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Mar 23, 2009 05:17 PM

Good Mexican Food?

Have lived in Western Mass for a few years and have not found really good Mexican food or even really good Tex Mex. Have tried Mi Tierra in Hadley, Mesa Verde in Greenfield, Armadillo in Keene NH, and all the so-called Mexican places in Northampton. Also tried a small family owned place near Foxwoods which was okay but had a limited menu. We bought an exercise bike down near Manchester CT and a salesman recommended a place near there but I don't remember the name or the town!

If anyone can recommend REALLY good Mexican or Tex Mex food in New England please let me know. Would prefer something on par with what you can get in LA or San Antonio. Maybe asking for too much?!

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  1. yes, you are asking for quite a lot.
    that said, Angela's in South Boston is a Boston Board Fave.

    3 Replies
    1. re: ScubaSteve

      BTW: Angel's is in East Boston.....

      1. re: Gio

        i don't know why i keep mixing up Eastie and Sounthie.

        1. re: ScubaSteve

          Well don't feel so bad..... I typed Angel's instead of Angela's.....(>.<)

    2. Two for the price of one: On Millbury Street in Worcester you will find Tacos Parilla Mexicana and Baja Grill Neo-Mexican. Search this board for more info on these places.

      Both are Mexican, not Tex-Mex. Baja has a website: http://www.bajagrillneo-mexicancuisin... Tacos Parilla is more of a take-out place, but great, great stuff.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Rick_V

        Thanks. I looked at the Baja Grill menu and it looks great. If it's as good as it looks the drive to Worcester would be worth it. I'm on my way!

      2. The original comment has been removed
        1. Milagro in Stonington Borough, CT its a small blue house on Water st. The owner, Martin, is from mexico city. This is his second restaurant. He knows everything about MEXICAN fair and the nectar from you know who... Tequila! Not a Tex Mex place but has a few options to appease us New Englanders. Great fresh salsa. Inventive yet traditional Mexican. Enjoy!

          1. If you make a day trip out of it, stop at Taqueria Mexico in Wallingford for tortas on the way down 91, visit some of our fine museums, cafes and shops in New Haven for the afternoon, then eat at Guadalupe Poblanita for dinner. Just remember that you're not in Western Mass anymore so stay alert while visiting our fine urban neighborhoods and watch where you park.

            1. re: newhavener07

              Mezcal is also good here, so why don't you come down here for the weekend? We welcome refugees from the land of Birkenstocks and intertextuality. Stay at the swanky new Study hotel.

              1. re: newhavener07

                Taqueria Mexico is phenomenal, I personally highly recommend the chorizo burrito...

                1. re: newhavener07

                  Los Mariachis Bar and Grill is a nice place just up the street. I ate at the Taqueria Mexicana #2, in West Haven, but not the one in Wallingford, you are referring to. I would say Los Mariachis is very good but some of the food is more Tex-Mexish.

                  1. re: newhavener07

                    Has New haven gone downhill THAT much???

                  1. re: cowgirlinthesand

                    I have not been personally, but know at least three trusted Chowhounds who back you on that one, cowgirl! OP: they're in Hartford, too.


                    In Middletown, CT, a new Mexican joint opened last year--Iguanas Ranas Taqueria. And I say "joint" because it's a little Mom & Pop shop downtown in the North End (read: not fancy whatsoever). But their tacos are a very tasty bargain at $2 a pop. I love their chorizo (made on premises), and now that I've tried their barbacoa, I love THAT even more. Here are some reviews (not just mine!):

                    , CT

                    El Sarape
                    931 Broad St Ste 1, Hartford, CT 06106

                    1. re: kattyeyes

                      Sarape's in Enfield should be the same good food as in Hartford at El Sarape. Same family. I intend to try this location the first chance I get.

                      917 Enfield St, Enfield, CT 06082

                      1. re: Scargod

                        Scargod, with the new menu selections at Aunt Chiladas in Hamden, there's no reason to drive all the way to Enfield for Mexican food, unless you have a loved one in the prison there.

                        1. re: Veggo

                          How did you know? She was sent up for assaulting a Aunt Chilada cook....after too many margaritas.
                          Seriously, when did they get a "new" menu? Does their site talk about this?

                          And, I would only go to Enfield if I needed to go to the airport or buy hardwoods from a distributor near there.

                          1. re: Veggo

                            Cute name; Aunt Chiladas. Where in Hamden are they?

                            Aunt Chilada's Restaurant
                            3931 Whitney Ave, Hamden, CT 06518

                      2. re: cowgirlinthesand

                        El Sarape in Hartford is good.. its a store front in the Park St Neighborhood... good food. Cayote Flaco on New Britain Ave in Hartford is excellent as is Monte Alban on Farmington Aveune are also excellent and are better places to sit. If you think Chilies is good Mexican don't bother with these, you won't like them. The moles at Monte Alban are particularly good. Agave in downtown Hartford has some bright spots, the simple corn tortilla (score points right there) enchillada's are very good as is the seviche. Other than a few items not really authentic but good. Guacamole is made tableside from fresh ingredients. You won't find mounds of cheese at any of these.

