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Jul 31, 2013 09:19 AM

Antojito's Cafe - GREAT new Central American Place in Waltham

So I have been eying the modest little lunch counter on Moody across from Habanero's (Just who is Habanero anyway?)

Turns out it just might be my fave Central American place in Boston.

Please note the somewhat unusual hours:

Mon and Tues: 7am to 4pm
Wed-Sat 7am-7pm

The proprietress is Salvadoran but also picked up some technique during time spent amongst the Mexican community in South Texas.

On to the food:

Veggie Pupusa: Nice cheesy homemade pupusa served with a baggie of fresh cilantro slaw (alas no zucchini flowers mentioned on the menu in this version). Simple yummy goodness. A very nice pupusa. But due to the simplicity the least interesting thing I had.

Gordita: I had pork, it was yummy and stuffed with goodness and slathered with killer sauce. Just plain YUM.

Chicken Tamale: one of the most noteworthy tamales I've ever eaten. The filling was ethereal and fluffy (how did she do that???) and there was a honking big hung of drumstick on the bone inside. That sauce was amazing.

In summary, delicious, homey, VERY well prepared food, made by someone who really cares.

Blows Guanachapi out of the water (I ate at the one near Ocean State recently) and gives Chelsea restos a run for their money. Can't wait till I am hungry again so I can go eat more!

Antojito's Cafe
489 Moody Street
Waltham, MA 02453

Please note the somewhat unusual hours:

Mon and Tues: 7am to 4pm
Wed-Sat 7am-7pm

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  1. sounds good!! Just curious, have you been to Mi Tierra, also on Moody St? Havent been in a long time but still crave it and always loved their fresh papusa, homemade cheese and sour cream, avocado and pickled red onion salad etc Curious if the two are right near each other...

    5 Replies
    1. re: chompie

      Is that place still there? I've never hit it myself.

      1. re: StriperGuy

        I see they're still on the net so I assume yes.. Curious to have you try it and compare.. Was your place casual or more upscale? Mi Tierra is very casual but its all homemade inc the sour cream

        1. re: chompie

          Gosh Antojito's is basically a lunch counter, couldn't be more casual. Is there anything particularly delicious at Mi Tierra? I think I remember eating at a Mi Tierra Columbian place in Allston...

            1. re: StriperGuy

              Mi Tierra in Waltham is Guatemalan / Salvadoran, I believe, and my five-years-old memories of it are very fond, especially of its fine pupusas. The only Colombian places I can recall in Allston are Camino Real and the bygone El Cafetal.


      2. I don't know, stripie. Ever since you raved Gustazo, i kinda don't go running. But your descriptions sound like some very good food so we'll likely go later today.

        p.s. mi tierra wasn't one of the spots you covered on your waltham crawl earlier this yr? must have been another Spanish name(maybe they each share a 't'.........hohoho)

        1 Reply
        1. re: opinionatedchef

          You gotta try Gustazo again, cause her food rocks.

        2. I've been staring at the place every time I head to La Chapincita for supplies, but it never seems to be a time when I'm ready for a snack. It's actually been around for quite a while. This is the only semi-recent post I could find:

          Thanks for the reminder, Striper.

          1. Oh yum, tamales... What sort of sauce? Green?

            1 Reply
            1. re: maillard

              A delicate, very savory, clearly simmered for a LONG time, red sauce.

            2. O.k. stripey. we just returned from Antojito's. The result is that when you finally get up to the pearly gates, someone is going to say to you," Oh, it's YOU. Well, we weren't going to let you in , but then she told us you were the Antojitos guy, so now you're on the O.K. list ."

              Wow. Would that every CH would drop what they're doing and beat feet to this Waltham spot, so that Order and Tranquility would be returned to the planet. Those Gorditas with pork and cheese are the best Latin entree I've had in Boston. (aside from La Verdad's pescado and carne asada tacos.) Antojitos calls the pork 'chicharones' but they bear no resemblance to the chewy bacon rindy fatty highly msg'd chicharones I've had at other Salvadorean spots here. A's chicharones are moist and meaty and mixed with a fantastic rich brown meaty sauce, stuffed into a split griddled gordita with melted cheese, lettuce and tomato. At $3.50, i feel confidant that these gorditas would win any "Under $5 Entree" contest you might ever find. We each had 2-3 but then again, we were hooongry.

