New Rochelle, Westchester’s hot spot for Mexican chow, is loaded with rotisserie pork right now. “There seems to be a local mini-trend for tacos al pastor–I’m seeing the notices everywhere,” observes JSexton, whose favorite is the tender, peppery, brightly flavored version at Little Mexican Cafe. adamclyde loves its slight char, robust but not overpowering spicing, and touch of sweetness from the pineapple that crowns the rotating tower of meat.
But there’s lots more than al pastor at Little Mexican. Anything from the wood grill is a good bet–chorizo, carne asada, and cecina (dried salted beef) come out nice and smoky. Guacamole, mashed to order, is perfect. Their mole is deep and soulful–and not on the menu, but those in the know enjoy it with chicken or enchiladas. They’re on the top of their game right now; check ‘em out.
Around the corner at Taqueria El Chino Estilo Quitupan, look for above-average al pastor and standout carnitas, moist, rich, and flavorful. Pastelandya, a tiny tortilleria, draws crowds of locals for its al pastor tacos, which it bills as a specialty.
Some other Mexican notes from New Rochelle:
– At El Michoacano, don’t miss the carnitas. It’s a Michoacan specialty that you’d expect this past hound favorite to do at least competently, but adamclyde says their version absolutely kills–deep, moist, decadently rich, with unexpected sweetness from sauteed, almost caramelized onions and peppers.
– Mexican Corner Kitchen makes terrific chicken enchiladas with mole, generously sauced and stuffed with moist shredded chicken, reports cant talk…eating. Rice is better than average, cooked in chicken stock and sprinkled with cilantro. House-made horchata (made on premises) is worth a special trip. Carnitas and al pastor tacos are quite good but not great, says adamclyde. Past reports from this neighborly, diner-like joint praise pozole, tamales, and sopes.
– El Trigal bakes a lovely tres leches cake and corn muffins. Watch for the “Pan Caliente” sign that lights up when fresh stuff comes out of the oven.
– La Herradura: Mexican yeast bread pizzas are “strange but kinda good,” says JSexton. Also recommended: aguas frescas (including great horchata) and batidos (shakes). Other offerings are hit-or-miss.
Little Mexican Cafe [Westchester County]
581 Main St., near Centre Ave., New Rochelle, NY
Taqueria El Chino Estilo Quitupan [Westchester County]
72 Centre Ave., between Main St. and Westchester Pl., New Rochelle, NY
Pastelandya [Westchester County]
220 Union Ave., between 2nd and 3rd Sts., New Rochelle, NY
El Michoacano [Westchester County]
485 Main St., between Lawton St. and North Ave., New Rochelle, NY
Mexican Corner Kitchen [Westchester County]
497 Main St., at Lawton, New Rochelle, NY
El Trigal Mexican Bakery [Westchester County]
216 Union Ave., near 2nd St., New Rochelle, NY
La Herradura Mexican Restaurant [Westchester County]
563 Main St., between Centre Ave. and Division St., New Rochelle, NY