                        1. re: jimn01

                          For fun, how would you rank the restaurants you mentioned? We seem to be on the same page in terms of good Mexican in the Hartford area, so am curious if El Sarape leads the list for you, or if you find Coyote Flaco or Monte Alban to be better. I do like Agave, too, but of the restaurants mentioned, I don't think they beat Monte Alban...I haven't been to El Sarape yet, but would like to go.

                        2. re: cowgirlinthesand

                          Thanks CowGirl and others, I will confirm that here in 2012 Sarape in Enfield CT is still an excellent hole-in-the-wall, family run, quality Mexican eatery. Tacos al carbon were awesome. No one left hungry, I can tell you that.

                        3. Another alternative (besides the fried clams):
                          Buy one of Rick Bayless' books (my favorite is Mexican Everyday) and cook it yourself. I even learned, out of desperation, how to make tortillas; but have found not-too-bad substitutes in Maria and Ricardo's corn tortillas, available at Whole Foods in Hadley/Amherst. (Fresh is still better, but these are easier and okay.)
                          Buena suerte!

                          10 Replies
                          1. re: BerkshireTsarina

                            Hmm... I don't suppose then that there's a decent option in Western MA for big, steaming bowls of menudo/mondongo (even if only on the weekends). As a recently transplanted Californian, that's one of the biggest things I miss here in Northampton!

                            1. re: caravan70

                              They make a mighty pungent bowl of menudo at the Taqueria Mexico in Wallingford, Ct. I'm not a fan, but my friend who is says it's outstanding.

                              1. re: newhavener07

                                Thanks for the tip... I'll have to wander down that way one of these days! :)

                            2. re: BerkshireTsarina

                              I too am a fan of Maria & Ricardo tortillas; they were my tortillas of choice for quite a while. To be honest, despite (or maybe due to) a long stint of living in Texas, I'm more a fan of flour tortillas, and have switched to whole wheat ones. Guidos (especially the GB one) and Wild Oats in Williamstown both carry the M&R flour tortillas, but I never checked for corn.
                              If you're doing the Hadley shopping trip, try Trader Joe's; I've recently switched to their ww tortillas and love them, am guessing the corn would be good too.
                              Of course the best corn tortillas I've had since back in New England were at Mi Tierra.
                              Am wondering if the Richmond Bakery on Waconah St in Pittsfield (the puposa place) could be talked into making/selling fresh corn tortillas.

                              1. re: mjoyous

                                The flour tortillas just don't do it for me, Joyous. (Then again, I go more than slightly nuts for corn in any form: on the cob, corn pudding, corn chowders of many kinds, grits, polenta, pozole, and naturally, tortillas; if you came up with some other preparation, I'd probably adore it too.) GB Guido's sometimes has the M&R corn tortillas, but sometimes not. The Puposa Place (what a great name that would make) has been tantalizing for us; it always seems to be closed, so I'm afraid my idea of "early in the morning" is rather later than their idea.

                                1. re: BerkshireTsarina

                                  I, too, love corn tortillas. I now make my own. I like flour, too, but corn is so different from flatbreads.
                                  beso mi mazorca de maíz!

                                  1. re: Scargod

                                    I don't know about besos ---- but I certainly eat it lovingly!
                                    Come to think of it, I even tried making corn the way they sold it in El Jardìn in San Miguel de Allende. I don't do street food ;-( but I'd watch longingly, and back home here decided I'd give it a try. I sprinkled the fresh boiled corn on the cob with lime juice and some melted butter, gave it some shakes of chili powder and sprinkled on the closest thing I could find to cotija cheese, and it was muy rico. I think it's called esquites.
                                    I get hungry just thinking of it --- and I just finished dinner!

                                  2. re: BerkshireTsarina

                                    Lol! The "Puposa Place' is open 3 or 4 days until 12 noon. I think Sunday - Thursday. Simon is a doll and maybe can make tortillas to sell if you placed an order.
                                    I'd take at least 50 if he'd agree!

                                    1. re: cowgirlinthesand

                                      Will check this out after Easter, cowgirl. Quien sabe? Maybe we'll end up with a tortilla supply in the Berkshires yet ----
                                      Meanwhile my peruana bean supply is getting low, and I don't think the Brazilian grocery is willing to take another shipment from Goya. He told me I was his only customer for them! But they are the best beans ---- also called canarios. I just read that they're a favorite in central Mexico, which is where I first had them. Maybe some Berkshireite Mexican food aficionados would want to share an order??????? Another quien sabe! LOL

                                  3. re: mjoyous

                                    Mi Tierra in Hadley has fantastic fresh tortillas. In particular, their sopes are outstanding.