Restaurants & Bars

Tortilleria El Paisano -- Port Chester NY

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Tortilleria El Paisano -- Port Chester NY

Eric Eto | Sep 16, 2002 12:03 PM

Port Chester is a trip. Who would have known there was a bastion of latino culture in a coastal village in Westchester? But there it is. There's Peruvian places galore, Brazilian, Mexican, Salvadoran, to name the few that I encountered there. I did some checking of census numbers and realized that almost half the population of Port Chester is latino (nearly 13,000 in a town of 27,000). No other townships approached those numbers. Curious, isn't it? If anyone knows the recent history of how this came to be, I'd be interested to find out.

Anyway, the food. From Jim Leff's ChowAlert, and Pat Hammond's wise advice, I went to Tortilleria El Paisano (167 Westchester Ave), and boy was it good. We stuck to the tacos and sopes, anything made from fresh masa. The best offering was the birria (called veal stew on the menu). I had a tongue taco, birria sope and a pastor sope. The tongue was pretty standard, and the al pastor was not off a spit, but marinaded in a typical reddish adobado and sauteed. The birria, however, had all kinds of flavors working, just a little gamy, a little smoky, a little fatty, a little juicy, and it all came together in a nice tender meat. The horchata was also exceptional, creamier than most I've had in NYC.

It seems like a short train ride on the Metro North from Grand Central, and now that I know about this place and how to get there, I'll be sure to sample other places in town. There's a CostCo in town, so if that's part of your itinerary, Port Chester is a great place to eat and shop for all your bulk stuff.

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