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El Pelon - Tomorrow?

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maxinboston Mar 14, 2010 08:29 PM

Can anyone confirm that El Pelon is opening on schedule tomorrow, March 15 (as hiddenboston reported in February). Thanks!

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  1. r
    rknrll RE: maxinboston Mar 14, 2010 09:32 PM

    Nope.
    Maybe Thursday per their twitter.

    2 Replies
    1. re: rknrll
      hiddenboston RE: rknrll Mar 15, 2010 06:11 AM

      We've been getting reports of today, but another source said tomorrow. I'll check their Twitter site right now, thanks!

      1. re: hiddenboston
        hiddenboston RE: hiddenboston Mar 15, 2010 06:20 AM

        Yup, as you say, it looks like maybe Thursday (equipment issues). Thanks for the update!

    2. yumyum RE: maxinboston Mar 18, 2010 01:43 PM

      The menu is posted on Grubstreet now, But I'm REALLY disappointed to learn the fish tacos are cornmeal coated, not light tempura style batter like I had hoped for. :-(

      http://boston.grubstreet.com/2010/03/...

      This seals it. I need to put together a biz plan for my own fish taco truck STAT.

      43 Replies
      1. re: yumyum
        StriperGuy RE: yumyum Mar 18, 2010 02:13 PM

        If they are the same as they were at the old El Pelon they were EXCELLENT>

        -----
        El Pelon
        2197 Commonwealth Ave., Brighton, MA 02135

        1. re: StriperGuy
          yumyum RE: StriperGuy Mar 18, 2010 02:14 PM

          But they are not right, and it pisses me off.

          A chocolate cookie is not a dacquoise and all that. GRRRRR.

          1. re: yumyum
            BarmyFotheringayPhipps RE: yumyum Mar 18, 2010 02:28 PM

            Yeah, that was always my problem with El Pelon's fish tacos: it wasn't that they were awful, it's that they were incorrect: wrong coating and more importantly, wrong fish. They tend to use heavier, meatier fish, and when what you're expecting is a piece of light, flaky fish in a crispy batter with cabbage and radish and sauce, it's just not what you've got your mouth set for.

            -----
            El Pelon
            2197 Commonwealth Ave., Brighton, MA 02135

            1. re: yumyum
              StriperGuy RE: yumyum Mar 18, 2010 03:19 PM

              Mmmmmmm, I probably have the most serious fish taco cred on this board short of anyone who lived in Baja. My bro resided in San Diego for 10 years or so and hung out playing V-ball on Mission beach.

              I ate (numerous times) at the original Rubios BEFORE they were a chain. We used to walk over from the volleyball nets on the beach.

              Honestly, the El Pelon fish taco was pretty darned good, did not suck, and any of the boyz (drinking beer, checking out the hotties, and playing ball) would have been perfectly happy with an El Pelon fish taco. I am FINE with their product. Might not be spot on Rubios, but Rubios was a shack on the beach with no pretense. In fact (I'm going out on a limb here) I bet the founders of Rubious would not be at all insulted by the El Pelon version...

              For a real jolt of San Diego nostalgia, after some ball, some beer, a couple of tacos, we used to head over to the Red Onion for some real trouble making...

              -----
              El Pelon
              2197 Commonwealth Ave., Brighton, MA 02135

              1. re: StriperGuy
                yumyum RE: StriperGuy Mar 18, 2010 06:21 PM

                Okay, I love you too man, but this is a case of pot. kettle. black.

                You are saying we SHOULD expect to have French/Viennese pastries here but we SHOULD NOT expect to have baja-style fish tacos?

                I don't care if the Rubios guys would love the El Pelon offering (I might too, I'll see) but I'm saying that the style they are serving up is not right. Shack, no shack, volleyball, no volleyball, don't dredge my fish tacos in cornmeal and call them baja style.

                -----
                El Pelon
                2197 Commonwealth Ave., Brighton, MA 02135

                1. re: yumyum
                  galleygirl RE: yumyum Mar 18, 2010 08:05 PM

                  Uh, yumyum, do _they_ call them Baja style anywhere on the menu?
                  Just wondering...

                  1. re: galleygirl
                    yumyum RE: galleygirl Mar 19, 2010 06:01 AM

                    Hi GG -- they don't call them Baja style on the menu. I had heard of them lovingly referred to by other hounds as the best fish taco in Boston. El Pelon is dead, long live El Pelon and all that. Now I come to find they are not what I would consider proper and I'm bummed.

