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El Charrito: Taco truck in Stamford. We have arrived!

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I take back all my badmouthing of Stamford's Mexican places. I take back my cursing of Mexican food in general in Connecticut. And, temporarily, I take back all the bad things I've muttered about living in this cold Mexican wasteland these past 7 years.

At least for now.

Because today as I was doing errands, I found El Charrito, a taco truck parked in West Stamford.

I actually first ate at this truck about a year ago. I saw it parked in the Shop Rite parking lot and had a good taco. Then I never saw it again.

Today, I drove by and slammed on my breaks when I saw it parked there. It's hard to miss - a big yellow truck with a big ole sign on the side that says, "El Charrito."

The husband and wife that own the truck are extremely friendly. The wife, a Stateside born Puerto Rican, who speaks perfect english takes the orders and will help you navigate what's good that particular day. The husband, from Mexico, does all the cooking. And he's good.

Today I had a huarache with carnitas. Man, it was awesome. Not just passable, but truly good. Think of a huarache as a thick tortilla, pan fried, about a foot long and 5 inches wide, topped with black refried beans, meat of your choice, shredded lettuce, crema and salsa. Man it was good. the carnitas was good and tender (not as rich as the best carnitas, but better than any other that I've had in Stamford). The huarache is all hand made from fresh masa, as are the sopes. For only $4.50, the huarache makes a great lunch. As far as I know, it's the only place in Stamford that sells huaraches.

Huaraches and sopes were the special today.

Their regular items include tacos, tortas hot dogs, hamburgers, quesadillas, etc. Plus, they have horchata too. Tacos are $2.50... not sure what some of the other items are priced. They also sell something called sincronisadas, which is something like a big old ham, cheese, beans quesadilla.

They said they are there from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. every day. And, you can call ahead and order your food so it's ready when you get there. 203-940-0922.

I took a few pictures with my camera. Pretty crappy quality, but you get the picture. The first is of my huarache, the second of the truck.

They said the truck is parked in the same spot each day - across from Sachs Plumbing, on the side of that triangular jackie robinson park. For the address below, I'm going to approximate...

I hope it's as good next time I go.

-----
El Charrito Taco Truck
201 Richmond Hill, Stamford, CT

 
 
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  1. That's the best news I've heard in ages. Thanks for the alert, hope they are there tomorrow.

    1 Reply
    1. re: cteats

      they should be. She made it clear that they were there 7 days a week, from 11 to 9. But in looking at the flyer they left me, it looks like Sundays might be from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. So to be safe, you are best off going during lunch I'm guessing...

      I hope you like it. I didn't try the tacos. That's next. But the huarache was great.

    2. What is a huarache? Sorry I don't know much about spanish food?

      5 Replies
      1. re: nbermas

        google it:
        http://www.hungrybrowser.com/phaedrus...
        http://www.mexicanmercados.com/food/c...

        i consider it just an enlarged sopes

        1. re: nbermas

          If you asked me 20 years ago, I would have said they were the sandals we always bought as kids when we'd go down to Baja...

          Anyhow, those links are pretty good... have you had pupusas? They are sort of like oblong pupusa, though thinner, cooked on a dry griddle, then cooked again with a healthy amout of fat, resulting in a 1/8 to 1/4 inch thick masa tortilla of sorts. They sometimes have refried beans inside that tortilla (hence the pupusa reference).

          Anyhow, it basically serves as an awesome vessel to deliver great toppings - refried beans, meat, sauce and cream. If you find a really special place, sometimes you'll find them topped with squash blossoms or other cool stuff. but here, it's the beans, meat, lettuce, cream and salsa. And they are really good.

          Like cervisiam said, they are a lot like sopes, just a lot longer and sometimes stuffed with beans.

          Hopefully the picture above gives you an idea. What it doesn't give you is a sense of the size. From this place, they are a good foot long and about 5 inches wide. And mighty tasty...

          cteats, were you able to try it today?

          1. re: adamclyde

            I found it on Sunday right where you described, across from Sachs Plumbing on Jackie Robinson Park. There were 3 or 4 SUV's parked and waiting for their orders.

            I ordered two carnitas and two pastor tacos, and my kid got a chicken quesadilla. Both the tacos were very good, with the pastor being nicely crispy. I think I liked that better, although the carnitas was very good also and a lot better than Casa Villa.

            The chicken quesadilla was pretty ordinary, with the same cubes of grilled chicken breast that's used at the Americanized places. My kid loved it, however.

            No huaraches today, but they did have menudo (which is what the guys in the SUV's were picking up ... legend has it that it cures a hangover).

            A great find!

            1. re: cteats

              Always in search of good Mexican food, I am from SF where the mission has some of the best Mex in The U.S.
              How much are the tacos at this spot? either way I am off to try it.

              1. re: 1HungryJack

                $2.50 each... Huaraches are $4.50...

