Located in the heart of historic South Norwalk, Zapata Mexican Restaurant crafts authentic Mexican cuisine in an area rich in history and vibrant in color, Zapata Mexican Restaurant proudly contributes to this energetic environment. This is our second location, the original is located in Palisades, NY where our family-owned and operated restaurant has thrived for over 20 years. Many of our customers come in and ask why SONO? The answer is simple, SONO lacked an authentic Mexican restaurant with fresh ingredients, amazing margaritas, and smiling faces. Freshness is what we believe in and what we thrive on. We personally choose all our produce, and all of our ingredients. We are in a society where fresh and healthy is key! To ensure the highest quality, we also cook all of our products with olive oil to keep it healthy and always tasting delicious.
Entries in Mexican (53)
Recently the CTbites team previewed the menu at El Segundo in South Norwalk, the newest restaurant from the talented partners who created The Spread just up the block. The concept: Eat the Street. Intersect some of the world’s tastiest street food at the corner of Washington and North Water in SONO.
What began as a tasting quickly turned into a party ... a coming out party for Carlos Baez, Executive Chef of The Spread, one of the region’s most versatile, yet unheralded, chefs.
The menu flaunts Baez’ extraordinary range -- a gastronomic tour de force featuring over 3 dozen dishes curated from the boulevards and back allies of 27 countries on all seven continents, including barren Antarctica. (More about that selection later)
It’s time for a bit of trivia! What was Bridgeport’s first Mexican restaurant? What was the first Mexican food truck in the state?
The answer to both questions is the same and it might surprise you: Taco Loco! The restaurant, which now lies on Fairfield Avenue in Black Rock, opened its doors in 1982 by bothers Miguel and Louis Tomasio. Originally, Taco Loco functioned as a small taco shop located on Main Street. It served inexpensive Mexican Food late into the night. As demand grew, the business transformed from counter service to a full scale restaurant. In 1985 Miguel added a food truck and they moved to their present-day location in 1989. Taco Loco currently seats 100 guests, has a four season patio, and a coveted food truck.
Now, in 2016, Taco Loco is about to undergo another evolution! Miguel, along with his son Zachary Tomasio, are releasing a brand new menu aimed at “authenticity and quality.” With a background in marketing and a fresh perspective, Zachary is ready to explore the latest trends and additional avenues of business.
Step through the door at Sayulita in South Glastonbury, and, right away, you’ll see: this is no ordinary Mexican restaurant. Clean and simple, with lots of wood and natural light, Sayulita features what’s fresh and local from the farms of South Glastonbury to the shores of Stonington. A poster of a surfing contest with a sugar skull, a thick turquoise glass bottle for the water that’s brought to your table. On my last visit, ’50s music played in the background. It’s casual. It’s comfortable. It’s a departure from most Mexican you’ve ever had before. Named after the seaside surfing town north of Puerto Vallarta, Sayulita is the most recent restaurant endeavor of Adam and Bill Driggs, owners of 2Hopewell and Birch Hill Tavern. With Chef Van Hurd, of Hell’s Kitchen fame, at the helm, you’re in for a uniquely tasty adventure here.
Sometimes the most excellent feasts can be found at the beginning and end of the menu—appetizers and desserts. Add quality cocktails and out-of-the-ordinary tacos to round it out and what you’ve got is my favorite way to enjoy a meal at Sayulita.
After 3 successful years in South Norwalk, the team from The Spread has just announced that they have signed a lease in the SoNo Ironworks complex. In early 2016 an exciting new restaurant concept will be coming to CT diners. The name is El Segundo and the idea is simple. Spread owners Christpher Hickey, Christopher Rasile, Andrey Cortes, and Shawn Longyear alongside Chef Carlos Baez have created a menu that features street food from around the globe that everyone loves to eat: tacos, arepas, ceviche, Asian bao, light salads and a little comfort food thrown in for good measure. The setting is casual and fun, with a price point that will make diners in South Norwalk smile. And the bar? Let’s just say these guys know a thing or two about bartending.
Directly across from Harlan Publick, El Segundo is poised to deliver a uniquely fun dining experience to Fairfield County. The restaurant features an open kitchen with bar seating, allowing diners to watch Chef Carlos as he re-creates dishes from his childhood, including his father’s recipe for Tacos Al Pastor. Large windows make this space light and airy and garage doors will open up to the Ironworks courtyard in the warmer months.
The food truck craze continues and I visited Crazy Taco-Mex. The simply decorated truck includes a Sombrero with the rim in the shape of a handlebar moustache. The menu includes Tacos ($3.50) Quesadillas ($6), and Burritos ($7). I was interested in Tacos and ordered three, a steak, a carnitas and a chicken. The menu states that each is topped with onions, cilantro and salsa verde.
Mexicali Rose is the type of small town dive you might take for granted if you grew up with it in your backyard (like I did), or you selfishly want to keep it to yourself (like I do). As a kid growing up in Newtown, I knew it was preferable to its Subway strip mall neighbor, but it wasn’t until I logged many thousands of miles of travel and dozens (hundreds?) of taco joints, that I truly saw this place. Homemade tortilla chips, walls covered in a clutter of Mexican folkloric kitsch, a handful of enamel top tables, and one very kind family that owns and runs the restaurant make Mexicali Rose one of my favorite hidden northern Fairfield County gems.
Qdoba Mexican Grill is now OPEN in Westport in Playhouse Square. Qdoba is a fast-casual Mexican restaurant, serving up the kind of quick meal you can feel good about eating...or feeding your kids. Qdoba serves burritos made in the San Francisco burrito style, tacos, quesadillas, taco salads, 3-Cheese Queso, Queso Diablo, tortilla soup, Mexican gumbo, and darn good fresh guacamole. Sure, there is some more authentic Mexican food to be had in Fairfield County, but in the "fast food" category, Qdoba is right up there.
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.
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."