                    -----
                    El Pelon
                    2197 Commonwealth Ave., Brighton, MA 02135

                    1. re: yumyum
                      galleygirl RE: yumyum Mar 19, 2010 07:30 AM

                      My first fish tacos were about 20 years ago on a beach in Costa Rica...They were grilled, no crema, and hot sauce and cabbage. Does that mean I didn't eat fish tacos? ;)

                      1. re: galleygirl
                        yumyum RE: galleygirl Mar 19, 2010 07:34 AM

                        No, it just means you didn't have baja style fish tacos. I'm sure they were delicious (and I have hopes that El Pelon's will be delicious) they are just not what I was hoping for.

                        -----
                        El Pelon
                        2197 Commonwealth Ave., Brighton, MA 02135

                        1. re: yumyum
                          galleygirl RE: yumyum Mar 19, 2010 07:36 AM

                          All this talk is making me want to go there today....

                  2. re: yumyum
                    StriperGuy RE: yumyum Mar 19, 2010 01:13 AM

                    My point is, there AIN'T no particularly authentic baja taco.

                    There's no such thing. Much ado about nothing.

                    The El Pelon version is every bit as authentic as anything they serve ON MISSION BEACH in San Diego. Go eat one. It's good.

                    -----
                    El Pelon
                    2197 Commonwealth Ave., Brighton, MA 02135

                    1. re: StriperGuy
                      yumyum RE: StriperGuy Mar 19, 2010 06:05 AM

                      This article describes the kind I am talking about.

                      http://www.seriouseats.com/recipes/20...

                      1. re: yumyum
                        StriperGuy RE: yumyum Mar 19, 2010 06:35 AM

                        Very interesting...

                        1. re: yumyum
                          Nab RE: yumyum Mar 19, 2010 06:38 AM

                          If that is guacamole in the pic of that recipe, I am SRSLY going to wring your neck.

                          1. re: Nab
                            yumyum RE: Nab Mar 19, 2010 06:40 AM

                            Heh. The guac is wrong. Dont hurt me.

                        2. re: StriperGuy
                          9
                          9lives RE: StriperGuy Mar 19, 2010 10:27 AM

                          I've spent a month plus traveling the Baja for almost 20 winters..just back from 6 weeks. There is a huge variation and little to no discussion about what is "authentic." The fish used is often mahi mahi/dorado because it's generally available. I've had them tempura fried, batter fried, grilled. Tortillas offered are generally flour or corn, though some places only offer corn

                          The first place (5 pics) is very good and in fact claims to be the best in Los Cabos. They're very good and make tacos with a variety of seafood. Lightly tempura battered and a very varied salsa bar;including guac. Some places will bring a small lazy susan with trimmings to your table.

                          http://www.flickr.com/photos/61246842...

                          http://www.flickr.com/photos/61246842...

                          Here is no frills taco stand about an hour North..tempura fried only and delicious.

                          People can argue all day about the "right" garnishes to put on the taco, but in Baja, people just put on what they feel like. I like a little cabbage,little guac, no crema,and,cilantro, onions and plenty of heat...most often an arbol chile based one.

                          The greatest difficulty in making a Baja(or any other kind) of fish taco is the cost/availability of super cheap/super fresh seafood. These taco pics I posted are $2+- each. The Todos stand was less than a buck; but it was 04 so with inflation..:)

                          1. re: 9lives
                            StriperGuy RE: 9lives Mar 19, 2010 11:53 AM

                            The definitive answer...

                            Heck, probably on baja somewhere someone using cornmeal ;-)

                            1. re: StriperGuy
                              yumyum RE: StriperGuy Mar 19, 2010 11:58 AM

                              And somewhere in Paris a baker is making blondies.

                              1. re: yumyum
                                StriperGuy RE: yumyum Mar 19, 2010 12:36 PM

                                Doooooooooh.

                                1. re: yumyum
                                  Prav RE: yumyum Mar 19, 2010 02:53 PM

                                  mclulz

                                2. re: StriperGuy
                                  9
                                  9lives RE: StriperGuy Mar 19, 2010 03:25 PM

                                  There was 1 guy but he was asked to leave the Baja.

                                  I think he opened a tacqueria in New England somewhere..:)

                                  For cost/time purposes, a lot of the big chains are buying prebreaded fish..aka fish sticks.

                                  Even in the Baja, there are places that cheat...1/2 fry the fish and finish it in the wok like fryer when it's ordered. Loses a lot of the texture that makes these things so great.

                                  So even in the Baja, you have to put on your hounding hat if you want the best. There are plenty of crappy Baja tacos, even in the Baja. These are not just tourist oriented, but locals who aren't that particular about food. I went to 1 place that catered to local pro fishermen and workers. They served the tacos with shredded lettuce and pico already on it...Went back for other dishes that were great but never another fish taco.