        2. Adamcylde,

          Which Shop Rite? You said West Stamford, so assuming Commerce Park?

          1 Reply
          1. re: ChefBoyAreMe

            yeah, that's where they USED to be. I didn't see them for a year. Now they are at the location above (across from Sachs Plumbing on Richmond Hill. I've made up an approximate address for the Places function, which gives you a google map.

          2. Based on Adamclyde's picture, tried huarche today, calling ahead (since the huarache is not on the menu, butr a special). 10 minutes later, ready for pickup.

            Incredible value. Ladeled across a sandle (huarach in spanish) fit for a Big Foot.

            Because I'm NE gringo, have no basis for comparison. But very fresh, very tasty, and extremely comforting.

            Best value going.

            1. just a quick update. I've now gone to this place a good 5 times now. It's been good every time.

              If you have a chance to order the quesadilla mexicana, it's a real treat. seriously. Think a huge 12-inch CORN (not flour) tortilla, pan fried, a little thickish, folded over cheese, meat lettuce, crema, etc. Man, it was awesome. It will forever change what you think of as a quesadilla. I think they do flour ones too, but why bother? The corn is the real deal and just so stinking good.

              I've also now had their carnitas tacos which were very good. Not as good as tortilleria los gemelos in port chester, but still better than anything in Stamford. Tacos al pastor are also good. It's not spit roasted al pastor, but you can't find that anywhere in fairfield county. And it's got better flavor than most non spit roasted pastor (not overly salty like too many places).

              the salsas are good too... I wouldn't mind a little more heat/punch, but the flavor is very good.

              I love having a place to go in Stamford for consistently good mexican. Finally.

              11 Replies
              1. re: adamclyde

                Hola Adamclyde:

                I just want to thank you for your posts. I've visited the deli on Lake St and Robertos in White Plains and Los Gemelos in PC, all on your recommendations. Que rica!

                A treat if you happen to be arriving sometime at Grand Central Station are the tamales sold on the street in front of the Mexican consulate on 39th St between Park and Madison.

                Chowhound is not what it used to be but I always look forward to your posts.

                -Peter

                1. re: PBB

                  ahh. great rec on the mexican consulate tamales... I'm in the neighborhood all the time. Between that and the churro vendor by at GCT (7 train), it's a nice little snack neighborhood.

                  To keep this on topic for this board... if you are in white plains, go to sunshine deli for tacos. Even better than robertos.

                  1. re: adamclyde

                    adam,

                    Where exactly is the churro vendor at GCT? I used to take the 7 all the time and never saw the vendor. Thanks

                    1. re: pabboy

                      I think they move because they aren't licensed. I have seen them a few times as you wind down to the 7 train at GCT, in the last little nook before you see the tracks below you. If that makes any sense.

                      1. re: adamclyde

                        Got it. I'll check it out next time.

                        Also thanks for your Sunshine rec. I also like the Cali Tex-Mex next to the Carvel in Elmsford.

                2. re: adamclyde

                  Adam: How does the truck compare to casa Villa. I went to Port Chester today and was so confused, I ended up having not so good peruivian food, I didn't like to ingridents they used. I had soup and it was so not broth made fesh but with MSG. i went on a fly and I didn't have my computer to see your suggestions. If you could just go to One place In Port Chester, where would it be and why? Thanks and have a great weekend.

                  1. re: nbermas

                    much better than casa villa in my opinion. It's unfortunate, but all my recent tacos at casa villa have been pretty darn average. The tacos at el charrito have been just awesome so far. And if you can get a huarache, I highly recommend it. They are just so satisfying. Fresh, tasty goodness.

                    Now, to be fair to casa villa, I have in the past had tacos there that were quite good, and my daughter's chicken taco there was pretty good recently. Plus, I haven't expanded beyond tacos there for some time. I think the last non taco meal I had there was so goat dish about 4 years ago... so... definitely could be a lot there that's worth exploring, but with this taco truck, it's pretty hard to convince myself to go elsewhere, unless I'm looking for a place to sit down.

                    **********
                    On edit... about Port Chester. My one meal would probably still be from Tortilleria Los Gemelos on Westchester Ave. Then I'd go from there to Paleteria Fernandez for Mexican Ice Cream. But there's a lot of other goodies there worth exploring.

                    I forgot to ask, which peruvian place did you try? (i find many of them are decidedly mediocre, by the way. But they are usually safe bets for either pollo ala brasa or lomo saltado.

                    1. re: adamclyde

                      I got a chance to try a huarache from El Charrito today ... wow, where has that been all my life. The grilled fresh masa, crispy lettuce, smashed beans, crema , carnitas (on mine) ...

                      The lady working the front said that they do tamales starting in early Winter. That would be awesome to get some quality tamales in town.

                      1. re: cteats

                        oh man. Tamales? That's gonna be the ONLY reason I'll be looking forward to colder weather... (and that says a LOT from this california boy).

