Good Mexican food on the East Coast

mhendo tried to hijack this thread with a hijack about good Mexican food, which I, for one, have found in sadly short supply east of the Pecos. (Note: I lived in Southern California for many years, so I know what the good stuff tastes like.)

I can recommend Senora’s, in West Chester, Pennsylvania. It is, however, the only place around the Philly area that I consider a reliable source of The Good Stuff. The Adobe Cafe in Roxborough was pretty good, but I’ve only eaten there once. Johnny Manana’s in East Falls (which is a five-minute walk from my house) is barely adequate. It is, however, a five-minute walk from my house.

Any other East Coast Mexican food buffs out there? Any recommendations?

There are plenty of good Mexican restaurants in Veracruz, Tampico, and Campeche. East coast cities all.

Oh, you mean the east coast of the U.S.! :wink:

There is a restaurant on the East side of the Manhattan, near the U.N., which serves great high-class seafood, Mexican style. It’s called Pompano.

La Sirenita in Hyattsville, Maryland.

El Tapatio in Bladensburg, Maryland.

Rosa Mexicano in Washington, DC. The website is here, but be warned that there may be sound.

I lived in San Diego for 3+ years, so I think I have a clue at least.

Casa Comida in Long Branch, NJ was as good as any place I found in San Diego.
I have not been there in 10 years, so I would have to ask around if they are still any good.

Best I can do, I am not really a big fan of Mexican food and it does not like me.


You can get it. I just can’t point you towards any websites.

The places I’ve been that are really out there and authentic are holes in the wall where they don’t speak english, and serve “suckling pig”, and have crazy soap operas playing, and might not have ever heard of a “fajita” but sure as hell know what a tamale is.

Usually at these places, I’ll just get a pork chop or something, and they do it in their own unique style.

If you’re ever in Fells Point in Baltimore, walk north until it seems like you’re in a different country, and then walk into the first restaurant you see. There’s also a “taco truck” down there that serves pretty awesome tacos.

Many small cities in the Northeast have large Mexican populations now. Middletown, New York, for example, has several very good Mexican places – they’re cheap holes in the wall, they serve nothing very fancy, but they’re all way above the Taco Bells and enchiladas-with-marinara places that have been ill serving the Northeast for years. Friens from Austin gave a thumbs-up to a place called El Tapatío.

I haven’t been there in a while, but I’d highly recommend Oaxaqueña in New Brunswick, NJ. It’s on Joyce Kilmer Avenue and (I think) Handy Street. (Friends used to live at 69 Handy, there’s an address for you.)

El Salto in the North Plaza Shopping Center (in Parkville, off the Perring Parkway Beltway exit) is very good, although I’m certainly no judge, since I’ve never had the authentic stuff.
I pointed a transplanted Texas coworker there, and she said it was very good also.

Thanks for starting this thread, twickster. I probably should have done it myself ages ago.

I’ll be checking out some of the suggestions at the next opportunity.

Anywhere in the Washington, DC area? I’m a transplanted Texan and can’t find good Mexican food anywhere.

(Or good barbecue, for that matter.)

aclubs writes:

> Anywhere in the Washington, DC area? I’m a transplanted Texan and can’t find
> good Mexican food anywhere.

Did you read the posts above? All of the following are in the D.C. area:

> Rosa Mexicano in Washington, DC.

> La Sirenita in Hyattsville, Maryland.

> El Tapatio in Bladensburg, Maryland.

Rosa Mexicano is a place that’s geared mostly to well-off non-Hispanic types. La Sirenita and El Tapatio’s customers are nearly all Hispanic (and probably fairly recent immigrants). The area around Riverdale, Maryland has lots of good Mexican places, including a number of taco trucks, and their customers again tend to be largely recent Mexican immigrants.

The local Mexican restaurants may not be up to the standard you’re used to in Texas, but we have more really good Peruvian chicken places than any other American metro area I know of. My favorite is Pollo Rico, 932 N Kenmore St Arlington, VA.

If we’re going to go for all types of Hispanic restaurants, the intersection of Route 1 and University Boulevard/Greenbelt Road (in College Park, Maryland) seems to be a nexus. Going west on University Boulevard to Wheaton and then north on Georgia Avenue, you encounter mostly Salvadoran places, but there are other Hispanic restaurants there too. Going east on Greenbelt Road (which is the same road as University Boulevard, since it changes name there) and then south on Kenilworth Avenue, you encounter mostly Mexican places, but there are other Hispanic restaurants there too.

If you’re in North Fells, look for a place called “San Luis”. It’s on the Broadway, on the west side of the street.

On one of the streets heading east from Broadway, there’s a weird place that heads back off the street. You look into a courtyard. I haven’t tried it yet, but it looks cool.

I think that a lot of these places are El Salvadoran, and maybe even Guatemalan.

I have to admit, though, sometimes I feel slightly intimidated in these places. Well, not necessarily intimidated. . .but definitely out of my element.

If you’re less adventurous, there’s always Nacho Mama’s, Holy Frijoles, La Hacienda (on Bel Air road), but you’ve probably heard of them.

Cool, thanks.

I’ve been to Holy Frijoles, but it’s “Mexican,” not Mexican. :slight_smile:

There’s also Loco Hombre on Cold Spring Lane which is near you.

Both Loco Hombre and Nacho Mamas are like “neuvo latino” or whatever. . .e.g. encrusted salmon with banana salsa, or crab quesadillas. They’re good, but definitely more “southwest” or “tex mex” than really authentic.

Yeah, i’ve tried both those places. There’s nothing wrong with the food at either of them—in fact, it’s actually pretty good—but they’re not really what i’m looking for when i want Mexican. I think of Loco Hombre as a cafe that happens to have some Mexican-inspired stuff on the menu.

My wife is from San Francisco, and i have friends in Austin. My idea of Mexican food comes from my favorite places California and Texas—places with no frills, where you can get a (usually fresh-made) soft corn tortilla taco jammed full of beans and rice and other fillings for about 2 bucks.

There’s a place in Austin, Las Manitas, where you have to walk through the kitchen to get to the bathroom and to the back dining area. It’s great to walk through there and see someone actually pulling fresh corn tortillas off the hot stone. And in San Francisco, the Mission district has dozens of similarly great taquerias, like Pancho Villa at Mission and 16th.

The thing with places like this, i guess, is that they are very cheap and probably need high volume and high turnover to make a profit. They might not be able to sustain that sort of volume in East Coast cities, and especially not in Baltimore. Hence the more upmarket, expensive, “fusion” type of Mexican we get here.

mhendo, try the place I mentioned, El Salto. It’s just outside the city, in Parkville, just off Perring Parkway.
Very good food, and very reasonable prices. Cheap, even.

Geez, with all the latino immigrants we have here, you’d think some of them would chuck their dead-end jobs in day labor and housecleaning and open a restaurant or two. What’s up with that?

I keed, I keed!

My wife grew up in San Diego and in 17 years here we’ve not found anyplace that passes her muster.

Don’t want to go to BF, Maryland, either. Anybody heard of anything in VA?
Semi-related anecdote: We went to a kind of meh place in Arlington called the El Paso Cafe…we sat near non other than Heckuvajob Brownie, who was tossing back a marguerita or two…can’t say as I blame him.