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Real Mexican Food- Sarapes in Enfield, CT

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Just returned from a great lunch at Sarapes in Enfield. Having lived in Texas and Arizona, we too craved "real" Mexican food when we moved here.Sarapes is a pleasant surprise.

For those looking for non-chain,non Tex-Mex, home cooked food, this is your place (or as close as you'll get in northern CT). If you are looking for spicy Mexican, keep looking elsewhere.
Located in a tiny old store front, the narrow dining room has small booths and tables. The atmosphere is very casual (think homey "hole-in-the-wall",our tabletop was cracked and patched with duct tape). It reminded us of the small family Mexican places of the southwest.
We received a small basket of chips and three types of sauces when we were seated. The first was a very mild tomato salsa with fresh cilantro and onions. Delicious!! The second was a green sauce which was very smooth with a little more heat. The third was a smooth spicy sauce that left just the right amount of zip on your tongue without killing your taste buds.
Regular offerings include beef tongue or beef lip tacos, carne asada and grilled spiced pork and there is a list of delicious sounding daily specials.
My date and I ordered the combination plates that came with rice and beans. His consisted of a pork tamale,ground beef taco and beef burrito. I chose the beef taco, chicken tostado and chicken gordita combo. I was pleasantly surprised when my platter arrived. The taco shell was homemade, warm and crispy with little air bubbles in it. The taco meat was lightly seasoned and tasty. Definitely not Taco Bell. The chicken tostado was made up of mild, shredded chicken with lettuce, tomatoes and a dab of sour cream. Yum! The gordita was 2 homemade corn pockets that looked like mini Navajo frybreads, and shredded chicken and lettuce. Again obviously homemade and delicious. The beans were silky smooth, just the way I remembered the good ones to be. The rice was another surprise. After hard, dry over-seasoned rice at the local chains, this rice was a delight. Light and fluffy with a mild seasoning touch. Outstanding! My date reported that his tamale was delicious as well. The burrito arrived with just a zigzag of sour cream across the top.
We finished our meal by sharing some flan. Not overly sweet, it was creamy and satisfying.
The service was friendly and fairly efficient considering our waiter doubled as chef. Although we were not interested in having alcohol at lunch, Sarapes offers several types of bottled beer, wine, canned soda, and bottled Mexican soda and juices .
On Saturday and Sunday, they serve menudo, pozole and sopes.
Sarapes also serves breakfast from 9-12. Although the breakfast menu is limited, they offer chilaquiles and scrambled eggs with chorizo.
Our two iced teas, combos and flan came to about $35. Although not a cheap lunch, we left full and returned home with enough food for another lunch.
Sarapes is at 917 Enfield Street (Rte 5) and is easy to miss. It's located near Enfield Chrysler Plymouth and shares a building with Julie's Cleaners and Laundromat. They also have a takeout menu.

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  1. My mouth is watering! I have family near Enfield, and next time I'm up that way, I will have to try it.

    1. Oh no - don't tell everyone about Serapes, it's my secret!! But seriously, this is a gem of a restaurant. We live withing walking distance, so it's a semi-regular stop for us. It is definitely home-cooked, as lonborgfan says - one family runs it all. The quesadillas are to die for, you can get cheese, chicken, ground beef, or (my favorite, which are not on the menu) carne asada. I'm getting hungry just thinking about it. The tamales are heavenly, also. And yes, you definitely get more than enough food. I generally assume I'll be having two meals out of anything I order. My only complaint is that service can get lax when they're busy, but I don't even care - I'm there for the amazing food and relaxed atmosphere, not five-star white linen treatment. Oh oh! And they have bottled Mexican Coke (sugar instead of HFCS) yay!
      Basically, if you're looking for a warm cozy atmosphere with ample amounts of delicious authentic food and reasonable prices, you can't beat Serapes. Just make sure you leave a table for me.

      1. We finally made it to Sarapes this past Thursday. It was delicious. I ate many times at El Sarape in Hartford when I worked down there, but hadn't been in years. I was thrilled to go into Sarapes and see the exact same menu, beef lips and all! Everything was as delicious as I remembered from the Hartford restaurant. There were three of us and we ordered two combos (tamal, taco, and burrito) and a carne asada burrito, and left totally stuffed. The three dinners and a beer were about $43 before tip. We'll be back...I forgot to try the taco al pastor!

        1. Was there last weekend. Second time eating at Sarapes. They make a tasty, tasty mole, definitely the best I've had in New England.

          2 Replies
          1. re: fame da lupo

            Great! This is the sister ship of the one in Hartford: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/5225...

            1. re: Scargod

              Never been to the Enfield location but I am a big fan of the Hartford location. Unfortunately not many people seem to frequent the Hartford location. People in the Hartford suburbs like to complain about the bad Mexican food (Margaritas, On the Border, etc) but aren't willing to venture into the city! Glad to hear the Enfield location is just as good.

          2. Another tasty trip to Sarapes, this time the pastor tacos, and pork tamales. Their salsa verde is dynamite too.