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Jan 16, 2008 06:10 AM

Latino Food in Stamford/Fairfield County?

I know about the standard (but excellent) Ole Mole, Fiesta, and Brasitas, and adamclyde suggests Casa Villa, Antojitos Chapines for Guatemalan, Los Girasoles, and Mi Terruno for Columbian. Any feedback on other good places, especially the more obscure ones?
I know about Boxcar Cantina in G'wich and Viva Zapata (yuck) in Westport. What are the undiscovered gems?

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  1. Stella's Bakery is very good near the Harley Davidson store is very good.

    1. Just stumbled on a site for a Mexican place on Atlantic. Sorry to say I know nothing about it. The stamford-downtown website does say their food is cooked from scratch daily.

      Tacos Guadalejara:

      Also - ST, have you tried Valencia in Norwalk yet?

      7 Replies
      1. re: amanda3571

        I went there a long time ago and was very underwhelmed. But, it's been a good 5 years, which is about two lifetimes in Mexican Restaurant years.

        1. re: adamclyde

          oh, I just remembered another one. Bachata, which cteats (a poster here) found a long time ago:

        2. re: amanda3571

          Tacos Guadalejara is still not very good. I'll walk over for lunch when I have a desperate craving for "Mexican" food, but I'd never go for any other reason.

          The dishes are poorly prepared and not very flavorful.

          1. re: Zobot

            I figured it probably wasn't very good since I've never seen anyone mention it. Thought I'd throw it out there though.

          2. re: amanda3571

            I haven't- what's kind of pathetic is that I lived around the corner from it for a year. I guess I wasn't as into food until I started writing about Stamford, and now I'm maniacal at trying to eat in Stamford whenever possible. I'll probably head out to Casa Villa or Antojitos Chapines today!
            Bachata sounds interesting, and parking would be easy since that big parking lot is there. For Antojitos or Casa Villa, I figure I'll just park on the St. by that little playground.
            Gracias! I'm putting the restaurants on my "plan to eat at every restaurant in Stamford" list.

            1. re: Stamford Talk

              Bachata seems mostly Dominican, but I could be wrong. *I believe it is the name of a Dominican dance). It is small with perhaps 6 or 8 tables. There is a steam table with about two dozen choices. There is also a menu and kinda/sorta waitress service.

              I really love the pernil (roast pork), which appears to be a daily option (but could just be weekends, which is when I mostly go there). They also have several kinds of meat, a fish, veggies, rices and starches, etc. You tell them what you want and they put together a plate. They have a soda's and fruit juices in a fridge.

              They have a rice soup with either chicken or shrimp that is really good, rich flavorful and perfect for a cold day. One of my kids obsesses about it. You need to order from the menu for this. I haven't gone deep into the menu, but there are other pan-latin type entrees like arroz con camarones, and some sandwiches that look interesting.

              In my opinion, the food at Bachata is much better than the americanized Brasitas down the street and less than half the price.

            2. re: amanda3571

              Chalk up another vote for Valencia- love it. It's Venezuelan, in East Norwalk.

            3. Went to Antojitos, staff very nice, food good but heavy! I got a few things to sample. Grilled chicken was very good and probably one of the healthier options. The pupusa (I think that's what the cheese pancake was) was great, and its tomato sauce so tasty.
              I'm not sure what the third thing was, as I think the owner whipped it up since there were no tamales (solamente viernes y sabado!) on Thursday. It may have been a tamale though. It was basically corn cake filled with pork wrapped in a corn husk. That was heavy and my least favorite.
              I'd definitely go back to try more options, and would bring a friend there for lunch. There are about 16 seats and it was getting quite busy at 12:30!

              2 Replies
              1. re: Stamford Talk

                glad you liked it. latin lunches are definitely heavier - more so than dinner. Hence the need for a siesta!

                1. re: adamclyde

                  por cierto! I wonder if I can find lighter dishes there. But first, I have some other Latin places to try...

              2. RIO, in norwalk. i grew up in southern california and this is the most authentic baja style restaurant. the decor is great.....pinatas hang from the ceiling and all of the wait staff speak fluent's located on connecticut ave. in the best buy shopping center....right next to the old "rag shop" store.....enjoy!

                6 Replies
                1. re: redfoxmom

                  Wow, thanks. I've noticed RIO when eating at the Post Road Diner, but it's not had enough curb appeal to actually drag me in the door. I'll have to check it out.

                  1. re: Zobot

                    i agree....for years we noticed RIO, but never went in for the same reason....but then a friend mentioned how it was her favorite restaurant and we decided to try is the best! my hubby's a vegetarian and he loves it too.....i reccomend everything....:)

                    1. re: redfoxmom

                      What kind of baja-centric dishes do they offer? I'm intrigued. I'd love to find a place that sells a real fish taco. I haven't found one anywhere (ANYWHERE) worth eating west of california yet. I'm hoping they exist... just haven't found it.

                      Los Cabos in Norwalk was a huge disappointment to say the least.

                      1. re: adamclyde

                        i'm not sure about fish tacos....i'm not a big seafood person, but i do love the fish tacos found on rosarita beach :) but i find the beef....ground not shredded is as good as any roadside taco hut, and the enchilladas are very california style....cheesey and yummy! they even have a statue of a federale hyway patrol guy at the entrance, just like the ones who love to pull over touristas :)

                        1. re: redfoxmom

                          I grew up eating those fish tacos in rosarito...

                          thanks. I'll have to check it out soon.

                          1. re: adamclyde

                            didn't we all :).....and we still use our many baja bought how did so many of us californians end up here?

                2. Don't go to Rio's for Mexican it is terrible and always overcrowded. You should try Acapulco in SoNo, they are open spring through autumn and are pretty good. However, I think Los Cabos on Westport Ave. in Norwalk is the best.
                  Brasitas in Stamford is okay, but a little over priced (they have opened another restaurant in Norwalk on Rt. 7 & have brunch now).
                  I like Valencia on Main St. in Norwalk that is very good and reasonably priced.