                        I wonder if we can persuade them to make tamales oaxaquenos as well as the other kinds? Anyhow, for now I'll enjoy the summer fare! Few things are going to be better this summer than tacos or huaraches from this truck, with some cold horchata (which they sell too).

                      2. re: adamclyde

                        So, Adamclyde, how do you know so much about Mexican food? Have you made it your business to check out all the Mexican joints in the extended area, or have you spent some significant time south of the border? Your recs are spot on...

                        1. re: roxlet

                          nice compliment. Thanks. I'm a geek when it comes to food and I just really like to eat. Bad food is a crime against humanity. So my goal (and I like to think the collective goal of chowhound) is to help everyone avoid crappy food. No one should have to suffer through a bad meal. It should be in the Bill of Rights or something, I think. Our presidential candidates should campaign for it, dang it!

                          As for your second question, yes I have tried to check out all the mexican joints in the extended area. I think I've tried everything from Norwalk through New Rochelle, with only a few omissions. (there are a handful on both ends there - Norwalk and New Rochelle - that I still need to check out, but I think I've tried pretty much everything in between).

                          Yes, I've spent some time south of the border, but not a whole lot. I wish I could spend more...

                  2. you know, I saw these guys come in for their permit. I thought they were just boasting...Glad to know they weren't cause I've been looking for real Mexican for sometime...casa Villa didn't cut it with me.

                    1. Adam: Thank you for the truck spot idea, I went and I love it. And I said I found about about them from my chowhound friend and they said you mean "adam", I said of course. It was clean and great. I will be back to try the al pastor, that sounds interesting. Have a great day! By the way they said that Fiesta restaurant in Stamford has very good Peruvian food, have you been?

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: nbermas

                        I've been to Fiesta. Good lomo saltado, if I remember correctly, but it's been 3+ years...

                      2. mmmmmm....I have been looking for this kind of mexican for a long time! Had the huarache....fabulous!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
                        http://www.chowhound.com/topics/493447

                        1. Thought we'd celebrate Cinco de Mayo properly and liven up a Monday at work. I can't recomend this truck highly enough. We had the huarache with carnitas, the carnitas tacos and the chicken tacos. Here are some images from lunch...

                          http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3065/2...

                          1. Now I made it to the truck, had the spicy pork tacos - should have ordered three or 4 - loved it!

                            1. Adam: Anew place you will probably be very interested in, there is a new huge huge spanish supermarket about to open in Bridgeport, I believe it is called El So or Sol. It is on main street, right near walgreens closer to 95, I hope they have homemade food also. Tell me if you go what I should buy to make at home and how to make if you know if not someone will. Take it easy.

                              1. Finally tried El Charrito yesterday. What was I waiting for??? My husband had to take care of an errand on that end of town and showed up at the pool with huraches for us and burgers for the kids. Mind you, I don't have a lot to compare this against; my experience with taco trucks starts and ends with yesterday's meal. But I thought it was outstanding, and I can see myself frequenting this place regularly, especially on those days when I can't stand another salad for lunch.

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: wookiedoodle

                                  Thank you so much Adam!!! Had the huarache today and my best description is a big.....WOW. This was the best Mexican dish I have ever eaten. Really, and I've been to way too many Mex restaurants in the area. People who run it are exceptionally nice and kindly explained all the different dishes. Liked the chicken better than the spiced pork which my wife had in her sope but both were terrific. Downside is that I will be making the half hour trip to Conn. from Dobbs Ferry quite often now. Can't wait to try the tamales which I understand is a winter dish. Maybe, if enough of us request tamales on a certain day......?

                                2. Adam, just so you know there was an article about this place in today's Stamford Advocate. You were mentioned by name. You're FAMOUS now! :)

                                  I've been planning on checking this place out for quite some time. Trying to get an office lunch excursion this Thursday....

                                  5 Replies
                                  1. re: Tabasco77

                                    Tried it,loved it and as is the case in so many places, wishing (selfishly, I know) that they were still in obscurity.
                                    Still, wish them the best because their food is wonderful.
                                    End of article made me wipe a few tears off my cheek.

                                    1. re: Nonny

                                      Finally made it down there today for lunch with a few co-workers. I cannot say enough good things about this place. Not only was the food excellent, they were very polite and explained everything perfectly.

                                      My boss and I went with the chicken burrito while another co-worker got the mexican quesadilla. I of course went with the hot sauce, which was not super hot, but very tasty. The wait was worth it, it was one of the best burritos I've ever had. Will be making lunch runs down there next week as well for sure. Hoping there might be some specials, like the huarache Adam mentioned.

                                    2. re: Tabasco77

                                      how funny about the advocate! I couldn't find a link, so I'm guessing it's just in print? Anyhow, I'm glad and hope the continue to get more popular. If they do, then hopefully other mexican places around will recognize that serving above-average mexican fare is well rewarded.

