Just returned from a great lunch at Sarapes in Enfield. Having lived in Texas and Arizona, we too craved "real" Mexican food when we moved here.Sarapes is a pleasant surprise.
For those looking for non-chain,non Tex-Mex, home cooked food, this is your place (or as close as you'll get in northern CT). If you are looking for spicy Mexican, keep looking elsewhere.
Located in a tiny old store front, the narrow dining room has small booths and tables. The atmosphere is very casual (think homey "hole-in-the-wall",our tabletop was cracked and patched with duct tape). It reminded us of the small family Mexican places of the southwest.
We received a small basket of chips and three types of sauces when we were seated. The first was a very mild tomato salsa with fresh cilantro and onions. Delicious!! The second was a green sauce which was very smooth with a little more heat. The third was a smooth spicy sauce that left just the right amount of zip on your tongue without killing your taste buds.
Regular offerings include beef tongue or beef lip tacos, carne asada and grilled spiced pork and there is a list of delicious sounding daily specials.
My date and I ordered the combination plates that came with rice and beans. His consisted of a pork tamale,ground beef taco and beef burrito. I chose the beef taco, chicken tostado and chicken gordita combo. I was pleasantly surprised when my platter arrived. The taco shell was homemade, warm and crispy with little air bubbles in it. The taco meat was lightly seasoned and tasty. Definitely not Taco Bell. The chicken tostado was made up of mild, shredded chicken with lettuce, tomatoes and a dab of sour cream. Yum! The gordita was 2 homemade corn pockets that looked like mini Navajo frybreads, and shredded chicken and lettuce. Again obviously homemade and delicious. The beans were silky smooth, just the way I remembered the good ones to be. The rice was another surprise. After hard, dry over-seasoned rice at the local chains, this rice was a delight. Light and fluffy with a mild seasoning touch. Outstanding! My date reported that his tamale was delicious as well. The burrito arrived with just a zigzag of sour cream across the top.
We finished our meal by sharing some flan. Not overly sweet, it was creamy and satisfying.
The service was friendly and fairly efficient considering our waiter doubled as chef. Although we were not interested in having alcohol at lunch, Sarapes offers several types of bottled beer, wine, canned soda, and bottled Mexican soda and juices .
On Saturday and Sunday, they serve menudo, pozole and sopes.
Sarapes also serves breakfast from 9-12. Although the breakfast menu is limited, they offer chilaquiles and scrambled eggs with chorizo.
Our two iced teas, combos and flan came to about $35. Although not a cheap lunch, we left full and returned home with enough food for another lunch.
Sarapes is at 917 Enfield Street (Rte 5) and is easy to miss. It's located near Enfield Chrysler Plymouth and shares a building with Julie's Cleaners and Laundromat. They also have a takeout menu.