Hi all, I'm a new poster here, but have been reading for a long time. Just thought I'd share some eateries I've enjoyed.
I grew up in San Diego, land of drive through burrito stands where the faster and fresher the food the better, and having moved to southcoastal MA 7 years ago have spent many free days looking for the great fresh Mexican fast-food of my childhood. I was surprised at how difficult it was to find any without going the 50 minutes into Boston, and what I found usually entailed a sit-down dining experience or still didn't quite satisfy. But after some local excursions I was surprised to find two delicious places in one town.
On a trip to the National Historic Park district of New Bedford, MA I found a wonderful hip, new place run by a few young guys who spent a lot of time in CA, No Problemo. Their fare is cheap (one beef taco is $2.50), fresh (lots of veggies), and very tasty. It's savory fare that doesn't offend. Their meat is grilled usually right as you order and is marinated perfectly. Beans are well flavored and not a bit bland but neither are they overpowering. Their beef tacos (only soft are served) are my favorite, with perfectly complementary flavors and just the right size. If you're brave you'll try the "Diablo Burrito", which is loaded with jalapenos and hot sauce and is almost bigger than you may be able to handle and for only $5. The place also has a great ambiance and they work fast to accomodate the local UMass fine art students who populate the place, you'll be in and out in about 7 minutes. It recently expanded from a walk-in only to a small seating area, the staff are cheerful fellows and it reminds you of a place on the beach, peppered with local band stickers, gig flyers and art gallery adervtisements, with surfers and skateboarders coming in for some fast, fresh food. These guys excel at getting the best products, keeping it simple, and whipping up something addictively tasty and affordable with a smile and a wink.
On another recent drive I happened on the newly opened Fresh Tortillas about a two miles away from No Problemo and later read an article about it in a local newspaper. This place has locations in New York City and its owner Nelson Lo wanted to expand to the Boston area. Mr. Lo is from China, but had an uncle who learned to cook in Mexico and shared the knowledge to his nephew. The place is not as hip as No Problemo, but has a far more extensive menu for those who like options, although I go for what is tried and true, fajitas, burritos, and tacos. The food is even better and more authentic than its slick neighbor and causes one to dream about it. The tortillas are made "fresca" on site, and are reason enough to go, I could eat a dozen straight. Everything here is fresh, no-nonsense, with intense traditional flavors. The frijoles refritos (refried beans) are good enough to eat by themselves, guacamole like homemade, and fantastic salsa which proves the perfect companion to the rest of the food, and, like the rest of the food, abandons stereotype to return home to its roots and revel in the flavors offered there. With large portions, efficient service, and extremely cheap prices (a fajita serving is only $1.89) this place is the real deal.
Here are the addresses of the restaurants:
No Problemo - Purchase & William Sts. New Bedford, MA 02740 - (508)984-1081
Fresh Tortillas - 1541 Purchase St. New Bedford, MA 02740 - (508)979-5888 or (508)979-1238
Now if I can only find a carnitas place! :-)