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Chris Amirault

Best -- or even good -- Mexican in NE

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Subject says it all: what are some good Mexican restaurants in the Boston/Providence area? Surely there must be a few decent places in both towns. Not every place sucks as badly as Tortilla Flats in Providence, does it, or is so wildly overpriced as Don Tequila's in (yes, again) Providence, is it?

I mean, just because we live in New England doesn't mean we can't get a single decent Mexican meal, right? :blink:

(Forgive if this has been covered elsewhere; I did a big search and didn't find a comprehensive list.)


Chris Amirault

camirault@eGstaff.org

eG Ethics Signatory

Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

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Well, I haven't met too many Mexican restaurants that I haven't liked, so I'll mention some favorites in the general Boston area.

In Boston, Cottonwood Cafe. Probably my favorite. Their enchiladas are too die for as are the margaritas.

Ole, in Cambridge. Off a little side street, very memorable meal with great attention to detail. Plus, they make guacamole tableside, which is always a good sign.

Casa Romero, a few doors down from L'Espalier, in the Back Bay, just off Newbury street. Very romantic and well established mexican restaurant. A bit pricy, but very good. Had an amazing Shrimp in Cilantro sauce. Only thing I didn't love here were the margaritas, but I was definitely in the minority. Everyone else loved them. They are strong, and are just tequila triple sec and lime. No sour mix.

Those three are the higher end Mexican restaurants. I'm just as happy with the more casual places, like Fajitas N Ritas, on West Street. Graffiti on the walls, and not the least bit fancy. You even fill out your own order sheet, but the Nachos and Fajitas here are excellent and inexpensive.

Borders Cafe. One in Cambridge and on Rt. 1 in Saugus. They are a chain, but not bad in a pinch. Lots of seafood dishes, like crab enchiladas. Good margaritas and guacamole.

Zuma's at Fanueil Hall. Great nachos with beef here, and margaritas.

There's also a place in Harvard Square, with a yellow sign, and I cannot remember the name of it, but it was very good, with pitchers of margaritas and some unusual dishes, like baked cactus.

If you head down South in mass, toward the Cape. There's La Poloma in Quincy, that is excellent and inexpensive, with phenomenal salsa.

Then, in Plymouth, and also in Hyannis, is Sam Diego's, and they still have my favorite Nachos of all time. A big pan layered with beans, cheese, sauce, and plenty of chips, sour cream, and guac on the side.

Hope that helps.

:) Pam

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Well, as a Providence export, I would have to direct you to two places...One is Don Jose's on the Hill. I know your sitting there saying that the Hill is for Italians only, but au contrair (sp???), mon frair, This is good stuff. They aren't usually too busy, except for dsinner on Fri and Sat, so you should be able to walk right in, no prob. It is a bit pricey, but worth it if you ask me. Their Sangria is awesome. The other place is Tortilla Flats, up on Hope street. STAY AWAY!!!! Horrible American mexican food, way too expensive, not nice at all, unless you like that sort of college crowd, beer drinking, peanut shell throwing type place.


Tonyy13

Owner, Big Wheel Provisions

tony_adams@mac.com

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OK. I am going to print out Pam's post (thanks Pam!) and keep it with me.

I have found decent cheap Mexican food here in the form of Ana's Taqueria and El Pelon. Both are good for what they are...essentially taco/burrito joints. What I like about Ana's is the fact that their burritos are not stuffed as big as your head. The amount of tortilla (and theirs are decent) is more to my liking.


Stephen Bunge

St Paul, MN

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I csn't stay quiet, I do have o take exception to the Cottonwood Cafe rec....They are just awful; I can only hope Pam hasn't been there for awhile, so she's unaware of the demise....Sorry, but I have a few non-foodie friends who inist on going there, for birthdays and such, and it's really bad...Think uncooked flour tortillas, with Krab-with-a-K in melted Velveeta masquerading as seafood quesadillas...There's lots more awful stuff, but that says it all..The margaritas would HAVE to be good to dull one's senses....

For Mexican fonda cooking, hit Tu Y Yo outside of Davis Sq. in Somerville..

And yet, the fish burritoes at El Pelon make my heart sing... :wub::wub:


Edited by galleygirl (log)

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I csn't stay quiet, I do have o take exception to the Cottonwood Cafe rec....They are just awful; I can only hope Pam hasn't been there for awhile, so she's unaware of the demise....

Yikes, Galley Girl, did we go to the same restaurant? I was there for lunch just a few months ago and it was fabulous, had a huge gourmet salad with spiced grilled chicken, fresh avocado, goat cheese, and a great dressing.

Have been several times with friends, and we usually eat in the bar. Good margaritas, and I do always get the same thing, the chicken enchilada with a green sauce that is to die for.

Haven't tried the uncooked flour tortillas and cheez whiz tho

:smile:


Edited by pam claughton (log)

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Where is El Pelon?  Haven't been there yet.

It's on Peterborough Street near Fenway. Small seating area, we usually do cary out.


