriously jonesing for The Real Thing. NOTE: Barbacoa's on the menu (though I doubt it's pit barbacoa), al pastor is not, and I think (but am not certain) that chilaquiles are.


                                          Dona Maria on Lafayette in Suffern is superb---cinco estrellas! Just tried it, on Chowhound's recommendation, and can authoritatively say as a former Southern California homeboy (I grew up in Chula Vista, mere minutes from the Mex-Am border) that Dona Maria is authentic Mexican cuisine with a nouvelle spin (sun-dried tomatoes, goat cheese). I'm forever in search of the Holy Grail---unimpeachably authentic Mexican food rather than the gabacho-ized syrupy margaritas and gloppy combo plates that most mallcrawlers mistake for it---and Dona Maria is as close to it as I've come, in Rockland County. La Bamba in Sparkill is good, though its tacos al pastor tends to be a bit dry and stringy and its cocktail de camarones plays bait-and-switch by substituting chunks of crabstick (surimi) for shrimp, and Video Guadalajara in Spring Valley is good, as well, though a trip to the less than spotless bathroom, past the less than spotless kitchen, inspires worrisome thoughts of e. coli. But Dona Maria is light years beyond both. My wife and I toured the menu, to knockout effect: homemade tortilla chips served with a kicky, pumpkin-colored hot sauce that stung the tongue with a cool fire; charred vegetables (chiles, onion, tomatoes) on a bed of mesclun (not very Mexican, but Mexican cuisine is a living thing, not some embalmed tradition, so props to the owner for pushing the culinary envelope); meltingly tender pulpo veracruzano (octopus in the Veracruz style) afloat in a puddle of velvet, garlicky sauce; shrimp in an addictively delicious goat cheese sauce (again, this is Nouvelle Mexican) on a hockey puck-sized mound of yellow rice; and for my Inner SoCal Homeboy, the three taco special ($7.50)---shredded pork, barbacoa, and a standout chorizo that was plump, piquante, and greasy in the best sort of way. Make a pilgrimage to this wonderful little eatery and spread the gospel so it thrives. It's the Mecca of Mexican food in Rockland County, a far cry from the frat-boy faux-Mex of, say, Casa Del Sol in Nyack, where a waiter straightfacedly asked if I wanted mashed potatoes with my fajitas. MASHED POTATOES? In a Mexican restaurant? Somewhere, the ghost of Emiliano Zapata shudders in horror...


                                          1 Reply
                                          1. re: M. Dery
                                            hadely RE: M. Dery Oct 22, 2007 08:37 AM

                                            Food at dona maria in suffern is so good. Try the chile relleno -- peppers stuffed with cheese and chicken. dish has great spice.

                                          2. d
                                            dma1250 RE: E Oct 22, 2007 10:27 AM

                                            The take-out from Mex-to-Go in Croton is actually excellent. Co-owned by chef at Peter Pratt's Inn. It's a burritto, enchilada, etc menu, but all very tasty.

                                            9 Replies
                                            1. re: dma1250
                                              adamclyde RE: dma1250 Oct 23, 2007 09:02 PM

                                              is that the place that is supposed to have oaxacan-inspired recipes, including mole negro? If so, I need to give it a try...

                                              1. re: adamclyde
                                                laylag RE: adamclyde Oct 24, 2007 07:15 AM

                                                CT to Croton. Wow, Adamclyde - you're road trip stamina is impressive.

                                                1. re: laylag
                                                  adamclyde RE: laylag Oct 24, 2007 09:41 AM

                                                  laylag, can any distance be too far in the search for great mexican food??!

                                                  I frequently fly home to LA just for the fish tacos. Well, maybe I have family there, but really they just give me the excuse. I'm really just going for the food.

                                                  As for this place, if it has good oaxacan food, it will be the only place I know of within hundreds of miles that has good oaxacan food. and that's worth the drive! There is a place in Brooklyn that sells oaxacan tamales, but other than that, the pickings are way too scarce.

                                                  1. re: adamclyde
                                                    laylag RE: adamclyde Oct 24, 2007 01:38 PM

                                                    You are right Adam - no distance should stand in the way but sometimes exhaustion does interfere with my wanderings.

                                                    Ah - the LA origin begins to explain your affection, expertise and passion for Latin and especially the real deal Mexican stuff. As my Mexico meanderings have been limited to many trips to the D.F. and one to Guadalajara (all business but with bonus of eating with Mexican colleagues) I'd greatly appreciate your insight on Oaxacan food. What is different about the tamales and what other items are uniquely Oaxacan and fabulous to try?

                                                    1. re: laylag
                                                      adamclyde RE: laylag Oct 25, 2007 08:29 AM

                                                      this would be good to post on the general topics board, where we can dive deeply into it and you'll get millions of good responses, but in short, the most famous oaxacan foods are the moles (land of the seven moles) and, for me, the tamales. The tamales are wrapped in banana leaves and often have mole negro with the chicken. The result is an amazingly soft, almost spoonable masa with a deep earthy chocolate-tinged flavor of the filling.

