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Tacos al pastor in New Rochelle, Little Mexican Cafe

I just came back and it's the real deal--chili rubbed pork, strung onto an upright rotisserie (v. similar to the rig they use at Lefteris Gyro)and capped with a pineapple slice. At the bottom is an onion, but I can't see that it adds flavor unless they collect the drippings. The whole assembly is spit roasted in a contraption with flame panels, like an upright infra-red broiler. The meat is sliced off the spit, caramelized briefly on the grill (just like lefteris) and then served in a gently toasted soft corn taco--$2. It's my new favorite thing at Little Mexican Cafe--it's tender, delicious, divinely peppery.

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  1. I'm drooling...what's the taco called? Is this that joint on the corner that people years ago went on and on over their pozole?


    1. Ok, it's confirmed. I'm going Thursday. I just blocked my calendar. Can't wait.

      Thanks so much for following up on this.

      After the Dodgers Mets game last thursday (sniff, my dodgers lost), I went to a place I know of on Roosevelt ave for tacos al pastor. That this place is around and 20+ minutes closer is just awesome. Real tacos al pastor. In westchester. Whodathunk???

      Thanks again. I'll report back after Thursday.

      1 Reply
      1. Yes, I am interested as well. I went to Sunset Grille last night and found tacos al pastor on the menu. Hmmm...nothing special at all. Good, as are most of their dishes, but I expected, after reading the description of this dish, for it to sing to me. It didn't.

        4 Replies
        1. re: dolores

          I don't know that all restaurants serving tacos al pastor are actually spit-roasting their pork--I went to tortilliera los gemellos last week and had the al pastor(on adamclyde's general rave on the restaurant--where are you, adamclyde? Have you been to little mexican yet?) and it wasn't particularly great, either. However--the tacos al pastor at little mexican cafe are wonderful. Incredibly juicy, with a tangy/hot chili coating--a whole nother animal, really brightly flavored. But then, I really never had a bad dish at Little Mexican Cafe--I'm particularly crazy for the mole, and the grilled meats with guac.

          1. re: J. Sexton

            hey there. I'm here. just busy. I actually made two trips to new rochelle, two trips, four restaurants and nine tacos. just haven't had a minute to post about it.

            there's no doubt that little mexican cafe has superior al pastor to any around. it was very good. los gemelos is the best in PC for mexican, though their al pastor is just ok. their carnitas is their best, as is the birria. The tortillas are part of what makes los gemelos special. It's great food but with what I experienced in NR the other day, there's no reason to make the 15 minute drive. you've got more places in new rochelle at or above the level of places in PC hands down. in PC, there's los gemelos and that's all I go to for mexican. in nr, I'd go to any I tried again as much as I could...

            btw, the best taco I had amongst all of them? the carnitas taco at el michoacano. totally a surprise. but, again, I'll do a proper post on it shortly. sorry for the MIA status lately. I'll have more time in a few days! promise!

            1. re: adamclyde

              Well, I'm glad you concur about little mexican cafe--I feel vindicated. Next stop for me--Pastelandya. It's on Union, a couple doors down from El Trigal, the bakey. Next time you're in NR (or PC), I'd love to pick your brain a bit on area Mexican.

          2. re: dolores

            I'm doing some all day classes in white plains all week and went to sunset grille today to check it out in the short break I had. it was closed on monday. they've got an impressive menu, but it's definitely not a taqueria kind of place. looks like a very nice sit down restaurant. looks promising, but I'll have to try it out.

            so instead I went to cancun delights and got a nice plate of chiva enchilada (goat in a nice dark red sauce). quite good.

            as to the masa thing at sunset grille... I'm sure they are making their masa from reconstituted masa harina. I just can't imagine they are grinding their now nixtamal. That said, that they hand make their tortillas to order is really cool...

          3. Thanks, J.Sexton, it sounds like a place I'm going to have to get myself to.

            I wonder how the Red (can't remember the rest of the name!) place, Thai restaurant on the other side of Main St., is doing?

            1. Sunset Grille has a masa tasting platter that is fun, and so good with the pomegranate martini.

              Scott...you have a gem in Don Emilio, as you know.

              By the way, Mr. dolores brings home three pops from Paleteria Michoacano on Union Ave. every night. I'm on number 12. Nice of him, no?

              1. Finally.

                Finally got to Little Mexican Cafe today....awwwww, last I was there, it was Soo Chow! Dang, I miss the old New Rochelle.