                                      Glad you liked the place, and definitely try the specials, like huaraches, sopes, tamales, or mexican quesadillas. Apparently, they are offering fish tacos on occasion too. That's something I'll have to try. Though, I'm a little hesitant, since my benchmark for great fish tacos are the traditional baja style fish taco, which I haven't seen done well anywhere east of California.

                                      Though I did have some good fish tacos of a completely different sort in Mexico City a few months ago that so I'm more open for other variations... so I've got to give El Charrito's a try.

                                      1. re: adamclyde

                                        I should have done a search. I found the article: http://www.stamfordadvocate.com/ci_10...

                                        I'm happy for them. They really are the nicest people... and they make great food to boot.

                                        1. re: adamclyde

                                          Awesome, adamclyde! You must feel so happy to have had such a positive effect on their business. I live in lower Westchester, but now I want to go to Stamford just to try them out!

                                    3. So, I finally hit it this weekend, and it was everything I expected from the reviews.

                                      Had a carne adobada and an al pastor taco, Dad went for a lengua and a tripa versions--and was highly excited about the notion he could get tongue and tripe! Very tasty! Highly reco'd. A nice mix of single laborer type Latin guys hanging in the park, Latin families, African Americans from the neighborhood, and gringos like me (including a guy in a Mercedes who was a regular). A regular multicultural extravaganza, just hanging out in the park eating great Mexican food.

                                      FYI, if you want a beer, order first, then walk west down the Post Road to the gas station, and grab a beer...by the time you get back, your food is set.

                                      Definitely going back...I think this will be a regular lunch stop before the weekend grocery run at Shop Rite Commerce Park!

                                      2 Replies
                                      1. re: ChefBoyAreMe

                                        I had the Carne Adobada torta today and was blown away! That place is truly a hidden jem. Perfect pork, tender and juicy with just the right ratio of meat to crisp skin. beans and cheese were both very fresh and the bread was perfectly warmed to give a nice crunch. For $5.00 there is no better "bang for your buck" in Stamford.

                                        1. re: Matteaucubed

                                          Hit up El Charrito again for lunch today. had another Carnitas torta that was just as good as the last one (nice to see they consistently put out great food). also tried my first tongue taco. Incredibly moist and flavorful chunks of tongue made for an amazing taco. The "mild' salsa was flavorful and still had a nice little kick.

                                          I really hope the couple running El Charrito have great success. They obviously work very hard, are passionate about what they do, and they turn out an amazing product.

                                      2. this is not fair. I can't think of any errands I need to do in Stamford. May be, they'd like to go south for the winter to Scarsdale?

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: jwg

                                          Break some of your plumbing. Then go to Sach's plumbing in Stamford, which just happens to be right across the street! :)

                                        2. Now there's outdoor seating!

                                          The Stamford Park people (who do a sensational job in this town) put a couple of picnic tables at Jackie Robinson and now you can eat seated al fresco, not just standup or take home.

                                          It's not for Alex and Carlos... but the public to make this once seldom used park even more people friendly.

                                          1 Reply
                                          1. re: louuuuu

                                            Sat there on Saturday at noon, before the biblical downpours in the afternoon and evening, with a chorizo, an al pastor, and an adobaba taco!

                                            PS, don't forget to pay them! I placed my order, waited, was handed the plate, ate, got back in the car, and got all the way back to Darien before realizing they never asked for payment, and I totally forgot about it myself. Had to drive all the way back to square up...

                                          2. Thank you all. Jfood was doing errands near the truck and figured he would give it a try. If the lady tells you the story of some dumb gringo who had no idea what he was doing, pleae believe her, it was jfood. SInce he only had a few minutes and having no idea what to order he asked for help. A beautiful smile a couple of pointers and jfood walked away with two round disks of sweet rolled dough with some pork. On top he added the mild sauce and he took his first bite. It was fantastic.

                                            So whenever jfood is in this neighborhood, he'll definitely stop and order more than one.

                                            Thanks again all.

                                            1. My son and I finally got there for lunch today, and it is everything that everyone has said -- just delicious! I had the hurache with the spicy pork and my son had the chorizo tacos. We both had the spicy salsa with our orders, which was really spicy and very delicious. Though we live in southern Westchester, we will make every effort to get there whenever we are in Greenwich or Stamford. Yum!

                                              4 Replies
                                              1. re: roxlet

                                                today are huaraches special again (had it with pork adovado), learned tomorrow will be tacos dorados de chorizo and Monday there will be tinga!!! the tacos al pastor aren't authentic but still tasty. Agua de horchata the perfect drink (if you didn't bring your own cerveza). this is like the street food of mexico :-)

                                                1. re: CTgüera

                                                  yeah, there are a few places in White Plains that have al pastor on a spit, but none in Connecticut. But for marinated pork-style al pastor, it's pretty good.