                      2. re: StriperGuy
                        yumyum RE: StriperGuy Mar 18, 2010 02:22 PM

                        It's like someone saying for 9 months, 12 months ... just wait ... there is a real french pattisierie opening up which is going to knock your socks off ... and then you find out it's a blondie brownie bar. Sheesh.

                        1. re: yumyum
                          StriperGuy RE: yumyum Mar 18, 2010 03:22 PM

                          I would immolate myself on the spot on their front door in protest.

                          1. re: StriperGuy
                            yumyum RE: StriperGuy Mar 18, 2010 06:22 PM

                            We've done way worse. See: Stoddards.

                      3. re: yumyum
                        itaunas RE: yumyum Mar 18, 2010 02:26 PM

                        But their fish tacos were never battered, and I think they were cornmeal -- fried fairly firm, sometimes better than others and occasionally overdone.

                        BTW, Dorado's tacos have only gotten better since they opened.

                        1. re: itaunas
                          yumyum RE: itaunas Mar 18, 2010 02:29 PM

                          You know I love you man, but that's not the point. The point is everyone's been holding up El Pelon as the sin qua non of fish tacos in Boston. Then I read that they are dredged in cornmeal and it just makes me mad. They may be delicious (I will endeavor to find out) but they are not RIGHT and I am disappointed.

                          -----
                          El Pelon
                          2197 Commonwealth Ave., Brighton, MA 02135

                          1. re: yumyum
                            itaunas RE: yumyum Mar 18, 2010 02:36 PM

                            Ok, I read your post as they had changed it and you were disappointed in that. I think there was more debate about El Pelon that you think, but as with a number of places which are sacred cows the voices of fans were loud. Plus with fish tacos and fish and chips, people forget to say what style they are wanting or recommending. Hence someone asks for ensenada style tacos and gets a rec for tuna wasabi fish tacos at Todd English's latest joint. And I seethe about upscale comfort food joints which serve "traditional fish and chips" with shoestring potatoes -- at least they are battering the fish. So with El Pelon at least they were fried, with crema and cabbage so they could hit the spot when not overdone, but I think fans also liked the availability of their hot sauces (which are quite good but drown out the fish).

                            -----
                            El Pelon
                            2197 Commonwealth Ave., Brighton, MA 02135

                            1. re: itaunas
                              yumyum RE: itaunas Mar 18, 2010 02:41 PM

                              I get you, and I realize I'm sounding like a loony bird, but I had never had them at El Pelon and it's a major crush of mine and everyone kept saying "can't wait for them to come back" and now I learn they are just another variant on the true theme and all arguments aside, I'd like a lightly battered (tempura style please) piece of fish with cabbage and crema and I would be a happier camper.

                              ... and yes, that was the longest run-on sentence ever and I am ranting, but SRSLY it's just not that hard. Sigh.

                              -----
                              El Pelon
                              2197 Commonwealth Ave., Brighton, MA 02135

                              1. re: yumyum
                                BarmyFotheringayPhipps RE: yumyum Mar 18, 2010 02:48 PM

                                Since you can get a lightly battered piece of fish with cabbage and crema at Dorado right now, why aren't you over there eating one?

                                1. re: BarmyFotheringayPhipps
                                  yumyum RE: BarmyFotheringayPhipps Mar 18, 2010 02:50 PM

                                  Because the tortillas suck.

                                  1. re: yumyum
                                    BarmyFotheringayPhipps RE: yumyum Mar 18, 2010 03:01 PM

                                    And you were there last when?

                                    1. re: BarmyFotheringayPhipps
                                      yumyum RE: BarmyFotheringayPhipps Mar 18, 2010 03:02 PM

                                      I was there when they opened and despite reports to the contrary I have yet to be convinced they've solved the tortilla problem. Your point is well taken though and I will do more research.

                                      1. re: yumyum
                                        BarmyFotheringayPhipps RE: yumyum Mar 18, 2010 03:09 PM

                                        The tortillas have DEFINITELY improved considerably from opening.

                                        And if they're still not up to your standards, heck, take a fresh bag of Cinco de Mayos in with you and tell them exactly how you want them heated! Make a stand!

                          2. re: itaunas
                            Nab RE: itaunas Mar 18, 2010 02:35 PM

                            I don't think in the history of this city there has ever been a proper baja style fish taco. I'm not getting hopes up that there will ever be. Having said that, I always enjoyed El Pelon's for what they were. I recall the below old thread when Nate told us generally how they were made.

                            http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/141740

                            itaunas, I hope Dorado's tortillas have gotten better too. because i have found better tortillas in a north dakota airport. No matter how good the fish, how good the fry, etc, with Dorado's tortillas you've still got a really lousy taco.

