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Entries in Mexican (45)

Sunday
Aug032014

Taqueria Las Salsa Truck: Simple Tacos in Norwalk

What’s that brightly colored truck parked at the Auto-Zone in Norwalk serving?

As you drive west/south on Route 1 in Norwalk and approach the Avalon apartments on the corner of Belden Ave, take a look to the right into the parking lot of the Auto-Zone. Several days a week, the site will include a colorfully decorated food truck with “Taqueria” emblazoned over the front windshield and a collage of articles, food photos and menus…all to tempt hungry customers into ordering one of numerous tacos, burritos and plates of Mexican inspired cuisine. That truck is Taqueria Las Salsa.

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Sunday
Jul202014

Chef Aarón Sánchez Gives CTbites Preview of Paloma Restaurant, Opening in Stamford July 21

I never thought “gourmet” and “Mexican” belonged in the same sentence. Until I had dinner at Zarela's, a Mexican restaurant which had just opened on Second Ave. back in 1987.  A revelation!  Zarela Martinez orchestrated textures and flavors just as artfully and lovingly as the new chefs who were redefining Manhattan’s food scene.  Zarela’s fast became the Nobu of Mexican food, one of the hottest spots in town. There,  I learned the magic of mole and the enchantment that truffles could lend to an enchilada.  

A generation later, Aarón Sánchez, the Food Channel’s charismatic Mexican rock star chef, hopes that his new Stamford restaurant Paloma (opening Monday, July 21st, in Harbor Point) will similarly introduce Connecticut to the fire and the finesse of fine Mexican and Latin American cuisines.  Revelations run in the family --  Aarón  (pronounced "AH-rone") is Zarela's son.

For all his celebrity, Sánchez feels he remains not only in his mother's debt, but also her shadow.

"I honor her because she did it first," he told us when we chatted last week, a comfortable conversation marked by his humility and respect.

"I believe family is at the center of the Mexican experience."

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Sunday
Jul062014

TIERRA Opens in Westport: Locally Sourced, Latin-American Gem

Desperately seeking authentic Latin inspired cuisine with a strong Mexican flair and some cocktails that can render you “muy feliz?”  TIERRA could be the place for you. Deep, down (way down, under SPRUCE on the Post Road) in the heart of Westport is the new TIERRA, love child of married chefs Sue Torres and Darren Carbone. Torres - previously chef in such notable jaunts as La Grenouille, The 21 Club and former owner of Suenos in lower Manhattan  -and hubby Carbone (Rosa Mexicano and Alma De Cuba in PA) have created a cozy and inviting restaurant that has Westport diners in a chile infused tizzy. Complete with outside seating for 30 (perhaps not the greatest view but who cares, it’s summer!) and indoor seating for at least 45 - including a beautiful private dining room for 16 or so, TIERRA lures you in and treats you right.

Chef Carbone is always on duty and on our first visit, showed us around his well appointed kitchen and dining room. The cast iron, homemade tortilla press - a rarity - is in plain view and sous chef Mario was busy breaking down lobster and fresh Bronzini for the evening’s freshest picks. 

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Sunday
Jun152014

The Best Tacos in Connecticut: Ultimate Guide 

There is truly a Mexican restaurant for everyone. There are the quiet ones that scream “authentic! authentic! authentic!” and then there are the more modern ones with the guac that is “hand-slapped” or “slapped to order.” Excuse me? Was it naww-ghty? Mex goes 50 Shades, I see. And if the recent lime shortage (I can’t think of lime-hijackings without giggling, sorry) has you in a tizzy and wondering just how the heck you and your margaritas are going to make it through the summer, just head to these places. Let them figure out the limes, you can figure out how many drinks and how much lime-infused guacamole to have.

Here's our list of the 16 Best Taco Restaurants & Trucks in Connecticut. Feel free to add your favorites to the list below. 

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Monday
May192014

Green Grunion Food Truck: San Diego-style Burritos in Danbury

The Green Grunion food truck is the brainchild of Paul Mannion, a Bethel native whose three year foray in San Diego served as inspiration for Danbury's San Diego-style burrito business on wheels. A restaurant industry veteran (you may remember his friendly face from behind the bar at Bethel’s La Zingara), Paul launched the business nearly a year ago in Danbury inspired by the burritos he came to know and love during his time in San Diego.

I finally tracked down the Green Grunion after many positive reader recommendations, and a fuzzy memory of Paul telling me his grandiose plans from behind the Zingara bar last year. But first, a quick burrito primer for the uninitiated East Coast-dwellers (read: you, me, and everyone we know, Connecticut).

Look up burrito in the dictionary and you'll likely conjure an image of the tightly-packed Mission style behemoths found in San Francisco's Mission District and interpreted loosely at a Chipotle near you.

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Friday
Mar072014

Friday Froth: Viva La Michelada

Call it a "bloody beer," and I will have you flensed. An associate from Oklahoma calls them that, and his entire recipe consists of V8 and Gas Station Lite, like some sort of godless swine. I call it a michelada when I drink them, and you should, too. This sounds prescriptive, and it's intended to, because it's best to be forewarned and forearmed when we encounter a new specie. 

