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Mexican food in Saratoga Springs, NY

EllieLA Jul 6, 2008 06:46 AM

Hi all,

Just wondering what the general consensus was on the Mexican places in SS.

So far I've only been to Cantina and wasn't all that impressed. The dish I had (spicy shrimp tacos) was okay, and I thought their serving sizes were rather paltry.

What's the Chow scoop on Leon's and Mexican Connection?

I'm not looking for authentic, just fresh, yummy (not greasy or heavy) and reasonably priced will do.

Thanks!
Ellie

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    adventuresinbaking RE: EllieLA Jul 6, 2008 07:54 AM

    Hello,

    Sadly, the tri-city area and Saratoga Springs seem to be a desolate area for Mexican Cuisine. At least, that is the opinion my friend who was raised on native mexican food has come too.

    Depending on how adventurous you are feeling, I've heard good things about Carmen's in Troy. Except, it is cuban food. One does what one can.

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      gerchak RE: EllieLA Jul 7, 2008 11:43 AM

      Leon's and MC are basically bad Tex-Mex. Amigo's Cantina in Schuylerville is quite good, though.

      5 Replies
      1. re: gerchak
        EllieLA RE: gerchak Jul 7, 2008 01:59 PM

        Thanks Gerchak. That's not too far away either.
        I'll go check it sometime soon.

        I also read/heard about a place in Ballston Spa. I think it's Sunset Cafe or something like that. Have you been there?

        1. re: EllieLA
          jspear RE: EllieLA Jul 8, 2008 04:55 AM

          Morning Ellie, not being a fan of mexican, I can say I do not look for it. My friends who are talk about El Loco in Albany and I am not sure about the other spot but I think it is called Mexican Radio. When I used to work in the resto business there was always talk of a great place in Hudson Falls. I have heard good things about the schuylerville place as well....

          1. re: jspear
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            mjoyous RE: jspear Jul 9, 2008 07:06 AM

            As a former Texan, I can say El Loco is neither traditional nor very good. Mexican Radio is in Hudson, no where near Saratoga , and has interesting and innovative food, as long as you're comfortable paying NYC prices for Mexican food (which seems oxymoronic to me.)

          2. re: EllieLA
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            gerchak RE: EllieLA Jul 8, 2008 05:40 AM

            Sunset Cafe has some nice food but it's really "Southwestern" rather than Mexican.

            1. re: gerchak
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              markabauman RE: gerchak Jul 8, 2008 05:07 PM

              Here's the link to El Mexicano in Hudson Falls-very good place:

              http://elmexicanorestaurant.net/

              Mexican Radio, also excellent, is in Hudson, south of Albany.

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          yellowlablover RE: EllieLA Jul 9, 2008 02:28 PM

          I do not think Mexican Connection's food is bad. I have been a customer there for over 20 years and while slightly overpriced for Mexican, I enjoy going there. Their margaritas are good, complimentary chips and salsa, and generous portion sizes. They do a good year round business in Saratoga and have a loyal clientele, so while they may not be the best Mexican compared to other areas, they are obviously pleasing to some people. I would give them a try and see what you think.

          6 Replies
          1. re: yellowlablover
            EllieLA RE: yellowlablover Aug 27, 2009 06:14 AM

            Wow, this topic hasn't been discussed since last year.
            Since then, El Mexicano has opened a second location in Saratoga Springs.

            I have been there several times and think it's fantastic. The food is fresh and flavorful and everything I've ordered has been amazing.

            The only drawback I think, is that they don't have their liquor license yet. It hasn't stopped me from going, but I know it's been an issue for some.

            Has anyone been here? Thoughts?

            1. re: EllieLA
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              gerchak198 RE: EllieLA Aug 27, 2009 07:21 AM

              I thought it was mediocre and overpriced, but have only been once and will try it again. I thought the same of El Mariachi, confirmed by 2 more visits. I like the creativity of Cantina and I love Amigo's in Schuylerville, the best Mex around.

              1. re: gerchak198
                EllieLA RE: gerchak198 Aug 27, 2009 05:02 PM

                I'm certainly not an expert Gerchak198, but I did live in SoCal for many years and had great Mexican food there. This place measures up really well.

                I overheard a woman at another table who said she lived for many years in the Southwest, and the food at El Mexicano was excellent.

                If you do try it again, I hope you enjoy it. Pop back here and let us know.

                1. re: EllieLA
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                  gerchak198 RE: EllieLA Aug 28, 2009 06:51 AM

                  Hitting it next week.

                2. re: gerchak198
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                  more garlic RE: gerchak198 Nov 5, 2009 07:11 AM

                  Just ate at Cantina last night. "Seared" tuna was blackened, the chicken in the tostada was so salty i couldn't really tell weather it was chicken or pork, the refried pinto beans--if they had any flavor at all--tasted like slightly burned mud, and the bluefin tacos needed an extra lime squeezed on them to get rid of that not-so-fresh smell. i tried their duck taquito a couple of weeks ago--now i think they must've fried that taquito in the same nasty oil as the bluefin. the upside, very friendly waitress, pretty good margaritas and the chips and salsa was delicious, at least compared to other really bad offerings. saratoga needs better food!