                                                  thanks for the heads up on tacos dorados tomorrow...

                                                  1. re: adamclyde

                                                    Just for the record Taqueria Michoacana in Bridgeport uses a spit for their al pastor(only during the weekend). There is also a Taqueria in West Haven that uses a spit as well.

                                                    All this taco talk has got me hungry!!!!!!!

                                                    1. re: JohnnyCT

                                                      true... I keep forgetting about Bridgeport. I still need to get over there and check out your recommendations there...

                                              2. Spotted on the truck line two weeks ago: a Zagat rated 29 Chef. He labeled Carlos a real artist. He and his brother shared huarache and tacos, and were blown away by the taste and the value. Tho they would have liked more pineapple on the al pastor.

                                                Sitting with Alex and Carolos at one of the picnic tables, they talked with them about their dreams of opening a restaurant someday.

                                                Wow, this place is gaining quite the rep. The power of CH, when there's no agenda but a really good find.

                                                2 Replies
                                                1. re: louuuuu

                                                  yup, great food transcends and get noticed...

                                                  1. re: adamclyde

                                                    We were back there this week and I begged them to expand and put a truck in lower Westchester. "we're working, we're working," they said. What nice people. I had the burrito, which I normally wouldn't order, and it was great. It wasn't one of those huge, overfilled things with everything but the kitchen sink that you get at most "commercial" places. All it had in it was spicy pork, black beans and a little cheese. Yum.

                                                2. Has this taco truck moved? I tried finding it for lunch today, without success. Could they be closed on Wednesday?

                                                  1 Reply
                                                  1. re: elizabean

                                                    I don't think so, but I'd try calling to find out: 203-940-0922.

                                                  2. Has anyone had a Mexican hamburger or hot dog and, if so, what did it have and how was it? Just curious if one day I'm somehow not in the mood for tacos and tortas and huaraches.

                                                    3 Replies
                                                    1. re: adam

                                                      I've had the hamburger. They are kind of a cross between a normal hamburger and a torta. so the bun is treated like a torta roll - large and toasted, smothered with refried beans. Then you get lettuce, mexican cheese, jalapenos and tomatoes. It's really, really satisfying. The only problem is that the burger itself is below average. Basically, my impression was that it was like a costco frozen patty. So that kills the greatness of it. That said, because everything else is so good on it, it is definitely worth it and is a nice filling lunch. But if they used just better meat, it could compete for the best hamburger in town.

                                                      1. re: adamclyde

                                                        Would you ever feel that you could suggest that to them? Would they take it amiss?

                                                        1. re: roxlet

                                                          i don't think so. They are really genuine and I think would be open to suggestions. From anyone, really.

                                                    2. I phoned in an order yesterday, hoping that maybe it was late enough in the year for the tamales to make an appearance. No luck, but they had a Hawaiian burger and a seafood stew. I got the stew (along with a huarache and a lengua taco), and it was excellent, a deep red but not too fiery mix with some mussels and shrimp and squid.

                                                      One question - anyone know what the campechano filling is? I was looking through the menu and realized it's the one thing I'm not familiar with at all.

                                                      2 Replies
                                                      1. re: adam

                                                        According to the woman who handles the orders, it is chorizo and hot dog, mixed. According to her, it is authentic, and though it sounds gross, she swears it is good.

                                                        1. re: adam

                                                          they have tamales every saturday, I believe, not just in the winter.

                                                          good to see they are doing more mariscos there. I haven't tried it yet... will definitely need to.

                                                        2. ok, some really sad - though temporary - news from El Charrito. They are closing. But just for the winter. Apparently something about having to pay loads of $$ to insulate the truck against freezing. Anyhow, some time during the first week of December, they are going to close, and won't reopen until March.

                                                          Where am I going to get my taco fix in Stamford now? Everything else pales in comparison. alas.

                                                          anyhow, another positive note though, apparently they are heading to Mexico for a good chunk of that time to explore some new regional recipes. I'm already looking forward to March.

                                                          Oh, and two final things. First, apparently starting today they are closing at 5 p.m. and, lastly, I think they are going to have fish tacos tomorrow. I know where I'm eating lunch...

                                                          10 Replies
                                                          1. re: adamclyde

                                                            I was wondering how they were going to do business in the winter. But I have to say, I figured the truck would stay warm inside, with all the hot cooking stuff...I was thinking more in terms of freezing people trying to eat outdoors in January.

                                                            They need a permanent (indoor) location...

                                                            1. re: ChefBoyAreMe

                                                              I think (though not positive) the issue is the pipes freezing during the night when the truck isn't in use. But I'm not entirely sure.

                                                              And I agree, they do need an indoor location.

                                                              1. re: ChefBoyAreMe

                                                                Easier said than done...

