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Oct 29, 2008 01:23 AM

Mexican Restaurant in New Haven?

I'm used to authentic Mexican food. Since moving to New Haven 6 months ago, we've been unable to find authentic Mexican food despite several recommendations . I'm wondering if those recommendations are coming from people who have not experienced truly authentic Mexican. So maybe my question should be where do Mexicans eat in the area??

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  1. Guadalupe la Poblanita is definitely authentic.
    Part of the issue may be that Mexican cuisine is far from monolothic. It's at least as regional as the cuisine of any other country that is as culturally and geographically diverse. The country we call Mexico covers an area that contains three once seperate nations in addition to the area that has been called Mexico since European colonization. There are also many groups of indigenous peoples, and geography that has seperated the various areas of European colonization from ever becoming culturally homogenous. The last time I was in the Yucatan, I was in a tour group that included a foodie couple from California. They complained endlessly that the food we were eating was geared to tourists, and was not authentic. While that was somewhat true on some stops, for the most part, they just had no idea what the food from that region tasted like. Most of the Mexican immigration to the East Coast has come from the eastern portion of Mexico (though generally not the Yucatan), while Mexican immigration to the West Coast and Southwest has come almost entirely from a small handful of regions in the west of Mexico. There is plenty of authentic Mexican in Connecticut, but, for the most part, it is not the food most people think of as Mexican.

    3 Replies
    1. re: danieljdwyer

      A recommendation AND a lesson. Fantastic, Dan. I have eaten at Guadalupe la Poblanita, and I thought it was positively authentic but more importantly great food!!! I have also heard good things on the new place on Crown Geronimo, though I have not tried it yet. There is however another little known VERY authentic little place that's also very good. It is a taco cart on the water at Long Wharf. They have 1/2 dozen different tacos or so (including tongue which is the best) topped with whatever you want all for $1! Of course, you need to get 3 or 4 for lunch. Definetly worth seeking out.

      1. re: danieljdwyer

        I hadn't considered there might be a regional difference. That is perhaps the problem. Thank you. We'll give your recommendation a try and will report back!

        1. re: danieljdwyer

          There are, in fact, VERY few Yucatecos in the Northeast. ;) I find it interesting that those in your tour group hadn't discovered Yucatecan food in Cali...but of course, maybe they were not from the Bay Area, where I've heard that there is a sizable (10,000+) population of Yucatecos.

          I find the fod from other regions of Mexico much less seasoned than traditional Yucatecan food. And they seem to have more variations on caldo than they do in other states. But I've never even seen most of the Yucatecan special occasion dishes in restaurants, except for cochinita and relleno negro.

          In the RI area, almost al of the Mexican restaurants are owned by people originally from Puebla. Except for El Tapatio, of course.

        2. One question would be, "where have you been?" This might help define what you don't consider authentic or narrow the suggestions from us.
          Look in Fair Haven... Mexicans definitely eat at Gadalupe La Poblanita, El Tapatio, and other hole in the walls I haven't tried in Fair Haven. There is also an area of Hartford where you can get authentic food, like El Sarape, and they cater to hispanics.