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Real Mexican food in Winston Salem, NC

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I am searching for authentic Mexican food in Winston. Any rec. would be appreciated!

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  1. Las Estrellas (845 Silas Creek Parkway) has some authentic dishes, in addition to the usual tex-mex fare. I have yet to vist El Paisano (2742 Waughtown Street), but folks whose judgement I trust say that it is very good, and very authentic. There is also a Central American place on Lockland Avenue, whose name escapes me, that is supposed to be good and authentic.

    1 Reply
    1. re: carolinadawg

      The Central American place is Caribbean Restaurant right next to Oriental Oasis (grocery store specializing in Asian products).

    2. I would also add La Botana by the walmart near the mall for their moles, taco riendo for their gorditas, el paisano for sopes, tacos burritos and tortas. Also try el arriero - not as good as many tacqueries but better than all the monterrey's in town and you can get a beer unlike many tacquerias. Also try any of the hole in the wall places on the south and east side of town and report back

      1 Reply
      1. re: quazi

        Where are Taco Rienda and El Arriero located? Thanks!

        Update...sorry, I got the addresses...they are listed in the Old Town section of the phone book, not the Winston-Salem section.

      2. El Maquey west of town in Pfafftown is excellent. Mexicans work there and eat there. Very clean, family friendly,comfortable location. We ate there yesterday. 336 924 6553 thier number is in my cell phone. Be sure and ask for salsa cliente if you like the hot stuff. The menu is 5 pages long so making a decision can take a while.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Sam at Novas

          I've eaten at an El Maguey in Walkertown and I'm pretty sure its a "sister" restaurant to the one in Pfafftown. Its decent enough tex-mex, but thats about it...certainly not "authentic" mexican.

        2. I second La botana, but ask for the "special" menu. It's a separate sheet from the regular menu and as of last time purple in color. Some interesting twists ( pistachio mole') and regional specific dishes.

          1 Reply
          1. re: schin

            I ate at la botana for the first time this week. The small shopping center is called Kester Mill Village. (as has been noted, it's across the street from Walmart parking lot, which is on Kester Mill). The center is accessible from both Hanes Mall Blvd and Kester Mill, a quarter mile or so from the intersections of those streets with Jonestown Rd.

            Had half orders of chicken soup and shrimp cocktail. Also flan. Mid afternoon so had place to myself. Chatted up owner (presumably) re: chicken soup, I'm working on my recipe. He was interested and helpful. Their's is is a nice, albeit mild version - a few squeezes of lime perked it up considerably. Lots of cilantro shreds, avacado and two large pieces of chicken breast, chicken perhaps a bit over cooked. Mex shrimp cocktail was lovely, lots of shrimps in a tangy soup with avacodo chunks, small bits of tender sweet onions, etc, served with the traditional saltines. Flan wasn't appealing - thin, dense and tough.

            I didn't ask for recommendations, which I'm sure would have been forthcoming in detail - the unbalanced menu decision was mine (I have a passion for mexican chicken soup, also mex. shrimp cocktail, so this was primarily a tasting expedition) .

            My handholding computer techies have just moved into that center, so I anticipate having numerous opportunities to investigate la botana's range. My computer folks rave over the desserts (the list was quite long and creative).

            A sign was posted stating they can no longer accommodate smoking.

          2. On North Cherry Street just north of the Indiana Ave intersection there's a strip shopping center that houses the former Acapulco restaurant (I think it's now Verde Antequera). The neighborhood is a little unkempt but safe. The restaurant is truly authentic to the point where cut limes are brought to the table along with the chips and salsa. I'm usually the only "gringo" when I'm able to get there. Limited lunch menu and a full dinner menu featuring pork and seafood with none of the Pollo Fundido type dishes found at most other restaurants in town. You may also want to try El Sombrero on University Parkway and I'm in agreement on the El Maguey comments. We live near the one in Pfafftown and go either there or Verde Antequera for our Mexican fix.

            5 Replies
            1. re: callmeacab

              That's the ticket. Athens, GA has recently seen an influx of places just like that, plus little Supermercados with adjoining lunch counters. Gringos like us get a few stares, but the food is soooo good. It's not exactly always the most spotless environment, but that ain't a problem with me. Belly up to the counter facing the grills and watch them whip up the carnitas. Very gracious and tasty experience.

              1. re: callmeacab

                I like taco riendo better than the place on north cherry. Riendo does not have as big a menu but I think their gordita is worth it. The main benefit of this place is you can get better than average(but not up to the tacquerias in my estimation) mexican food with a beer. BTW the nabe is very safe

                1. re: quazi

                  I tried to go by Taco Riendo today. The address I found was 613 E. Sprague.

                  When I showed up there, the place had a different name but was not yet open for business. I'm not sure whether the name on the sign was for an old restaurant that had gone out of business or a new restaurant that had yet to open.

                  Perhaps I didn't have the right address, after all.

                  Anybody know anything about this place?

                  1. re: brentk

                    Taco Riendo is at 3619 Reynolda Road. The phone book lists it as "Taco Riendo # 3", so perhaps the (now defunct) place on Sprague was a sister location?

                    1. re: carolinadawg

                      the place on spraque was taco riendo 1. they sold the place a few years ago. the new place on sprague is not as good. In that area I would try El Paisano and get the sopes or burritos. The used to also have a location in yadkinville. the location on reynolda is good. though service can be clueless

              2. Best tacqueria BY FAR is La Perlita on Waughtown. Bring someone who speaks Spanish.

                NB: Most of winston-salem's mexican community hails from Guadalajara, Jalisco in Mexico so that's why you tend to see a lot of seafood on the menu at places like Estrellas and Tacqueria Guadalajara. It's not tex-mex at all- tex-mex is a really a misnomer for any of the mexican you'll find in winston, unless you go to a national chain.

                Another great place for authentic mexican is the Latino grocery store on Silas Creek Parkway (around the corner from Las Estrellas), Compare Foods. In addition to amazing torillas, Lala sour cream and ultra-cheap avocados, their prepared meats are all seasoned with excellent traditional mexican seasoning and they can tell you how to cook them on the grill or back at home (but it helps if you speak Spanish).

                1 Reply
                1. re: renaissancegrrl

                  Since I'm the only one who mentioned tex-mex, I guess I'll respond. If you look at the context of my comment, I was referring specifically to El Maguey, whose menu is almost exclusively enchiladas, burritos, tacos and fajitas. Many other "mexican" restaurants in W-S have similiar menus, including the ubiquitous Mi Pueblo. There is tons of tex-mex in W-S; fortunately, there is also some more authentic food to be found as well.