I read about La Bamba , the Mexican Restaurant behind a Latin American Grocery store in Sparkhill on this board, and wanted to try it. I had no idea where Sparkhill was (and I've lived in Rockland County virtually all of my life!) When I looked up the directions and reaalized that my Northvale, NJ office is only minutes away, I went there at lunchtime today.
Sparkhill looked like a "ghost town", in that so many stores were empty! And the center of town is relatively small and quiet. I found the grocery store La Bamba, and from the outside you'd never know that there was a restaurant on the back of the store. I parked at the park across the street which was convenient.
My impression: Don't go here if you like atmosphere. Go for the food. The store was tiny and crowded with all kinds of Latin delicacies, many of which I've never seen, such as toasted slices of bread individually wrapped in plastic, or canned milk made out of all kinds of ingredients including corn. Unusual items to me, but I did note that some ingredients that I've seen listed in recipes, such as certain varieties of dried chiles were hanging in this store. The crowded store was "dingy" and I noticed ants in the front of the store, back aisle.
I walked through swinging half doors and found the restaurant. There are 6 tables for a maximum of 24 people. I looked at the menu, and it was extremely reasonably priced. They had soft flour tacos with traditional filings such as Lengua (tongue) or carne asada (beef) and I want to say these were about $1.50 each. But I decided on a combination plate #3 to go. This was a beef Flauta, a burrito (I asked for bean because beef is standard), and a cheese Enchilada. This came with homemade refried beans which were wonderful, and yellow rice, also good. A tiny dollup of guacamole, which I didn't think tasted that good anyway. Mine is better. Not enough cilantro or onions or citrus? And when I got back to the office, I was surprised that there were no tortilla chips. For $6.50. I would've thought that they'd include a handful of chips but they didn't. Oh, I did ask for some hot sauce on the side, and this was very spicy and good.
I would go again to try those soft tacos. But again, it's definitely not fancy, so don't expect strolling mariachi players or lots of painted murals. Just good homemade style Mexican food.
Now, has anyone been next door to Woody's? Or, how about Relish, which is diagonally across the park from where I parked my car? Such a ghost town has 3 restaurants in such close proximity? I'd like to try Woody's if it's recommended.
La Bamba Grocery
627 Main St, Sparkill, NY