              The pork and cheese pupusas were dynamite too, easily a 10 compared to Somerville Montechristo's 5 . Like you said,stripey, tender and full flavored.
              By the way, their accompaniment is the ubiquitous Salvadorean 'curtido'- a simply pickled mix of shredded cabbage, carrot, cauliflower, cilantro.)

              The carne asada taco was fine and the beef had a robust flavor of marinade, but it lacked the fire char that i so love on carne asada.

              The chicken tamale was beautiful. Turns out they are bought in from a local Guatemalan woman. She cooks a piece of bone-in chicken ( wing drummette or back)in the masa , with tomato and onion, and the resulting tamales come out both meaty, full flavored and also delightfully moist.

              We brought home a number of things and are just sooo psyched! Blue Ribbon to Stripey!! Th you and grins all 'round.

              9 Replies
              1. re: opinionatedchef

                wow, that's a lot of glowing from the OC! Just curious if you have been to Mi TIerra for comparisons sake...

                1. re: chompie

                  chompie, i needed to find this to spike mi memoria before i answered your question:

                  so it was Tara that Stripie reported on, and I followed his lead. Even though Mi Tierra DOES have a T, it's not the place i visited. Pupusas aside, do they have any noteworthy empanadas or gorditas? I really cannot imagine ANYone beating A's on their gorditas.

                  Wow, i must be blind or something. I now see that Mi Tierra is two whole blocks FURTHER up Moody from A's. I had no idea there WAS anything up there.I think it's the visual effect of that school across from A's, on the corner of High. It just looks like such a wasteland. (I have to say,i can't figure out why the City of Waltham can't really do some major improvements on Moody St. Waltham must have the largest tax income from all that commercial and industrial base......)

                  1. re: opinionatedchef

                    I haven't been in many years since moving from there. Looking at the pics for both places, it looks very similar in style. Antolijos looks like more emphasis on Mexican style and Mi Tierra looks more central American dinners besides the hand held stuff like papusas. Don't see gorditas on Mi Tierra menu.. Being a veggie, I have only tried their simple items, so cant tell you on the meat. What I had was cheese papusas, tostadas, refried beans-looks like the same very dark rich spreadable type with a sprinkle of homemade cheese that Antojitos pic shows, plantains, avocado salad with pickled red onions, plantains, homemade cheese(a rounded disk shape about the size of a slider), homemade sour cream, and everything is very simple and fresh and homemade. Sorry I cant tell you more...Both seem to have similar prices and both have heuvos rancheros

                2. re: opinionatedchef

                  So glad you approve. I might have to hit it again this weekend.

                  1. re: StriperGuy

                    I'd really like to know if their huevos rancheros come w/ a thick or thin sauce. Plse post if you see or order them!
                    (Chef Mark at Highland Kitchen does a stellar ranchero sauce (even better than East Cst Grill); chunky toma sauce w/ ancho chiles, oregano, cumin.

                    p.s. last yr you and other CHs went nuts for kesar mangoes etc in Waltham. Did you get them again this yr?June?

                    1. re: opinionatedchef

                      Hit it again last night and saw someone order the rancheros. Came with a thickish tomato sauce, piece of steak and fried plantain.

                      Oh and the rice and black refried beans were probably the best I've had in Boston.

                      Of the gorditas I would say the beef is the least flavorful. Chicken and pork are the way to go.

                      1. re: StriperGuy

                        thx so much, striper.(i gotta learn thick sauce and thin sauce in Spanish.)

                  2. re: opinionatedchef

                    OC - It's Salvadoran, not Salvadorean.

                    1. re: digga

                      i figured you must be right, digga, even though i feel like salvadorian has a better cadence. So i was reflecting about 'ecuadorian' vs 'ecuadoran' and i then hit the dictnry site and look what i found. maybe this is a recent expansion of the word (i have no idea).

                      Salva'doran — adj , — n
                      Salva'dorean — adj , — n
                      Salva'dorian — adj , — n

                      Related forms
                      Ec·ua·do·ran, Ec·ua·dor·e·an, Ec·ua·do·ri·an, adjective, noun

                      i was trying to come up w/ related examples.
                      how about
                      Dor and Dorian? (The devil made me do it)