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Sep 10, 2007 08:26 AM

Mexican Food

I just moved to downtown from Texas, and of course will need a Mex fix now and again. Can anyone recommend a good spot--it doesn't need to be expensive or atmospheric. I'm just looking for the real thing!

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  1. El Serape in Braintree, and Ole in Inman Square (Somerville).

    1 Reply
    1. re: mibsphil

      Tu Y Yo in Somerville is my favorite-love the plantain empanadas.

    2. First, don't expect it to be as good as in Texas and you won't be disappointed. You don't say what part of town you moved to, but none of the Mexican places in greater Boston, with a couple of possible exceptions, are worth a trip across town. So, if you tell us your neighborhood, we'll tell you what the local options are.

      Here in Somerville, the best are Tacos Lupita, just outside Porter Square, which is really more Salvadorian than Mexican, and Taqueria la Mexicana in Union Square; both totally lack expense or atmosphere. In addition, some people like Tu y Yo in Powderhouse, but I've personally had a succession of bad meals there and won't go back without some serious prodding by my fellow 'hounds.

      By the way, Ole in Inman Square is in Cambridge, although it is right on the Somerville border.

      4 Replies
      1. re: DavisSquare

        Not to worry, my expectations aren't unreasonable, just looking for something that will be a fix. I plan on eating it only on rare occasions (I expect to eat a lot more of the foods I didn't have as much of in Texas now that I'm here). That said, I'm living in Back Bay close to the Gardens. Are there even any in my neighborhood. I saw Cactus Club, but that one looks dubious. I'm not even on a hunt for Tex-Mex, per se (though if there is one, I'd be curious even if it's bad, just so I could go by). Interior or coastal is always good.

        1. re: IHeartAsparagus

          As they say in baseball, good eye regarding Cactus Club, which dishes up a very poor excuse for Tex-Mex (though Zagat's reports their bar as being a good pick-up spot).

          In your immediate neighborhood is Casa Romero, which is probably your best bet. It has a little more in terms of sit-down pretensions than most local Mexican spots, and it has its foes on this board, but I enjoyed brunch there the time I went with Mrs. B. El Pelon in the Fenway isn't too far from where you are and does a pretty respectable job with taco joint fare.

          1. re: bachslunch

            I agree that your best / only option in the Back Bay area is Casa Romero. I used to live upstairs from this place, and I really enjoyed it as a neighborhood spot. I've since moved, so it's been a while, but I always enjoyed their mole, fajitas and their refried beans. Their sangria is also good, and would recommend that over their very small margaritas. It's also a nice atmosphere for a meal, not just a taco joint. (NOTE: It's down an alley off of Gloucester St., between Newbury and Comm. Ave.)

            My other favorites are:
            - Taqueria la Mexicana (Somerville, more of a taco joint...but my favorite, especially for carnitas)
            - El Sarape (Braintree, great food/more atmosphere...probably not worth a drive out of the city though)

            Casa Romero
            30 Gloucester St, Boston, MA 02115

        2. re: DavisSquare

          I'm with you on the negative sentiments for Tu y Yo. Way back when I had a good meal there, then a succession of bad ones like you experienced. Dry re-heated rice, ew.

        3. As a former Southwesterner now living in Boston, I'll echo DavisSquare's sentiment that you shouldn't set your expectations too high, particularly for Tex Mex, but there are some pretty good choices in town for other sub-genres, notably southern Mexican and Salvadoran.

          Another Texas transplant posted this question in June, which generated a thread with a lot of good information:

          I'll reiterate my personal favorites of the catchall Mexican genre: El Pelon, Tacos Lupita, Tu y Yo.

          1. Having relatives in San Diego (and visiting them as often as possible!), I've been a bit spoiled by the incredible Mexican food out there, but there are a few places I like for authentic food in the Boston area. Tacos Lupita in Somerville, El Sarape in Braintree, Taqueria La Mexicana in Somerville, and Cafe Azteca in Lawrence are a few that come to mind. Cafe Azteca is probably the best I've been to in the Boston area.

            1. For takeout there is Villa Mexicana in a gas station at 296 Cambridge Street across from Mass. General Hospital. Homemade salsa, chourizo, mole and very inexpensive. Open 9-9 except Th- Sat 9-11 and closed on Sunday.