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El Pelon?

v
veggielover May 5, 2010 11:18 AM

What's the word on El Pelon's since it opened in Brighton? How does it compare to the other taco/burrito places in the Boston/Metrowest area?

  1. k
    kimfair1 May 5, 2010 11:48 AM

    I've yet to make it out to the new El Pelon, but it is supposedly like the original which I think had the best burritos in town.

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    El Pelon
    2197 Commonwealth Ave., Brighton, MA 02135

    1 Reply
    1. re: kimfair1
      d
      DeniseB May 6, 2010 01:06 AM

      I agre with kimfair - if it's anything like the original, the food is excellent. Try their fried plantains too - they do them just right with ripe plantains and sea salt.

    2. i
      ItalyFan May 5, 2010 02:35 PM

      I've 3 or 4 times for thefish tacos and they are firing on all cylinders.

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      El Pelon
      2197 Commonwealth Ave., Brighton, MA 02135

      1 Reply
      1. re: ItalyFan
        v
        Velda Mae May 6, 2010 05:07 AM

        ItalyFan, your map pin is for the old location.

        Just a note for people who don't know where to find El Pelon, it's actually on Comm Ave @ Lake Street, near the turnaround for the B trains.

      2. b
        bartleby May 6, 2010 03:22 AM

        I've been there 3 times now. Never made it to the Fenway location so I can't make that comparison, but the tortas and fish tacos are clearly superior to anything else I've had in Metrowest. Only disappointment was a burrito my wife brought home. When I unwrapped it I found that it had lettuce on it. I hates lettuce on burritos. Especially burritos that have traveled. But maybe it serves me right for ordering a burrito over the tacos or tortas.

        1. v
          Velda Mae May 6, 2010 05:05 AM

          El Pelon is as good as ever. They were able to bring back all the old staff, which is nice. The owner seems to be a constant presence and is very grateful the loyal fans have returned. The new place has just 12 seats and some counter space where you can stand but there aren't stools like there were in the old place. Also, there aren't picnic tables outside, though there are a few benches on the island in the parking area.

          1. r
            rr2035 Jun 29, 2010 08:38 AM

            I went to El Pelon (again) last night, I've been working my way through the menu and haven't had anything yet I haven't enjoyed! The plaintains with the chipotle salsa could be easily overlooked in lieu of some other choices, they sooo good and worth a try! I also really love the Carne Asada Torta (sandwich), I can't figure out what makes it so good, but the combo of ingredients is really tasty!

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            El Pelon
            2197 Commonwealth Ave., Brighton, MA 02135

            1. k
              kimfair1 Jun 29, 2010 08:43 AM

              Finally got out to El Pelon a week or two ago, and had the excellent El Guapo burrito (my usual order at the orl El Pelon). tasted just like it used to. Also, my wife had a carnitas tao which was outstanding. Will get back again soon.

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              El Pelon
              2197 Commonwealth Ave., Brighton, MA 02135

              1. MC Slim JB Jun 29, 2010 08:52 AM

                I think the food is every bit as good as it was in the Fenway, despite being a higher-volume operation. It feels a little less charming and more shiny / fast-food-y in atmosphere, but I don't have very high standards on that score for a taqueria. I think the tacos and tortas (multilayered, not unlike cemitas) are the best items, but I generally prefer those to burritos, anyway.

                It's a rare place that uses a single tortilla layer and the tacos hold together. The fish tacos are fine, but my favorite is the carnitas. Enchiladas are a weak entree. Calabacitas is my favorite side; the pintos are a lot tastier than the black beans. Overall, I hate them being further away, but I'm glad they're back in business; most of their Fenway-fire neighbors haven't come back.

                http://mcslimjb.blogspot.com/

                5 Replies
                1. re: MC Slim JB
                  lipoff Jul 29, 2010 07:09 PM

                  El Pelon was one of my favourite places pre-fire, and I'm also glad they've come back, albeit in a less convenient place for me. I've been a few times now, and the staff are great, the ginseng ice tea is great, and it feels like the old place. Except that the breading on the fish tacos has changed, and not for the better. The sauce and pickled cabbage and limes and cucumbers are all the same, but the new breading is not the same at all. I'm really disappointed. Not that there's a better fish taco in a hundred miles, but it's not what it once was. For tortas (which are still good there), I've always preferred Tacos Lupita.

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                  El Pelon
                  2197 Commonwealth Ave., Brighton, MA 02135

                  1. re: lipoff
                    r
                    Ralphie_in_Boston Jul 30, 2010 07:00 AM

                    You know, I've been to the new Pelon once, ordered fish tacos, and noticed that they were different. But dense-headed me didn't realize that's EXACTLY what it was, the breading was different. Mine was a little thicker, crunchier, and it also seemed like the portion of fish in side the taco was smaller. Also the color was a medium brown (not that I care about the color inside a taco but this may indicate a different type of oil, or longer cooking time).

                    I still love the place but may have to stick to El Guapo next time.

                    1. re: lipoff
                      StriperGuy Jul 30, 2010 07:20 AM

                      I am crushed.

                      1. re: StriperGuy
                        k
                        kimfair1 Jul 30, 2010 08:10 AM

                        Having the fish tacos at the new spot for the first time at El Pelon, I really enjoyed them, so though they may not be exactly the same, they are still very good (from a first time impression). MC Slim is right, however, the carnitas is the star of the show there, both the tacos, and burritos.

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                        El Pelon
                        2197 Commonwealth Ave., Brighton, MA 02135

                        1. re: kimfair1
                          barleywino Oct 5, 2011 09:54 AM

                          have yet to try the fish tacos at El Pelon, but recently had the fish burrito at Herrera's (Temple st near the Common) and it was pretty decent. It didn't have the cilantro/ lime/ crema/ cabbage that I was expecting, but with the chipotle mayo and some added guac it was fine (not to mention large). Also not overstuffed with red cabbage like the one at Tico.

                  2. opinionatedchef Feb 4, 2011 09:27 AM

                    I'm the one dissenting voice here it seems. We went yesterday and here was our experience:
                    Fish tacos- thick crunchy cornmeal crust on 1/2" cubes of ...cod? tilapia? tasted like fish sticks fish. Chile tartar sauce not a hit. The fish alone makes this product a 2 compared to La Verdad's 10.

                    Carnitas Taco and Carne Asada taco and Burrito: i had to laugh as we each lifted up a taco for a first bite and, before our hands got 1/2 way to our mouths, the whole thing fell apart . MC, i know you're listening. A single tortilla but, unlike La Verdad, not handmade and thus not thicker and thus>> fell-apart. As a taco decomposed, the carnitas filling had excellent and complex flavor; the pork braise obviously had alot of well-balanced spicing. The carne asada had good flavor in the taco version, but in the Guapo Burrito it was drowned out by all the other components. My Love declared the carne asado quesadilla 'bland.' sigh. Very good refried beans. Nice people.

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                    La Verdad
                    1 Lansdowne St, Boston, MA 02215

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: opinionatedchef
                      v
                      veggielover Feb 4, 2011 10:44 AM

                      I have grown to love the carne asada torte at El Pelon.

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                      El Pelon
                      2197 Commonwealth Ave., Brighton, MA 02135

                      1. re: veggielover
                        opinionatedchef Feb 4, 2011 12:06 PM

                        had the CarnitasTorta at El Pelon today; wow, major delish.Layer of refried beans, guac, salsa, braised pork, chipotle sauce. Great combo, each ingred. high quality. Messy but very satisfying.

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                        El Pelon
                        2197 Commonwealth Ave., Brighton, MA 02135

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