                                                              2. re: adamclyde

                                                                I drove over today, got there about 12:45pm, no sign of the truck. Wonder if they are now done for the season or just Sunday?

                                                                1. re: Johnct

                                                                  They seemed pretty certain they wouldn't close until the first week of December. And that was just two days ago. I'm not sure... odd. But I'm guessing it might just be a Sunday thing?

                                                                  They have a phone number: 203-940-0922. Might be worth a try.

                                                                  By the way, forgot to report on the fish tacos (tacos de pescado?) they had yesterday. They were very good. These are NOT baja fish tacos (alas, I've given up hope finding those at all on the east coast). But they are very good. Tender chunks of white flesh fish marinated in a really flavorful spice mixture. It was kind of like tacos de pescado al pastor I've had a few times in mexico. In fact, one of the tacos had pineapple too, which makes it exactly like pescado al pastor, (perhaps the only difference being a milder marinade than the typical al pastor).

                                                                  They don't seem to have them very often, but when they do, they are well worth the $2.50 if they do. I just wish I'd ordered more as my daughters ate about 90% of them...

                                                                  1. re: adamclyde

                                                                    Adamclyde;

                                                                    What are you going to do when it is cold out, where are you going to do in Stamford? Where is the best guacmole? Did you find any great Hot Chocolate on your tour? Wow you started a war, I just like to hear what you say since I am true novice when it somes to Latin American food, my husband would rather eat West Indian food, so we don't eat Latin American as much but I like Casa Villa, I love the whole roasted chicken, very moist.

                                                                    1. re: nbermas

                                                                      sadly, once El Charrito shuts down, it's all mediocre in Stamford. but there's very good stuff in Port Chester and White Plains, at least.

                                                                      Norwalk wide open and largely unexplored. There are probably 10 mexican places I haven't tried there yet. So... once the truck closes, I'll probably head up I95 five miles and start exploring more there. At least that's what I hope to do.

                                                                      Thanks for the tip on Casa Villa's chicken. I'll have to try that.

                                                                      As for West Indian, what are your favorites in town?

                                                                      1. re: adamclyde

                                                                        Top of the Hill Broad Street near Stamford Hospital and in Bridgeport it is Howell's. I love the breakfast at Tope of the Hill, I have had the saltfish and ackee, beans and ackee, Liver, boiled banana, dumpling and yams, and it usually last me 2-3 meals and keeps me full till dinner. There fried cheicken is great and so are all the chicken dishes, rice and beans, plantains and fritters. Very fattening but I only eat it once a month for a breakfast and one lunch.
                                                                        Is there such a thing around here for ethnic food that isn't so fattening and they are really into using fresh products and then it tastes better and we will live longer. I would love to see much more salads in all ethnic places and more variety of different types of ethnic food. I will try anything once.

                                                                        So what other ehtnic foods do you eat, what does your wife like around Stamford? Have a great night.

                                                                2. re: adamclyde

                                                                  El Charrito will be around a couple of weeks longer than we thought: They'll be closing for the winter "in three weeks" and reopening March 2. For the winter, as adamclyde wrote, they'll be visiting Mexico; Oaxaca and Jalisco are the two states that stuck in my mind.

                                                                  1. re: DaveCook

                                                                    yeah, I spoke with them again too. I think they are leaving first of January and only going to be gone for 3 weeks it sounds. Who knows. Regardless, they won't be gone that whole time. Good for us. Hope they can rejuvenate. That's a demanding gig...

                                                                3. Finally made it by today, and glad I am. I forgot about the huarache, ordered a chicken burrito, meat grilled to perfection and the tortilla (homemade?) lightly toasted and delicious!

                                                                  My only criticism isn't a criticism, just a perverse preference: the black beans were healthful and delicious, but I sort of missed the fatty refritos that I am used to with my Denver burritos. Possibly they use them on other, non-chicken items?

                                                                  Otherwise, and all in all, an enthusiastic and hearty thumbs up!

                                                                  Plus, they are so nice that when I got there they were feeding a free hamburger to a homeless guy, who started begging me for cash, after which they shooed him away.

                                                                  3 Replies
                                                                  1. re: dinerfan

                                                                    I've only seen black beans there, I think... but always refried/mashed, not whole.

                                                                    1. re: adamclyde

                                                                      These were whole, delicious and appropriate. Chicken burritos get treated differently, and refried (black or pinto) beans don't mix with the texture. Many just come with grilled chicken, but this was excellent, and I'm going back today. Can't help but think that's a $9 dish, or better in a sit down place with silverware. Wish I had the money to bankroll a restaurant.

                                                                      I was having lunch most days at Bradford's (I'm a little bit in love with the woman behind the bar) but I crave those perfectly toasted tortillas more.

