Restaurants & Bars 10

El Sarape, Hartford: little bit of Mexican Heaven in CT

Scargod | May 25, 200804:35 PM

I had to start a new topic for this and not have it buried at the end of an old thread.
I was in heaven this afternoon. I had tacos pastor and tacos lingua with freshly made tortillas and a creamy lime dressing.
Oh, yea... we were at El Sarape in Hartford. Now, this isn't the greatest neighborhood, but it isn't scary. They take credit cards and it is a regular restaurant with seating fo about 40-45 people. Its got all the cute, colorful, cheezy Mexican advertising/decoration stuff hanging around. Really cool! This is a place with no pretentions or interest in catering to gringos. I've been in a few places where you had trouble finding an employee who could speak english. No problem here, though. The drink specials and other homemade signage is in Spanish. The formal menu is in both Spanish and English or at least they explain what it is in English. But enough of that! On to the glorius food....
We had Negra Modelos. They have a good selection of beers. Where we had a problem was we asked for rioja-red wine-and he said he didn't have any. We did find a table ad for wines later. Perhaps they were just out.
We had fresh guacomole which was superior. I believe good guacomole is easy to do (and not a real test of culinary skills) and they passed with flying colors. I ordered a lingua and barbacoa taco. The filling was contained in a double wrap of succulent, tender, fresh tortillas. The meats were juicy and tender. These were just like I remembered them at a Dallas taqueria where the majority of customers were Mexican.
I ordered chile rellenos, but either he forgot or they were out. I didn't get them. So had chicken enchiladas poblano. They were outstandign and the rice and beans were very good. Beans were soupy with some texture and seasoned nicely, but not strongly flavored in any direction. Rice was not overcooked and did not have visible tomato, carrots or peas included. Truthfully, I could not have eaten the chile relleno.
We ordered two churros and they were made fresh while we waited. All throughthe meal, servicew was prompt and food came out in a normal amount of time for being freshly prepared.
We arrived at 1:30PM and there were not many customers. There was a lone gringo, finishing up. By the time we were about finished the place started to fill; all hispanic.
Folks, this is the real deal as I know it. Lots of authentic dishes on the menu.
Don't walk, but run to this place and get your fill!
Our bill came to $38.
931 Broad St., Hartford, CT 06106, (860) 547-1884

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