I saw the cotija cheese on the beans and I knew it was true - I had found Mexican food in Rhode Island.
El Tapatio, in Cranston. I had the enchiladas de jaiba (crabmeat) at the waiter's suggestion and they were as good as anything I've had in California/Baja Calif. The crabmeat is sauteed with mild peppers, and served in salsa verde (tomatillo-based). Fresh avocado garnish. Started with real, spicy salsa with warm, fresh chips (a New England first for me anyway). Even the marinated cabbage/carrot slaw on the side was good, and reminded me of the condiment bars at good L.A. taquerias. Menu also had mole, marinated grilled pork loin, carnitas, and a few other things I'm looking forward to trying next time. No horchata though. I put in a request.
This is a big, cheerful place, brightly colored but not loud, with a huge parking lot. It was packed when we were there on Saturday night, but got a table easily. Lots of families but also some couples. We stuffed ourselves and still got the flan, which, again, I'd put up against any flan I've had before. And yes, I've had a lot...mmmmmmmm
El Tapatio Mexican Restaurant
355 Atwood Avenue