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Sep 30, 2007 05:34 PM

New Haven County's Best Mexican?

Any nominations? Any Southwest exiles out there care to weigh in?
I like Mezcal but there must be more out there...

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  1. Several previous threads on this subject. Here is one of them:

    1. I like Jalapeno Heaven in Branford.

      1. If you catch a crisp autumn day when the foliage is peaking, and you have time for a lazy lunch, go to Aunt Chilada's on Whitney Ave in Hamden. Their outdoor patio overlooking the golf course and Sleeping Giant mountain is a truly wonderful venue during that narrow nature's window. Their gringo mex is nowhere near authentic, but pleasant nevertheless. 'rita offerings are serious. Spectacular view at peak season, and makes the experience worthwhile.

        9 Replies
        1. re: Veggo

          As I've said elsewhere, I can't believe anyone would seriously call their food good. Drink margaritas, eat the chips and salsa and skip the food!

          1. re: Scargod

            But the 2 or 3 weeks of glorious foliage can really make a special experience. Actuarially you will eat about 85,600 meals. How many of them so far really made a memory?

          2. re: Veggo

            I also would not at all recommend this for any food related reason. If folliage is important, take a walk.

            Aunt Chilada's used to be a decent place - long long ago. Now you get small portions of mediocre food - the prices being relatively high for what you are getting.

            You may eat many meals during a lifetime, and not many would be memorable - but why go to a poor place because of that reasoning.

            1. re: Jestner

              jestner, I guess I've been too nostalgic about this one. I grew up about a mile from the Sleeping Giant golf course which Aunt Chilada overlooks, and I rode my bicycle there for my first 9-hole "walk" there on August 20, 1962, at age 9. Alone, carrying my golf bag. I had to wait for the dew to dry on the first green. I still have my first scorecard. I'm 55 now, but I know every blade of grass there better than the Malavase or Butterworth family. For many of the early years, the proprietor of the restaurant at that time would bring me a big bag of french fries and sometimes a hamburger when he saw me on the green near the restaurant, because he knew I had played 18 and hunger was no obstacle because I was going to play 18 more when an all day ticket cost $2.50. He knew the last 10 cents in my pocket was to mark my ball on the green.

              1. re: Veggo

                Great story and I'm sure the golfing there is still great. However, Aunt Chilada's stinks. Seriously, the worst food I have ever had.

                1. re: acervoni

                  acervoni, you have provided a rare belly laugh with my coffee when the morning news is generally moribund. Hey, at least the free french fries were pretty good, 45 years ago, long before the mexican theme.

                  1. re: acervoni

                    I agree about Aunt Chiladas. ECK! I do not even know how they remain in business.

              2. re: Veggo

                Went to Aunt Chilada's and it was disgusting. I sent back my food. The rice & beans were horrible. My son asked if they had Carne Asada and they had no idea what that was. We ended up with plain ol' cheese quesadillas. I'm from the west coast and am having a hard time finding good mexican food. I would NEVER recommend Aunt Chilada’s.

                1. re: happiekamper

                  I see you are new to Chow/Chowhound and perhaps the New Haven area. It would help to know where you live or how far you are willing to travel to find good Mexican food. Do you want authentic or more Tex-Mex or Cal-Mex?
                  Search the New England board. Read up. There's lots of info if you are willing to take 20 minutes or so.
                  Here are some useful topics with good info:
                  On this topic, start here and work down:

                  Guadalupe la Poblanita, in Fair Haven may be the best, authentic Mexican that is around. I think there is a fair consensus that that that’s the case. Some like Mezcal, in New Haven. More Tex-Mexy is El Amigo Felix, at the end of Broadway, in New Haven. Good luck! Report back.
                  Take the advice here and make up your own mind but don't go out unarmed and take pot-luck; there is too much crap out there. My tastes run from authentic to Tex-Mex (I'm from Texas). You can get a little feel for how Chowhounder's tastes run by who's (local) on their reading list, as well.

              3. The only place around New Haven I really like is El Amigo Felix in York Square. It's inexpensive and it has some very interesting dishes beyond the usual. The enchiladas stuffed with rock shrimp and the spinach burrito are two favorites. The margaritas are very good (not made with some bottled mix junk).

                This place is usually slow during the day and early evening, but it really gets hopping after 8 p.m. There's usually an eclectic crowd of students, families and couples there. The service has been very good.

                2 Replies
                1. re: shoes

                  I would agree that in the downtown/Yale university area, El Amigo Felix is the best and only place with food worth eating. If I have the time, I go out of my way to get to Guadalupe La Poblanita on Chapel.
                  Panchos Charlie's on Whalley in Westville is mediocre and not as good as El Amigo Felix. Viva Zapata was pathetic the couple of times I tried it.

                  1. re: Scargod

                    Hands down Guadalupe La Poblanita. Really nice people. Really great food. Really good value. We used to go to Baja in Orange and Jalapeno Heaven in Bradford probably the early 90s (?), but once we discovered Guadalupe La Poblanita, that was it for us.


                2. Mezcal!!! And they have a liquor license now!
                  Aunt Chilada's is less than mediocre.