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Apr 5, 2008 11:27 AM

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

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

          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.


                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


                    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...