Mexican Roundup in New Rochelle
- adamclyde Sep 30, 2006 12:54 AM
I think it is time for a proper, full roundup of mexican places in New Rochelle. As I posted here: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/show/... I've been wanting to do a proper troll of mexican places in New Rochelle. I know many of you (Pat Hammond, Kydd, JSexton and others) have gone to a lot of these places. so..., I'd like to create the catalogue of sorts for the best places in New rochelle. Then provide start to decide which are the best places for which things... anyhow, starting with the place JSexton recommended:
What to get: Tacos al pastor
Address: 220 Union Ave
Name: Little Mexican Cafe
What to get: Pozole on weekends... what else?
Address: 581 Main St
Name: La Herradura
What to get: (?) (remember hearing about this place from someone
)Address: 563 Main st
Name: El Gran Rodeo
What to get: (?) same as above... remember getting a tip here
Address: 390 North Ave
Name: Mexican Corner
What to get: Tamales, sopes (per Pat
)Address: 497 Main St
What to get:
Address: 347 North
Name: El Michoacano
What to get: (?) (but with that name, the BETTER have good carnitas
)Address: 485 Main Street
Name: El Trigal bakery
What to get: pastel tres leches
Address: 216 Union
Now, I know I've missed some places... isn't there a paleteria in new rochelle? Any other new places we should be aware of? And, of the places above, where are the gems? I'm sure each has their own specialty... any and all additions, insights and revelations welcome!
There are two paleterias, branches of the same business: Paleteria Michoacana I and II. One is on North, one is in the heart of the Mexican Neighborhood on Union (acros from Pastelandya and El Trigal. The Times wrote extensively on them twice, and the Journal News did a little round up of the food scene in N.R. featuring them.
La Herradura is a funny place--v. high decor values, strange(but kinda good) mexican yeast bread pizzas, aguas frescas(GREAT horchata) and batidos. I wasn't overwhelmed with the quality of food there, but I can see how some people might prefer the decor to the kinds of places I favor. I've been there once, but can't see myself going back when Little Mexican Restaurant is so good. LMR has a wood burning grill, so the carne asada, the cecina (dried salted beef), chorizo and carnitas (Charro Platter) are really smoky and good. They make the guac to order and it's always perfect. Pollo con mole isn't on the menu, but they sell it if you know about it and the mole is the best I've had around --really deep and soulful. It comes on the enchilada platter as well. (The cheese enchiladas w/mole are the best. The restaurant manager is Peruvian and very nice--they're all very proud of their success and their popularity among food. One embarrassing admission--they do a great margarita, which is a v. touristy thing to order. They use fresh lime juice, so it's bright and tart and delicious rather than sticky sweet and gross.
I'm sorry--yes. It's Little Mexican Cafe (581 Main St.). I always confuse the name with Mexican Corner Restaurant down the street (which is a nice storefront taqueria as opposed to a real tablecloth/liquor license restaurant). The entrees aren't dirt cheap at LMC (ranging from $6 for a 3 flauta platter to $15.95 for Tampiquena Platter--carne asada and enchilada with guac,poblanos and beans), but I feel they offer great value and quality. I was amazed by the margarita myself--I was all set for a Negro Modelo. The manager offered and I thought , well, what the hell. I was so pleased with the quality of the drink--it was the best margarita I've had out in a while. Very fresh, tart and crisp -- all the sweetness coming from a not-bad tequila. The grilled cecina (salt dried beef) is delicious.
Haven't been in since the margaritas arrived, but I hope the bar near the grill is still an option for seating. That's been my favorite spot, when I'm there on my own. (Maybe the margaraitas have been there quite a while, though, but I never knew it, until now.) It'll be nice to order one, while waiting for my food!
Good margaritas and mariachis AND authentic food? Sounds wonderful, thank you, I have to make note of this.
Mr. dolores works in New Rochelle and brings home the milk pops from the Paleteria on Union Ave. (I grew up on Second St., the West is the Best) on his way home, and they are out of this world.
Re: "Mexican Corner"
Native Angeleno (transplanted to RI) decided to beat the traffic leaving NYC north on 95 on Sunday, stopping for lunch at a random exit...somehow arrived in this goldmine of Mexican restaurants.
Ordered enchiladas con mole (w/ chicken). Amazingly good. Very large plate, 3 enchiladas, sauce inside and out; moist, shredded chicken (not the fajita-type some places try to get away with). Rice with chicken stock and cilantro, beans rather bland, but ok. Horchata worth a special trip, plus a large one to go (made on premises). It was packed at 2pm and I sat at the 2-seater bar. Delightful service and food. I'll be back.
Finally got to Little Mexican Cafe last night. The pozole was perfect as were the tacos al Pastor. We've been going to Port Chester for Mexican and really enjoy the food at Tortilleria los Gemelos, although not the uncomfortable seating, but the tacos al pastor at LMC were the best I've had since Mexico. The meat was perfectly moist, a little fatty/crispy and the marinade was definitive.
We also had the pozole which was great. I can see that I'll be jonesing for that on a regular basis through the winter and will be going back very soon.