                                                                      1. re: dinerfan

                                                                        "I'm a little bit in love with the woman behind the bar) but I crave those perfectly toasted tortillas more"

                                                                        !!!!! Very good dinerfan. But Alexandra at the window exudes her charms, as well. While Carlos perfroms his magic on the grill, what he calls "The Flavor". A great combo. And their love for the truck is only exceeded by their devotion for their customers -- from the homeless guy they fed the hamburger, to the UBS bankers, to the strippers from across the street, to the day laborers and the cops. All of Stamford's rainbow diversity in line for great eats.

                                                                        Tho they will be missed this winter, their return in March will help bring the sun back from Mexico.

                                                                  2. Where has El Charrito gone? They have not been there the last few times I drove by.

                                                                    3 Replies
                                                                    1. re: Matteaucubed

                                                                      Nevermind. I read the post above about them closing for the winter.

                                                                      Looking forward to their return in the spring!!!

                                                                      1. re: Matteaucubed

                                                                        They are back from Mexico. Snowed out today, so now their grand re-opening is tomorrow!

                                                                        1. re: louuuuu

                                                                          I am so excited that they reopened... I've been searching for good mexican food since i moved back to CT in may, but just recently remembered CH. I used it all the time in DC, but when i came back here i forgot.

                                                                    2. Menu :

                                                                       
                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                      1. re: gunksny

                                                                        Got the special today. Pig belly tacos! No, not pork belly, but the actual pig stomach. Amazingly tender and flavorful!!! I'm not usually an organ meat guy, but these were super. They now gently grill scallions and throw them in the tacos, which adds a really nice flavor and crunch.

                                                                      2. For those who haven't yet discovered this...El Charrito is open on Sunday's this year...last year, they were not.

                                                                        Nice option for those like me, who do their big weekly shop on Sunday's, and are in the neighborhood...I was waiting for a Saturday when I was in the area, and found out just this weekend that I've been missing a whole bunch of Sunday lunches there!

                                                                        5 Replies
                                                                        1. re: ChefBoyAreMe

                                                                          Thanks CBAM...Fills in the gap that BSF is closed. Why do you go all the way there for your big shop?

                                                                          1. re: jfood

                                                                            Shop Rite Commerce Park blows away anything in Darien, in terms of selection and price, plus a really good butcher. used to go to the one on the Post Road in Norwalk, but running from exit 9 to 6 with no local traffice is better than running up to 13, and dealing with all the big box traffic, though if I'm in that direction, it's my alt.

                                                                            1. re: ChefBoyAreMe

                                                                              When Jfood asked, I knew what your answer would be Rite away, Chef... Shop Rite of Commerce Park is a class act (not quite in the same league as Fairway, but certainly not as frantic). In fact, Shop Rite is where Alex of El Charrito gets some of his fresh ingredients, too. the butcher is knowledgeble, helpful and accessible -- and the fish mongers good too... plus some wonderful ethnic sections that reflect the diversity of Stamford and the West End. A well stocked, well run store with the best prices in the area. And the checkout lines move.

                                                                            2. re: jfood

                                                                              PS, what's BSF?

                                                                              1. re: ChefBoyAreMe

                                                                                Burgers, Shakes and Fries right off exit 2 on 95 on Delavan Avenue in Byram.

                                                                          2. Taco Tech. W/ help of Adamclyde, the truck has driven into cyberspace. Check out their website
                                                                            http://www.elcharrito.info/menu.html

                                                                            and Alex tweets and Facebooks. It's the way a small business can promote itself these days and both Carlos and Alex can thank the internet, espeically CH, for making them the hit they have become. They are so hip, today Carlos was making amuses -- a wonderful empanada! Which I munched as I stood waiting for my huarache al pastor, along with a cop, a filmaker, and an old man holding his dog, who was eyeing that empanada in his master's hand.

                                                                            They are talking expansion into a restaurant ... just need financing.

                                                                            3 Replies
                                                                            1. re: louuuuu

                                                                              A restaurant would be great. The elephant in the room no one wants to talk about is the LOCATION. Not the greatest of areas.

                                                                              1. re: stevel

                                                                                Stevel, Right you are, Having lived there for many of my younger years it is not a area that I would want my wife to go at anytime!

                                                                              2. re: louuuuu

                                                                                Alex recently was looking for people who can help with writing a business plan (via Facebook) if I am not mistaken.

                                                                              3. Just saw on El Charrito's Facebook profile that they've been selected to be part of a TLC show on the 10 best food trucks in the US! Taping will be on Dec 29.

                                                                                In my opinion, a well deserved honor!

                                                                                14 Replies
                                                                                1. re: gillyweed

                                                                                  Insert Paws Clapping

                                                                                  thanks for the info G

                                                                                  1. re: gillyweed

                                                                                    Just got back from there myself and the crew was just finishing up filming before taking a break. They sure picked a good day... 20 degrees with a wind chill that surely put it into the single digits. I think I might have ended up in a few pictures, but I'll wait and see!