I have long been a fan of the bloody mary - in fact, I credit her with saving my life many a time during the Great Patriotic Keg Wars of my early 20s, but 30 was stealing up on me like Trotsky's assassin before I was swept up in the red coup of the michelada, and I've been a member of the party ever since, comrade.

Mistakes were made along the way, of course. 'This is a recovery drink,' I remember thinking. 'A sort of tremens-drip for the drinking class. It stands to reason that the more vitamins, minerals and other assorted Earth-stuffs, the better, yes? V8 is packed with many of the vegetables I hate, ergo it's bound to be good for me/this drink.' Ice, hot sauce, salt, pepper and beer went into the glass with the red fluid from the colorful bottle, and the results more successful than The Great Leap Forward only in that no one actually died. It was like drinking carrot juice from a storm drain. 

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Wednesday
Mar052014

Bodega Hits The Road w/ The Bodega Food Truck Catering

Bodega Taco Bar continues to make its mark on Fairfield County with the addition of the Bodega Food Truck hittin’ the road this month. The rolling vibrant green mobile might as well be named the party bus as it already being booked for private parties, school functions and outdoor events – and the paint’s not even dry yet! Fans of Bodega’s innovative and edgy, while authentic and fresh cuisine, will now have the opportunity to follow their favorite cuisine to a street corner near them or grab a taco while partaking in a local event. This taqueria on wheels will also be the centerpiece of Bodega’s thriving catering business.

The team has created a catering menu that straddles the line between “fine” and “fiery” with ease. From a Burrito Bar and Taco Party, to passed hors d’oeuvres of Tuna Tataki and Smoked Chicken Albondigas,  party goers are assured to have a unique experience.  Bowls of hand slapped guacamole, pico de gallo, and cucumber mango salsa with fresh corn tortilla chips are a true crowd pleaser, as are roasted veggies with poblano agave yogurt dip and ceviche bowls with vibrant citrus shrimp and scallops. That deli sandwich platter at the office lunch meeting is transformed with hearty “tortas” such as; Argentinian grilled hangar steak with chipotle aioli, greens and queso fresco; Grilled Chicken with black beans, goat cheese and pickled onions; Grilled Portabella with truffle red pepper aioli and crispy kale; and the Baja Fish Wrap with mango cucumber salsa.

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Thursday
Feb202014

Rincon Taqueria in Norwalk- A Hidden Gem in Plain Sight 

Rincon Taqueria is the epitome of a hidden gem.

The exterior is fairly non-descript and the interior is one large, open space, but the food is delicious. As you enter there are tables for twenty patrons to the left and behind these tables is a long glass deli case containing large baskets and bowls filled with several varieties of chili peppers. Along the right wall are three six-foot tall refrigerators with bottles of soda, home-canned items and take-away containers, including homemade apple sauce, beef and vegetable soup, cassoulet with duck and pork, duck confit. Taqueria?

The young lady behind the counter asked if I needed assistance. I looked at the wall behind her and saw two large hand-written chalkboard menus with more traditional taqueria fare…Huevas Rancheros, Burritos, Chilaquiles, Tacos, Empanadas, Tamales and a Chicken Quesadilla. I ordered a trio of tacos…a fried fish, a beef and a pork. As it turns out the young lady is one of the owners, Maria Munoz Del Castillo.

As I waited, Maria brought a plate of Frijoles con Arroz. In addition to the slightly spicey rice and black beans, the dish contained a few green beans, corn, scallions, diced red onions and cilantro. It was a very pleasant way to wait for my meal.

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Friday
Nov292013

Marcia’s Killer Ole Turkey Burrito Recipe

Thanksgiving is so…yesterday…   It’s Black Friday…time to shop till you drop!  Start your mad dash through those crowded aisles with Marcia Selden’s Killer breakfast burrito so you can load up your shopping cart with big screen tv’s, fluffy $1 scarves, and an array of other necessary items (note the hint of sarcasm). 

While you would never think of running a marathon fueled on Dorito’s and Coke, Black Friday is, to many, a distance race, filled with surprise obstacles around every corner.  Fuel your body with a high protein meal that will help you go the distance, and out run your fellow shoppers.

If the thought of eating a leftover Tom Turkey Sandwich doesn’t float your boat, consider a spicy egg and turkey burrito, which can be eaten with one hand as you careen your cart down the aisles looking to score that awesome deal.  Here’s our recipe for a delicious (and healthy) Ole Turkey Burrito with a spicy kick.  Heck, pack 2, betcha have enough turkey for it!

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Saturday
Aug242013

Baro New World Cantina: Latin American Tapas in Fairfield

Craving some Latin American delicacies? Head over to 1229 Post Road in Fairfield and check out the brand-spankin'-new BARO' New WORLD CANTINA, the latest labor of love brought to you by the Reyes family (also owners of MEZON and 2 other restaurants in Danbury.) The wine list is mostly Spanish but the food selection - served mostly "tapas" style - comes from Brazil, Uraguay, Argentina, Mexico and the Dominican Republic where Juan and Richard Reyes and family were born. The decor is welcoming and stylish, complete with a glass-faced ceviche bar which looks onto the bustling and aroma filled kitchen. Dark wood tables and benches, some high tops and a large bar as well as birch branch wall decorations are inviting. But the food's the thing. We'll be back for a more intensive review but here are our first impressions:

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