Stephen Bunge

St Paul, MN

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My vote is for Mi Ranchito in downtown Marlboro. Good, fresh home cooking. Not a fancy place, no liquor license. The homemade guacamole is really good. Also, Taqueria Mexicana in Waltham. Same kind of place, but much busier. Both places are very inexpensive. TM has a liquor license and outdoor seating in summer.

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I'll second the recommendation for Tu Y Yo.  Not typical Tex-Mex fare. 

Order anything with huitlacoche in it.  Delicious.

I have a friend who says you could put huitlacoche on a cigarette butt, and it would taste good..

Well, yeah.... :rolleyes:

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My vote is for Mi Ranchito in downtown Marlboro.  Good, fresh home cooking.  Not a fancy place, no liquor license.  The homemade guacamole is really good.  Also, Taqueria Mexicana in Waltham.  Same kind of place, but much busier.  Both places are very inexpensive.  TM has a liquor license and outdoor seating in summer.

Taquerio Mexicano has been a favorite of mine for what seems like a lifetime, but probably for only about 15 years. They started in a little hole in the wall place on, I think, Prospect Street, and then operated out of the kitchen of a biker bar on Waltham Street while their current place on Charles Street was being built out.

Except for printing their menu in English, they seem to make no compromises for New Englanders. Even the Pepsi and Coke is the Mexican version made with cane sugar. This is not a fancy food place, but if you are not turned off by Formica, it is a place for good Mexican soul food.

Jim

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I've been going to Chilango's lately (Manton Ave at the base of Atwells Ave), which proudly claims to make Mexican street food, and I'm hooked. They have great skirt steak, chorizo, and pork, which you can get on tostadas, in soft tacos and burritos, etc. They also have a huge tequila selection (import their own stuff, apparently) and are incredibly cheap.


Chris Amirault

camirault@eGstaff.org

eG Ethics Signatory

Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

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There are 2 places we get mexican from - both are low key places, not fancy at all, with relatively low prices.

The first is called Yucatan Tacos in Roslindale, on Centre St close to the West Roxbury and JP border. Their catch phrase is "Mexican food made by Mexicans".

I really enjoy the food from there - their refrieds are pretty damn good.

I also enjoy the chili rellenos - great eggy batter with oozing cheese - what could be better??

The second place is in JP, also on Centre St and it is called Tacos el Charro. The food there is pretty good, and the portions are big.

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Tacqueria Cancun in East Boston is good. There are quite a few places in E Boston... Columbian, Salvadorean, Mexican and Peruvian. E Boston is a real treasure chest of Latino cuisines.

In downtown Boston, I really like Burrito Express..It was owned by Tacqueria Cancun but is now independent. I had a chorizo and pork taco the other day. Both were superb. It's mostly takeout..few tables..on a side street between Macy's and Chinatown..86 Bedford St..breakfast/lunch only


Edited by 9lives (log)

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I hear there are some good places in Central Falls, RI and North Attleboro, MA, but I haven't been to any of them.

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I really like Tacos Lupita alot although it is considered El Salvadorean (sp?) food. They have the best steak/chicken tortas there. Its located in Somerville, close to the cambridge border


BEARS, BEETS, BATTLESTAR GALACTICA

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I csn't stay quiet, I do have o take exception to the Cottonwood Cafe rec....They are just awful; I can only hope Pam hasn't been there for awhile, so she's unaware of the demise....Sorry, but I have a few non-foodie friends who inist on going there, for birthdays and such, and it's really bad...Think uncooked flour tortillas, with Krab-with-a-K in melted Velveeta masquerading as seafood quesadillas...There's lots more awful stuff, but that says it all..The margaritas would HAVE to be good to dull one's senses....

For Mexican fonda cooking, hit Tu Y Yo outside of Davis Sq. in Somerville..

And yet, the fish burritoes at El Pelon make my heart sing... :wub:  :wub:

I'm with galleygirl. I get stuck eating at Cottonwood from time to time and I've never had anything I'd recommend. A couple of times at lunch I've ordered the same salad that Pam mentions. perfectly acceptable but hardy mexican. The so-called Mexican food is really bad.

Tu Y Yo is yummy. I've never tried El Pelon but think I must.

Others above have mentioned JP. I'm a fan of La Pupusa Guanaca, which is in the Hyde Square area of JP, as is Tacos el Charro. the pupusa is a Salvadorian snack food, essentially a flat, filled, fried tortilla (of sorts) that you top with cabbage slaw and hot sauce. Not healthy but SO good. Also in the neighborhood is Oriental de Cuba (which should be reopening soon after a fire). Excellent Cuban sandwiches, fried plantains, beans and rice.

My real addiction is to the tortilla verde soup at Picante's in Central Square in Cambridge (their Boston outpost closed, alas). Their standards are all reliably good if not original, but the tortilla verde soup you will dream about on cold days. Rich broth, the tang of tomatillos and heat from green chilis, big hunks of dark meat chicken, ribbons of tortilla...by default it comes with a spoonful of sour cream stirred in, making it almost-over-the-top rich in a good way. I usually ask them to hold the sour cream or to put it on the side. Either way, fabulous.



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