                                                                                    Also, their last day (until March 1st) will be this thursday, so make sure you get those orders in!!!

                                                                                    1. re: Tabasco77

                                                                                      I was just there as well. Glad to see some other people braving the cold. The Mexican Hot Chocolate was a great idea. Mine lasted long enough to keep me warm while my food was readied. Did anyone get the name of today's special? The shredded pork with fresh habaneros? Excellent!

                                                                                      1. re: krispykremekiller

                                                                                        Cochinita pibil. My only regret is that I only got 2 (in addition to the Torta Toluquena), and will need to make another trip down there after work to get more! They were fantastic!

                                                                                        1. re: Tabasco77

                                                                                          two specials today, cochinita pibil and the enchiladas verdes. only thing missing from the pibil tacos were the pickled onions (cebollas encurtidas) and maybe some xnipec salsa. But I'll take the sliced habaneros as an alternative. Habaneros will warm you from the inside out, which on a bitter cold day out there, isn't a bad thing...

                                                                                          1. re: adamclyde

                                                                                            One other thing. Adam, thank you so much for posting about this place way back in April of last year. Of course I only saw it a few months after, but since I first went there, I doubt a week has gone by that I haven't made a trip.

                                                                                            It started out with just me and one or two other people from work. Now, there's over 15 people here who order, even some of the real big dogs! Anyway, it's truly become part of my weekly regimen and I do appreciate you letting the world know about them.

                                                                                            1. re: Tabasco77

                                                                                              Yes one of Adam's great finds!!!!!. Alex and Carlos hit 2010's hotest culinary trend.... see Huffington Post piece

                                                                                              Street Food Is the New Fast Food

                                                                                            2. re: adamclyde

                                                                                              I thought they had gone south! Very happy to be corrected.
                                                                                              I went by the other day and they were absent. Probably left early on a verrry chilly day.

                                                                                        2. re: Tabasco77

                                                                                          went their twice yesterday (a little after 11 and again around 3). No yellow truck...and I really wanted to give them a try before they closed for the season.

                                                                                          Guess I'll head on over to Aqui es Santa Fe for some cheap empanadas and other treats

                                                                                          1. re: discounteggroll

                                                                                            From the El Charrito FB update yesterday:

                                                                                            "Hey everyone: I am sad to say that we will be closed for the season. Mother nature did not play nice and its snowing. We will see you on the 1st of March rain or shine!!! 2010"

                                                                                            1. re: pabboy

                                                                                              Made a quick stop in Stamford today but didn't have time to go hunting for the truck, despite pleas from my SO and one hungry kid...

                                                                                              are they back up and running again????

                                                                                              1. re: hungrykids

                                                                                                yeah, they've been up and running for three weeks now.

                                                                                                1. re: adamclyde

                                                                                                  thanks. maybe monday.... i think i'll have time to swing through stamford on the way to westchester airport (okay, so it's not EXACTLY on the way). good to know that it won't be a detour-in-vain.

                                                                                                2. re: hungrykids

                                                                                                  Write down the address. Program it into your navi. There's no hunting involved. The truck is always at the same place.

                                                                                        3. Major bummer. An errand in STM and the truck was not there at 5PM today.

                                                                                          2 Replies
                                                                                          1. re: jfood

                                                                                            Yea, they were away last week. Carlos went back home to Mexico or something. They started back up this past monday.

                                                                                            1. re: Tabasco77

                                                                                              We went by there on Sunday and they were opened!

                                                                                          2. Hey Adam, just read your story on El Charrito. Have you ever been to the guy who was in the west beach parking lot across from carvel who sold burritos? It's been a while since I've been down there but I went last week and he's not there anymore. I asked the guy who told me about him and he didn't know where he went. Any idea? let me know if you have any idea.... jcascio@rtireseach.com

                                                                                            Thanks !!!!

                                                                                            3 Replies
                                                                                            1. re: NeiIPeart

                                                                                              Neil, no, I never knew about the Burrito guy. Sounds interesting! Unfortunately, I moved back home to Southern California from Connecticut a bit over a year ago, so I don't have much of a connection or ear to the ground with regard to mexican food in CT any longer. But here's hoping to your success as CT is always in the need for more quality Mexican food!

                                                                                              1. re: adamclyde

                                                                                                Mon-Sat 9am -8pm
                                                                                                Sundays 9am-2pm
                                                                                                7 Apache Place
                                                                                                Riverside, CT
                                                                                                (203) 990-0200

                                                                                                1. re: adamclyde

                                                                                                  Hey, good to hear from you. Your sage food wisdom is much missed. Best wishes!

                                                                                              2. I have posted a q re good alternative Latino food to the usual microwaved bull. I found a great taco truck parked in Southbury: El Camion. Tacos and burritos only, but really fresh and beautifully made. Any updates east and north of Stamford?