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Mexican Food Heaven

Being the eternal optimist, I'd like to compile a short list of good-great Mexican food joints that we can take with us as we travel through New England. As we all know, there is great variety in Mexican food cuisine, but I'm looking for some places w/ some authentic dishes and fresh ingredients. Home made tortillas would be nice, but I've all ways been a dreamer. I admit to being a New Mexican food snob, but would love to find some So Cal style fish tacos or Tex Mex. My biggest hunt is for tacos asada, barbacoa, lingua and pastor. Give me some pozole, menudo, stacked enchiladas and soppapillas and I will be in Mexican Food Heaven! (But please, no beans in the chile.)
Muchas Gracias,
Marco el Chile Rojo

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  1. Puerto Vallarta. They have several locations in Connecticut. It's a small, family-run chain and the food is just phenomenal. The pricing is about the same as any decent Mexican place.

    Another good hit is Su Casa in Branford. do try their appetizer sampler platge if you go there.

    And, despite the Connecticut Magazoine award for "Best Mexican food in the state," you probably won't find what you're looking for ar the The Cuckoo's Nest in Old Saybrook. The people who own it and many of the employees are friends of ours - and the food is OK, really, but it's not the best Mexican in the state.

    There are supposed to be some terrific Mexian places in New Haven; go to www.newhavenadvocate.com and see their recommendations.

    Redstone

    5 Replies
    1. re: Redstone

      In what towns are Puerto Vallarta Restaurants?

      1. re: Passadumkeg

        You can find their locations and menu here:
        http://www.puertovallartausa.com

        Oddly enough, they also have some locations in California. I recommend the Chili Verde Burrito.

        Redstone

      2. re: Redstone

        Puerto Vallarta is garbage. It's pure gringo chow, and not even well executed.

        There are a few places in Hartford worth checking out, Coyote Flaco is decent, as well as Monte Alban - here's the menu http://www.menupix.com/hartford/resta...

        Don't know if that's authentic enough for you, I like it though.

        One other place to check out if it's still open, El Mariachi Loco on Main Street in Manchester, CT. It's about halfway from 384 to Cavey's on the right. They have all that 'gross' authentic mexican stuff but judging by their execution of the less adventurous stuff I like, they will do you right.

        1. re: ratbuddy

          El Mariachi Loco is still there and it's still amazing. Along with Abyssinian (Ethiopian restaurant) in Hartford, it's my favorite restaurant in Central Connecticut. We're very lucky to have them here!

        2. re: Redstone

          What New Haven Advocate recommendations are you speaking of? Reader's Poll? Chuckle... snicker....
          I mean do you think Aunt Chiladas is decent food and that New Haven has some "terrific" places? Then I think you are way off the mark. New Haven has a couple of passable places, like El Amigo Felix and I really like Guadalupe la Poblanita, but the rest are pretty pathetic, and I'm a gringo.

        3. The original comment has been removed
          1. la casa del pueblo on broad st in central falls, ri. good barbacoa tacos and menudo. they serve tacos arabes as well.

            1. I have been to the restaurants mentioned earlier, and none are near as good as El Sarape in Hartford (931 Broad St). We are talking house-made real moles, pozole, all sorts of tacos (barbacoa, lengua, etc.) cabrito and birria-it's just like Mexico.

              1. Not that easy to find authentic non-Americanized Mexican food in CT. Puerto Vallarta isn't it. Seems like every place I try looking for an authentic place has an entire menu drenched in cheese. Mexicans can't possibly eat that much cheese. Su Casa was disappointing the first and last time eating there.

                Mentioned in the Mexican Food Hell thread are two taquerias in Wallingford and West Haven. I've only been to the W. Haven one (called Taqueria #2, I think), but this place is the real deal. The menu is entirely in Spanish, and they have an amazing selection of tacos. Mezcal in New Haven had pretty good chorizo and eggs. Guadelupe la Poblanita was good, but it was gone the last time I tried to go there, presumably for good.

                That El Sarape sounds good, and there are supposedly some good ones in Fairfield and Bridgeport that I should probably try.

                9 Replies
                1. re: discostu41

                  I agree with your assessment on Puerto Vallarta, etc. Those places cater to the Americanized-TexMex crowd, much like Chilli's.

                  Guadalupe la Poblanita is at 136 Chapel St. As you head east, on the left hand side. There is a parking lot in back. I was just there in late-November.

                  1. re: Jestner

                    Actually - as you head east (heading away from downtown NH), its on the right hand side...sorry for the typo.

                    1. re: Jestner

                      The problem w/ a thread like this is that you have people who don't know better highly recommending places that turn out to be bastardized versions of Mexican.

                      1. re: fame da lupo

                        Yes, but at least, there is a list of recommendations to suss out as we travel through a foreign land. Walk in the door and trust the senses, man trust you Chowhound inner being . Once if feel that a place is upscale or run by giringos, I flee.

                        1. re: fame da lupo

                          The OP did not request only a list of authentic and perfect Mexican restaurants run by only "real" Mexicans. The request was for good Mexican food of a wide variety of types. Seeing as the OP has a fondness for New Mexico dishes, that would seem to imply that a good Tex-Mex place would suit. So what is being listed are good Mexican, or Mexican inspired places that one can find in New England, a place that is not generally riddled with a lot of such options.

                          I don't know about you, but I would rather have the chance to get some good Tex-Mex locally than nothing Mexican at all, seeing as taking trips south regularly simply aren't part of my budget. :)

                          1. re: Morganna

                            New Mexican and Tex-Mex are two different breeds.

                            1. re: fame da lupo

                              Yes, I know that. That wasn't the point. The point was that New Mexican isn't "Authentic Mexican" either (at least according to the standards I've seen bandied about in various other threads here), and since -that- style was tolerable, then it is not unreasonable to conclude that good Tex-Mex would also be tolerable to the OP, or *gasp* even some of the other people who might actually use this thread as a reference and who -aren't- from New Mexico or California where authentic Mexican is widely available and who might just be looking for something that's a good value and good experience.

                              No, you're not going to find perfect authentic Mexican food in New England. You'll find things that are close to authentic and good, you'll find things that are Mexican-inspired and good. You can even find some really outstanding Mexican-inspired stuff. When the alternative is -none- (since authentic Mexican recipes made by gringos don't count so I can't even make my own, apparently), good Tex-Mex is an adequate substitute, and therefore this particular thread holds value. Despite the fact that there is no perfectly authentic Mexican food to be found in New England (according to the standards of the people who make this claim, I don't claim to be enough of an authority to say that for certain myself).

                              1. re: Morganna

                                Amen, Morganna. Mr. Marco Red Chile, AKA PDK, asked for Mexican/Southern California/Tex-Mex places that had some of the "authentic dishes" found in this style of food. I'd say that covers about five US states' food. He said nothing about "authentic Mexican only".
                                Man, I'd love to have a lingua taco with onion, cilantro and lime!

                                1. re: Scargod

                                  Ooh, ooh, me too! Al pastor, carne asado.crispy tripas, barbecoa, tacos, yum. Stuffed soppapillas, a bowl of red chile, con frijoles y carne tambien. Rico! Suave! Delisioso!