                            -----
                            El Pelon
                            2197 Commonwealth Ave., Brighton, MA 02135

                            1. re: Nab
                              barleywino RE: Nab Mar 19, 2010 07:00 AM

                              i think Craigie should take their cod cheeks (very light flaky tender fish which at least used to be in a light tempura batter) and make "proper" tacos out of them...KO used to serve fish tacos at Uni but haven't had them for a long time

                              1. re: Nab
                                itaunas RE: Nab Mar 19, 2010 07:13 AM

                                Actually that is a big part of "improved" is the tortillas are way better than before (and they also are sourcing really good flour tortillas too). I have gotten both a single and double tortilla, though, but its not overstuffed. I think they also do a good job of adding new items, w/o straying from their core concept (mexican pickles, etc) -- enough variety for neighborhood folks nearby, but don't over do the selection like a lot of restaurants. Its a yuppie taco joint not a beachside shack, but I think its a good neighborhood place which brings value for the slightly high price tag. Cutty's seems to be on the right track too, but I still haven't gotten over there for a Saturday roast pork.

                                BTW, I think some hounds obsess a bit too much about the 2 tortilla thing. And I was surprised to see statements like "nowhere in Boston makes their own tortillas." With Cinco de Mayo there isn't much point in making your own tortillas for tacos -- they aren't going to be the same, but there are tens of Salvadoran restaurants who make their own gorditas, plus there are sopes and garnachas... and pupusas (which get some discussion, but still a bit less). We have cinco de mayo thankfully, but not everything made with masa is a thin disc.

                                YumYum have you tried the La Verdad tacos? Not as traditional, but battered and you can tell them to leave things out.

                                -----
                                La Verdad
                                1 Lansdowne St, Boston, MA 02215

                                1. re: itaunas
                                  Nab RE: itaunas Mar 19, 2010 07:59 AM

                                  I think the two-tortilla thing is a bit silly, as well. And thank you for reminding us of the numerous and oft-overlooked Salvodoran artisans around town. There are plenty of commercial tortillas I enjoy, but I do still believe there should be a place for the handcrafters, regardless of how good CdM's are. Commercial tortillas are not designed to have character. It's pretty humbling to see somebody take the time and effort and care to make something by hand for only pennies in return.

                                  I'm glad to hear Dorado has taken steps source better tortillas. Because there's really no excuse for that when you have options.

                                  1. re: Nab
                                    StriperGuy RE: Nab Mar 19, 2010 08:14 AM

                                    Yes, but....

                                    If they use packaged masa harina instead of starting from actual corn, the masa harina tortillas never have quite as good a corny flava.

                                    Of course if we were in Mexico each woman/restaurant would be soaking their own corn and bring it to the local mill to be made into masa.

                                    CdM I'm sure starts from corn so their tortillas, in my book, generally have better tortilla flavor than any handmade ones...

                                    That said, the hand made ones do have that awesome texture, irregularity, etc...

                                    I'm out in the weeds...

                                    1. re: StriperGuy
                                      Nab RE: StriperGuy Mar 19, 2010 08:20 AM

                                      Of course. And in no way am I suggesting that all handmade torts are better than all commerical torts. Vice versa. Now, I have had plenty of handmade torts that blow CdM out of the water, but that's neither here nor there ....

                                    2. re: Nab
                                      s
                                      stillworkinonthat RE: Nab Mar 19, 2010 08:16 AM

                                      Just a quick reply to get you all , especially Yummy, up to speed on the tortillas at Dorado.
                                      Be warned that I am a personal friend of the owners so that is my disclosure.
                                      They use Cinco de Mayo tortillas and they are fabulous. In my opinion of course.
                                      So if you have not tried them in the past 8 months you should.
                                      Peace.

                                      1. re: stillworkinonthat
                                        yumyum RE: stillworkinonthat Mar 19, 2010 08:24 AM

                                        Thanks stillworkin. I like CdM tortillas and will absolutely get over to Dorado to give it another go.

                                        1. re: stillworkinonthat
                                          chickendhansak RE: stillworkinonthat Mar 19, 2010 10:03 AM

                                          Are you saying they've been using CdM tortillas in the last 8 months? Because on my two visits, this calendar year, they seemed much thinner and much less tasty.

                                          1. re: chickendhansak
                                            s
                                            stillworkinonthat RE: chickendhansak Mar 19, 2010 10:08 AM

                                            Yes That is correct. Perhaps it time to try it again.

                              2. Snoop37 RE: maxinboston Mar 19, 2010 08:27 AM

                                it's official El Pelon is opening tonight at 5.
                                I guess they are giving out fresh baked rolls for Tortas?

                                -----
                                El Pelon
                                2197 Commonwealth Ave., Brighton, MA 02135

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