i encourage you to check out taqueria carrizal if you're ever in allston and are craving good, inexpensive and authentic mexican/central american fare.
my husband drove by el taqueria carrizal and suggested it for dinner last night. we're originally from california and have found it difficult to find mexican food here that's similar to what we're used to. so we've been in search of a restaurant that would fill our craving.
we were hopeful when we walked in. the manager greeted us in limited english with a thick spanish accent; at the front, was a jukebox with spanish songs; in the back, hoisted on the wall was a flat screen tv with a german (and later a mexican) soccer match going on. the restaurant was clean, modest and casual.
while we looked over the menu (first line in spanish, with translation in english on the second line), the chips and salsa came out. both were homemade. no canned salsa from this establishment--it was a cause for celebration.
hubby got the carrizal plate (marinated grilled beef, marinated chicken, rice and refried beans) and i got the chile relleno. he found the beef and chicken to be absolutely delicious, though the rice and beans were just decent. the chile relleno was massive. unfortunately, it was stuffed with beef (i'm used to it stuffed with cheese unless noted otherwise). with the language difference, it took a few tries before we were able to communicate that i don't eat beef and it's standard for their chile rellenos to be stuffed with beef. they were super friendly and accomodating, even though we couldn't communicate so well. the manager suggested alternatives and i settled on the chicken a la plancha (grilled chicken), which was excellent. the marinated chicken was incredibly moist and grilled to perfection. the salad was ok (iceburg lettuce, avocado and tomato slices, radishes).
i poured some bottle habanero sauce on the chicken when the manager passed by. he noticed that i really enjoy hot sauce so he brought out some of their salsa picante, secret recipe that they wouldn't divulge. there was a slight smokiness which makes us think they used chipotles. it was great salsa that rivals what i'm used to eating in la.
overall, we enjoyed the food (main entree was the highlight; the salad, rice and beans were ok). it was authentic stuff--too bad they don't serve alcohol. the staff was super friendly and helpful depsite the language difference. oh! another thing, it's not just mexican food--they also do guatemalan and salvadorean food. check it out if you're in allston, wanting casual, inexpensive but good food.