                                                      Those are the most famous things, but that's just the tip of the iceberg. . They are famous for their chapulines (crickets), sauces, chiles, etc. Very rich regional culinary history there, as have many parts of mexico. But I'd post on the general topics board. You'll get lots of responses.

                                                      But back to this this mexican place in Croton - in looking through their menu, there isn't much that says regional mexican to me, unfortunately. Not that it may not be great, just not the unique find I was hoping for.

                                                      - Adam

                                                      1. re: adamclyde
                                                        laylag RE: adamclyde Oct 25, 2007 09:38 AM

                                                        Thanks Adam. I posted there. Let's see what we get. I won't be heading to Croton anytime soon but would love to find those tamales you mentioned somewhere. The crickets I can do without thank you.

                                                        You know now that I think about it they sell similar tamales at Juarez Grocery on Mamaroneck Ave. While they are not as soft as you describe they are very good. They don't sell any other prepared food that I'm aware of - it's a grocery really and it seems someone makes the tamales at home and brings them in for sale on Sunday mornings. One version is a chicken mole where the mole seeps into the surrounding masa but they are firm not soft. My favorite is the tamale dulce - it is incredible. Its center is, as you describe - soft and spoonable. They also sell a pollo verde and, if I recall, a verdura.

                                                        I'm usually the only "gringa" in the joint and there's always a long line. It seems to be where a lot of the local immigrant community go for their Sunday tamales. Now that winter's here I'll be running over. Since they're often sold out by 10a or 10:30 they were kind enough to allow me to call ahead and hold the tamales for me. Very nice people.

                                                        Juarez Grocery
                                                        349 Mamaroneck Ave, Mamaroneck, NY

                                                        1. re: laylag
                                                          adamclyde RE: laylag Oct 25, 2007 10:32 AM

                                                          wow, that's a great tip. do they have any wrapped in banana leaves? That's a tale-tell sign that they are offering some up with more of a regional specialty.

                                                          Regardless, good tamales are VERY hard to come by. I haven't found a reliable source anywhere yet. Just some mediocre ones...

                                                          1. re: adamclyde
                                                            laylag RE: adamclyde Oct 25, 2007 01:32 PM

                                                            I haven't gotten them in a while but if I remember correctly they were wrapped in corn husks. Still, they're pretty good...pretty, pretty good.

                                                            And I remember you saying you make a morning run to Kneaded Bread on Sundays so just a few (five) miles further and you can pick up some tamales on the same trip. I'd love to hear what you think of them.

                                                2. re: adamclyde
                                                  dma1250 RE: adamclyde Oct 24, 2007 07:30 AM

                                                  Mex to Go actually has a website:

                                              2. ChefBoyAreMe RE: E Oct 24, 2007 07:35 AM

                                                Has anyone eaten at Los Cabos, across from Stu Leonard's Wine shop on the Post road in Norwalk? Curious. I looked at the menu, and it looked to be a cut above (more authentic) than the standard Mexican resto fare.

                                                3 Replies
                                                1. re: ChefBoyAreMe
                                                  Foodie Fairfield RE: ChefBoyAreMe Oct 24, 2007 09:21 AM

                                                  Yes...very good place. More authentic than Zapata, Rio, La Salsa, Tequila Mockingbird, etc. Great fish tacos.

                                                  1. re: ChefBoyAreMe
                                                    adamclyde RE: ChefBoyAreMe Oct 24, 2007 09:40 AM

                                                    Someone a while ago on this board went and said it was pretty good. I've never gone, but need to.

                                                    All I know is that with a name "Los Cabos" they better have GREAT fish tacos. And not those grilled fish abominations... they've got to be baja style tacos, FRIED fish, shredded cabbage, creamy salsa, etc., on a corn tortilla. Maybe I'm putting too high a burden on the place, but if they claim Baja, they better make good Baja style food.

                                                    That said, I learned recently (once again) not to judge a mexican place negatively just because it has an appealing storefront and ambiance (http://www.chowhound.com/topics/452641). Sort of a reverse prejudice I mistakenly have at times. we'll see...

                                                    1. re: ChefBoyAreMe
                                                      writer_lady RE: ChefBoyAreMe Nov 5, 2007 12:24 PM

                                                      Yes - best mexican I've had in FFC - closest to LaBoca in Middletown in quality. Not totally autentic, but better than tex mex junk. Great margaritas.

                                                    2. b
                                                      besa RE: E Oct 31, 2007 08:42 AM

                                                      Please tell me...have you found a place that serves Posole or Menudo?

                                                      2 Replies
                                                      1. re: besa
                                                        laylag RE: besa Oct 31, 2007 09:03 AM

                                                        Not E but they serve Posole at Mexican Corner and Little Mexican Cafe. I think Cafe only has it on weekends and that Corner has it all the time - not sure. I believe Menudo was on the menu at Michoacan.

                                                        1. re: laylag
                                                          adamclyde RE: laylag Oct 31, 2007 10:48 AM

                                                          you'll find menudo on the weekends at most places, I'd assume. Certainly at los gemelos in port chester. Pozole at all times there too, but from the descriptions, I'd say mexican corner's sounds better (check out some old descriptions of it by Pat Hammond a few years ago).

