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Aug 22, 2006 02:10 PM

Bergenfield, NJ Mexican

Just as I was about to declare a 'draw' in the taco battle between Mi Pueblo and La Batalla (both on Washington Ave) Mi Pueblo has officially changed hands to become a second location of Englewood's El Paso. More hard work for me, it seems...;)

I've reported on La Batalla before, and their Mexican-style tacos are still excellent. (For some reason I've gotten the Americanized version with the combination platters, so keep an eye out for that.) The quality of the fillings is what sets them apart- the cecina, lengua, chorizo, and carnitas are all very flavorful standouts. (For the record Mi Pueblo had them beat with the accompanying salsas).

From the looks of it El Paso II will take the same format as its predecessor- a grocery in front and a casual restaurant in back. La Batalla is more of a diner.

The battle continues, and we in the area are the luckier for it...

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  1. No way!!!!...Mi pueblo is no longer Mi Pueblo!?!?..It is (hopefully not was) my very favourite mexican in all of NJ..Been going there since it opened 4 years ago when it only had stools and 5 mexican guys eating...i think i'm the only gringa who ever goes there, as it's the only authentic stuff I've tasted since moving from Georgia (go figure- loads of Mex. immigrants worked in the poultry processing plants).I pass the store everyday on my run and noticed it had brown paper is it the same? Same menu with awesome

    I'm not really crazy about La Batalia...I've got some issues with their sanitation and their food was not on par with Mi pueblo...

    can you give me the complete scoop??

    1 Reply
    1. re: sixelagogo

      Fear not- I went for tacos a couple of days ago and I don't think that the new ownership has missed much of a beat. Recently I sat at the counter and spoke to the folks there while I had some tacos- they said that a menu is in the works but for now there is a blackboard listing taco and torta fillings. Also there is a 'special' per day (on Friday it was chicken in a salsa verde).

      I got the chorizo tacos, which were good but again I prefer the chorizo at La Batalla (more spiced, and they sear it on the grill longer to give it some caramelization). El Paso II does put a dollop of guacamole on each taco and there seems like there is more filling. They also serve some strips of nopales with the tacos so it may even be a better plate overall, depending on what you are looking for. Four tacos come per plate, though they will allow you to order fillings in groups of two if you like a little variety.

      Like I said above, there are some less than stellar things at La Batalla but I have also had some wonderful things when straying from the taco path- particularly a plate of hearty stuffed poblanos. I can't say I've noticed any sanitation issues, but thanks for the heads-up.

    2. Gotta say TongoRad, I was sorely dissapointed with the neuvo Mi Puebleo- El Paso II...we ordered a vareity of items that the original Mi Pueblo nailed : Chorizo and Egg Torta, Tacos, and Chicken Tamales with Green sauce. Torta was seriously lacking heat (i think it was mi pueblos's pickled peppers or something)and downright boring; Tacos were ok, though the Carnitas was really strange tasting..They only had 2 of the sauces, red and green, neither of which was as lively or tasty as Mi Pueblos (I think they came from a can)...The Tamale though really summed it up...ok masa but it was filled with chicken skin and really odd parts of chicken fat that should never fill a tamale...the green sauce was barely there...

      I'm so dissappointed with the new place...i don't think it's due to its newness and think La Batalia will replace Mi Pueblo for "real" mexican in Bergenfield.

      1 Reply
      1. re: sixelagogo

        Sorry to hear that, and thanks for the more thorough report. Those Mi Pueblo sauces will definitely be missed.