                But the tacos al pastor are everything you all said they were. I had the pork, Mr. dolores had the skirt steak and we shared. Delicious and the pork was just a little spicy.

                I asked for whatever extra hot spicy sauce was kept in the kitchen for the tortilla chips. It was very tasty and unique, but not mouth burning hot.

                We didn't have dessert, but I was told there is a variation on sopapillas with a sugared dough square, mashed bananas, honey and vanilla ice cream. Yum. Next time.

                Oh and even though it was lunchtime, I had to try the margarita. Very good.

                All in all, a very nice experience. Service was perfect, and I would go back in a minute. Thank you all for the pointer.

                Oh, and where WAS everyone, the place was empty! Good. They were all shopping and I was muching happily.

                1 Reply
                1. re: dolores

                  hi dolores. Did they have the spit going when you were in there? I've been a few times, and only noticed the spit up once. If it was, what time was it? I'm trying to figure out what times they have the spit going and what times they don't...

                2. I'm sorry to say I didn't notice, adamclyde. We went in the back way, from the parking lot, and I didn't even go into the front area.

                  It was also quite early, 11:45am perhaps, they were just opening. So no, I didn't notice the spit.

                  IF I had remembered about the spit, I would have asked. Next time.

                  By the way, the leftovers even reheated well last night. This is definitely a must visit place for all chowhounds.

                  1. Went back last night with friends, and met the manager Tito. Very nice guy, and he explained the history of the place. I guess time flies when one is ranting about the lack of stores in downtown New Rochelle because he said they'd been there for 16 years!

                    Said they have been in the front for that long,but then bought the back seating area from the Soo Chow folks.

                    Terrible of me, but I can't remember the name of one dish a friend had, steak with triangles of cheese under it. Another had fajitas, and I had tacos al pastor again. All were good.

                    We also at the table had guacamole and black bean soup, equally delicious.

                    But for dessert, we had one of the best fried ice creams I have ever had.

                    A shoutout to Tito for extremely warm, gracious service. Apparently LMC is getting written up in quite a few places, and they deserve it.

                    Oh, and it seems Don Emilio has left Sunset Grille! Perhaps he can go work at LMC?

                    Gracias, Tito.

                    1. Just went to LMC for the first time on Saturday late afternoon. We had tacos al pastor - definitely real deal akin to the best I've had in Mexico D.F.. Perfectly marinated, slightly crispy, a little fatty - full of flavor. We ate in the more "formal" dining room and didn't see the spit but can tell they definitely had one.

                      The pozole was delicious and I can't wait to get more. Sopes were okay but not special as was the charro platter. Rice and beans that came with were flavorful.

                      Excellent service - attentive, friendly and accommodating. Made special tacos for our six year old, a child-like concoction of tortilla, ground beef and yellow cheese which ended up being, bizarrely, extremely tasty in itself. Will definitely go back.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: laylag

                        this place is very good. next time I go, though, I need to look at some of the other meals... maybe those on special that night. If they do certain things well, let's hope they'll do many of the things well. I just need to get back...

                      2. I knew I needed to visit here before I went back, recently, but didn't. And so missed out on the pozole, although it wouldn't have been available on a Friday?

                        At any rate, yes this place is top notch, Tito is hands on in his gracious service, which I have come to expect in good restaurants, whether they charge $100. a person or $30. Thus, Gina Marie is my nemesis and I hope to see them close.

                        laylag, I couldn't remember the name of 'tacos al pastor' and walked to the front, trying to explain in my high school Spanish to the waitress what I was talking about. When I saw the spit I lit up and she immediately understood and gave me the dish I was talking about. It was good even reheated two days later.

                        I decry any restaurant that doesn't live up to the standards set by a restaurant such as this. I don't want tiny, fancy food. I want very good food at a decent price, whether it's American, Chinese or Mexican.

                        Since Tito asked me if I would give his place a good write up here on chowhound, I hope he is reading here.

                        Again, Gracias Tito. Yo era la femina con la voca grande!

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: dolores

                          Dolores, Do you mean to tell Tito that you are the lady with the loud voice?

                        2. LOL, oh yes. He got a kick out of my verbosity after just one margarita! He liked that our table was having such a good time.

                          I had an equally good relationship with Don Emilio at Sunset Grille. I am saddened that he has now left there. It won't be the same without him.

                          In retrospect, I guess I expect good food AND good service when I plunk down my money at a restaurant. And, I don't think it's too much to ask.

                          Thanks, laylag, guess my high school Spanish isn't that rusty after all! Actually, I meant to say 'big mouth'!