                                                      2. p
                                                        pixellle RE: E Nov 2, 2007 10:01 PM

                                                        I'm surprised no one's mentioned this yet, but a new quality Mexican restaurant just opened in Greenwich. It's called Avenida, and I think it opened in October 07. I went there once with my husband who's not a big Mexican fan. It was hip and very noisy, which annoyed him but didn't bother me. I thought the food was fantastic, but since I didn't have an enthusiastic partner, I couldn't sample that much on my own. Here's a sampling of the menu taken from my notes on the newspaper's review:

                                                        Lunch entrees $13-26
                                                        Dinner - appetizers $8 - 16
                                                        Dinner entrees $18-38

                                                        appetizers -
                                                        tacos with brised pork with chilis and poblano peppers on homemade corn tortillas
                                                        Tacos with grilled mahi-mahi with field greens and lime vinegrette
                                                        Quesadillas with wild mushrooms; lime-marinated chicken; roasted chilis and cheese
                                                        Empanada w/roasted plantains, black beans and cheese
                                                        Grape gazpacho
                                                        Sliced tuna ceviche with coconut, pineapple and chiles
                                                        Scallop ceviche in citrus

                                                        Entrees -
                                                        Grilled shrimp w/garlic, avocado and tomato over green rice
                                                        Chicken-stuffed chili rellenos
                                                        Grilled salmon over field greens w/charred tomato vinegrette
                                                        Pan-roasted red snapper with salsa
                                                        Atun a la plancha - search yellowfin tuna
                                                        Pollo al carbon - marinated chicken with cirtus salsita and rice and beans
                                                        Huachinango a la Veracruzana - pan-roasted red snapper
                                                        Camarones y callos al ajillo - grilled shrimp and scallops

                                                        Desserts -
                                                        Brilliantly-flavored sorbets
                                                        Warm chocolate cake

                                                        I had mini-char-grilled beef tacos, tuna serviche and the red snapper. Oh, and the guacamole, which they offer as soon as you sit down. (It's not made table-side, though.) I'd definitely go back.

                                                        1 Reply
                                                        1. re: pixellle
                                                          laylag RE: pixellle Nov 5, 2007 06:25 AM

                                                          Interesting menu pixellle. Thanks for posting. Avenida is definitely "higher-end" in terms of price and more of a Mexican inspired menu with some Latin fusion items. The foods the OP was asking about that fall into the category of everyday, "home-cooking" regional foods. Four people could eat happily at most of the places we mentioned in NR and Port Chester for the price of dinner for one at Avenida. Totally different types of restaurants.

                                                        2. m
                                                          markethej RE: E Nov 18, 2007 06:23 PM

                                                          I just posted a review of a restaurant in Bridgeport called "Mi Rancho" which is authentic food in the style of Puebla. Here is the link: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/461774

                                                          1. o
                                                            OliviaM RE: E Mar 10, 2009 08:43 PM

                                                            In White Plains, the two best places to eat Mexican food, are Robertos Cafe & Deli Flores Cafe. the food is delicious, awesome portions, everything to offer, CLEAN and the service/owners are super nice. But the food at both places is amazing

                                                            1 Reply
                                                            1. re: OliviaM
                                                              gremlin608 RE: OliviaM Mar 21, 2009 04:14 PM

                                                              I just went to Roberto's Cafe on Post Road for lunch today...Great Tacos, rice and refried beans! Authentic and pleasant and clean...and very inexpensive. It's a great find!

                                                            2. c
                                                              CTgüera RE: E Apr 4, 2009 11:46 PM

                                                              If you're willing to drive to Hunts Point section of the Bronx, Real Azteca (una fondita de verdad), has most of this, tho barbacoa only on wkends. I learned of this from a write up in the NYTimes. The quesadillas are american sized, but they always have huitlacoche, so they are forgiven. Back up here, only the yellow taco truck in Stamford is worthwhile, everything else not authentic. Btw, most of "mexican" places in ff county are run my central americans . . . hence lesser authenticity. If you didn't learn it from grandma and all your tias, its just not gonna be up to snuff.

                                                              1 Reply
                                                              1. re: CTgüera
                                                                adamclyde RE: CTgüera Apr 5, 2009 11:16 AM

                                                                FYI, the folks at the el charrito taco truck in Stamford are going to start doing cabeza and barbacoa on weekends here in a couple of weeks. They are going to go between goat and lamb barbacoa. Can't wait...

                                                              2. a
                                                                adesouza1 RE: E Dec 30, 2009 10:01 AM

                                                                Tacos Mexico, Norwalk.
                                                                You can read the reviews here:

                                                                It's the freshest Mexican food I ever had, and I used to live in NY!

                                                                1 Reply
                                                                1. re: adesouza1
                                                                  Nancy C RE: adesouza1 Dec 30, 2009 11:13 AM

                                                                  Los Abuelos in Ossining (see other threads) will fill the bill. They may have deleted barbacoa from their menu recently, however. But posole? Check. Al Pastor ? Check. Chilaquiles? Check. Not sure about the menudo. My dad and stepmom went there they day before Thanksgiving and two guys stopped by to pick up a whole roast pig and carry it out...

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