              2. re: yellowlablover
                financialdistrictresident RE: yellowlablover May 21, 2010 12:14 PM

                We went to Mexican Connection last night. Me for the first time. When it comes to Mexican food I'm a San Diego, "not in the East" snob. I admit it. We all have our shortcomings :)

                Service was very good. Chile relleno was decent. Guac was okay (not the usual commercial mash), my preference is for a chunkier style. Even better when it's made tableside. Margaritas were very good.
                SO had the steak fajitas and I had an enchilada platter. The chicken enchilda and beans were good. Appreciate all the vegetarian menu choices. Portions were huge and prices were reasonable.

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                Mexican Connection
                41 Nelson Ave, Saratoga Springs, NY 12866

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                shihtzuattitude RE: EllieLA Aug 28, 2009 09:37 PM

                News flash: A new mexican restaurant opened recently IN Saratoga Springs on southern Broadway called "Mexicana" - You can find it easily not by it's sign (I think it's WAY too small) but by the bright green wall. Hoping to go their after racing season's over.
                Give it a try!

                4 Replies
                1. re: shihtzuattitude
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                  gerchak198 RE: shihtzuattitude Aug 29, 2009 06:46 AM

                  It's El Mexicano, which was already discussed.

                  1. re: gerchak198
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                    Stuartmc910 RE: gerchak198 Sep 1, 2009 06:41 PM

                    Just returned from a month in SS (working, sad to say). Ate at El Mariachi twice, first time was OK, so went back for more. Won't return. Really bad. leons and MC I gave up on years ago. Didn't try the new on on S. Bway. Off topic,but had a not so bad meal at the new Chinese place Shanghai Grill. Only had vegetarian dishes so can't vouch for the meat/seafood/fowl ones. YoYo Ma ate there wheen he performed with the PO so if he can, I figuered why not?

                    1. re: Stuartmc910
                      EllieLA RE: Stuartmc910 Sep 2, 2009 09:37 AM

                      Hi Stuart,

                      In regards to your off-topic, I read a few bad comments on local boards about Shanghai Grill, so I probably won't venture there. Their main location is supposed to be so good, so I don't get why the SS one isn't. Hope YoYo Ma fared better than others who ate there.

                      If you come back to SS and try El Mexicano and let us know what you think.

                      1. re: EllieLA
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                        gerchak198 RE: EllieLA Sep 2, 2009 10:46 AM

                        I have had several good meals at Shanghai Grill, favorite being Peking Duck! Went to El Mexicano again, since everyone seemed so surprised that I thought it was mediocre. Same old mess swimming in cheese and wet beans. Tamales just plain bad. Maybe everyone is seduced by the mini-quesadilla amuse-bouche, and the free dessert chimichanga (neither one of which did I want). Expensive and empty as well.

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                  kailin RE: EllieLA Sep 2, 2009 04:43 PM

                  You should try Leon's, it is owned by an old jockey and is great!

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: kailin
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                    gerchak198 RE: kailin Sep 3, 2009 07:13 AM

                    Leon's discussed repeatedly above. Read before posting. Leon's is not very good.

                    1. re: gerchak198
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                      morrisongreen RE: gerchak198 Nov 16, 2009 09:09 PM

                      I tried Leon's this past weekend and thoroughly enjoyed the experience. Prices were very reasonable. chips and salsa were complimentary but quality was superb. The chips had clearly just been fried and the salsa was fresh and flavorful with just a hint of spice. The guacamole was also top notch. I had the Mexican style steak tacos with cilantro, sweet onions and pico de gallo. My date had the chicken flautas which I tried and they were out of this world dipped in sour cream and guacamole. Both dinners arrived piping hot with authentic Mexican rice and refried beans. Service was friendly, attentive and on point. Prices were very reasonable. Our entrees were 13 and 12 dollars and came with all the fixings. Margaritas were large, frothy and refreshing and only 3 dollars for happy hour. Leon came around and checked on us which was cool. All in all it's a special place I'm glad we found it. One thing I would've liked to have seen is XX amber on draft.

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                      Leon's
                      135 Crescent St, Saratoga Springs, NY 12866

                      1. re: morrisongreen
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                        gerchak198 RE: morrisongreen Apr 2, 2010 03:33 PM

                        Just ate dinner at Leon's in Saratoga; it's been a couple of years since I was last there. It was delicious, and very well-priced. Pork in green chili sauce and chicken chimichangas were both first rate!

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                    Colhen RE: EllieLA Jun 9, 2010 04:24 PM

                    I know you posted this a while ago but you should try Amigos Cantina. It is located in Schuylerville, NY (about 20 miles down Rte 29E from Saratoga). I have had my share of all the mexican places named in this blog but by far.. Amigos Cantina is the best. check it out... Amigoscantina.net

                    The owners are so friendly and the atmosphere is great!

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: Colhen
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                      gerchak198 RE: Colhen Jun 10, 2010 06:43 AM

                      I recommended Amigo's several times in this thread. It's 11 miles, not 20, from Saratoga.

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