The sopes were decent but I'd like to find better. We ordered one of each - chicken, carnitas and the salted beef. The shell was correct made of masa and were appropriately doughy with a slightly crisp edge but they were a little bland, too unadorned with only the meat and some cheese on top. Could have used some onion and other flavoring. They brought really spicy green salsa to the table and that helped. The cheese was also not queso fresco as it should have been but was shredded, something as someone posted on another thread, akin to mozzarella.
The service was attentive and accommodating and the kitchen agreed to make our six year old daughter a "gringo" soft taco with ground beef and yellow cheese and even that was really tasty.
We were so full we couldn't even touch the Charro platter and we brought it home so will have it for dinner tonight.
All in all, a very good experience and we definitely go back but still need to try the other NR Mexican places too. I'd love to know who makes the best sope.
Oh, we also stopped at El Trigal on the way home. Bought a sampling of lots of stuff including the tres leches. It was good but having lived in Miami for four years I think the Cubans have a lock on the best tres leches. The other items, cookies, sweet breads, etc. were good, not amazing. Doughnuts my daughter wanted, nothing special. If anyone has a suggestion for something else that we should try from there, please post.
For sopes, try the little spot, Mexican Corner Cafe (or something like that), on the corner at 497 Main St. I believe the cross street is Lawton. I like the tacos at Little Mexican Cafe, but I don't think they beat the tacos at El Michoacano at 485 Main.
I'm glad to hear (but not surprised) that LMC was accommodating to your child. I've yet to see a Mexican place in New Rochelle that didn't welcome kids.
I was at the Little Mexican Cafe yesterday with some friends for lunch. Our impressions are based just on one visit, during a weekday, at around 3pm. The restaurant was about 1/2 - 2/3 full. We had a steak, Sopes Carnitas, Al Pastor and Cevinas Tacos, guacamole, horchata, pina colada, and flan. I wasn't impressed with anything at all. All of us stopped early in the meal and started complaining about the lack of any distinctive flavors. Comments were: The salsa was boring, the chips were oily. The Al Pastor had no spice or flavor, was a bit tough, the meat was shaved too thin, and was overcooked, slightly burned, and crunchy. The Cevina was ok but not enough of that salty, cured taste to it. The fresh made guacamole at the table was made with unripe advocados, didn't have enough lime juice, onions, or jalapenos and was tasteless.The horchata tasted like it came from a syrup mix and then was sprinkled with cinnamon. The steak was good and tender, plain but tasty. The sopes wasn't cooked enough and was sort of gooey and mushy. The Carnitas was well cooked but flavorless and some pieces tasted a bit off. Side dishes like rice, beans, etc. were without character, as was the buritto like side. The pina colada tasted like a cheap mix. The flan was tasty but the style that is very firm and grainy like it was over baked. The espresso was bitter and watery.
We didn't finish everything and left disappointed with a bill that came to around $35 per person, and only one person had 1 alcoholic drink and a steak. All the rest had tacos and sopes which are $2-3 each.
$35 per person? holy cow. I've eaten there a couple of times and never left paying more than $10 per person. I'll have to stick with eating at the counter. The al pastor there is hit and miss. If the spit is running, it's a big, big plus. Best around. If it isn't running, it's carved off and sits under a heat lamp for a while. Makes it not that good. However, I do like my al pastor shaved very thin. It's a sign that its real al pastor and not just marinated chunks of pork...
Finally made it to Mexican Corner today. The carnitas - had them in both tacos and sopes - were phenomenal, incredibly flavorful and perfectly tender with crispy, fatty, carmelized bits. Loved them. The sopes themselves were great - just the right size, wonderful masa dough, definitely handmade. We also had molletes w/chorizo - really good and the chilaquiles. Chilaquiles were a combination of disappointing and great. The salsa verde was just right and the grilled chicken that was with it was really nice although I prefer shredded chicken w/chilaquiles. The problems were the tortillas themselves which were overly soft. The sauteed tortillas should softened slightly, flexible but still hold up. These were too close to mush ala overcooked pasta so I wouldn't recommend them as is. If the tortillas were firmer, they would have been a thumbs up. Also needed some crema over the top to counterbalance the bite of the salsa verde. I'm sure if we'd asked they'd have accommodated but we were so full by then, I let it slide.
Service was very good and while it's small it's bright and cheery.
Comparing Mexican Corner to Mexican Cafe: Except Sopes where Corner's were stellar and killed the mediocre versions at Cafe, we didn't order same dishes using recs from this board for suggestions but I'd have to give the edge to Corner at this point. To note: the pozole and al pastor tacos at cafe were exceptionally good. However, on an overall food quality and atmosphere comparison, to date, I prefer Corner over Cafe.
LA VOZ Latina at 326 Huguenot Street has my vote. My wife's mother from Costa Rica, and her dad is from Tampico; needless to say, she has eaten authentic every night for YEARS. I grew up in New Rochelle, and lived in an apartment on Rockdale after we got married..... I've covered the area thoroughly. When we have the tacos con molé... ¡Vaya! Amazing. We both eat 3-4 of 'em. Get there early, though. The molé runs out by 5-6 pm. The lady who owns the place is like a stern mama. After a few visits, you'll get a smile out of her, but she'll act disappointed if you don't order her daily special!