7.18.2005

El Mexicano, Jr.

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Heaven... I'm in heaven,
And my heart beats so that I can hardly speak.
And I seem to find the happiness I seek,
When we're out together, eating really great cheap and authentic Mexican food.


My friend Amy and her sister Sara helped me out in a big way today - I needed to drive our old car to Manchester, about an hour away, to the Good News Garage so that we could donate it. And then I needed a ride home - another hour. In the meantime, the chowhounds have been talking this place up, and what do you know, it's two minutes from the Good News Garage. Despite my feeling that I owed them lunch, Sara insisted on paying. And I didn't fight her too hard about it. To be honest, I was so excited about the menu, I was totally distracted.

So it's this little 5 booth place, with the little kids of the owners running around. There's a bulletin board behind the counter, but the counter guy helped us out with an even more extensive printed menu in both english and spanish, after my twentieth question, "What is ____?" Which he helpfully explained, in great english. They have sodas, beers, mexican sodas and mexican beers. And everything is as cheap as we've come to expect from authentic mexican joints like this.

The list of things I want to try is a mile long and includes a lot of things I have never in my life tried: Pata de Puerco (pig's feet), menudo, buche taco (pig's stomache taco), cabeza de rez taco (beef head), milanesa con papas (steak covered with bread and fries) and so on. And so on. Besides these, there are lots of foods I've eaten before but can't wait to try their version: mole, chilaquiles (hurrah! chilaquiles for breakfast!), chile verde, carnitas, posole, and so on. I ate there three hours ago and I cannot wait to go back.

Enough with what I didn't have - here's what I did have:

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We were brought some chips and salsa right away, and this salsa in damn good. The flavor made me think it has some dried chiles in it, just really good. I could've taken it hotter, but this is forgivable. And the chips are so homemade.

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The deshebrada combination plate. $6.99 for shredded beef seasoned with tomatoes, onions, and peppers, beans and rice, some shredded lettuce with a little cheese on top, and some really stinkin awesome corn tortillas. This was amazingly simple and delicious, with flavors that are spot on. Amy asked the valid question of how it compared to my holy grail of Las Brasas, the place B and I ate virtually all our meals at in San Diego. I said it was pretty comparable, and it was. Las Brasas was slightly better overall because the flavors were fuller, and the beans at Las Brasas were way better. But seeing as how we are in NH, this is amazing.

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I also ordered a chorizo taco for $1.29, and I'm going to have a hard time not ordering a dozen the next time we go (tomorrow?). It was perfect. Two corn tortillas, fried together, brilliant! The quality of the chorizo, top notch and cooked to a nice crispy crumbliness. The cilantro, the salsa, just really really well put together.

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Amy had the chicken burrito; Sara had the quesadilla. Both really enjoyed theirs. If I hadn't been so distracted by my love for my own food, especially that chorizo taco, I would have been more on the ball about getting tastes.

Vive El Mexicano Jr. Restaurant!

197 Wilson St
Manchester, NH
Sunday - Thursday 10am - 10pm
Friday & Saturday 10am - 1am

5 comments:

cindym said...

damn, those chorizo tacos look goooood.

i had a tongue taco last week. i think after seeing the papillae or whatever they are called at such close range (and then being expected to eat them), i can return to my chorizo taco diet with no lingering fears that i am missing out on anything better.

Anonymous said...

This place really is amazing. Biggest problem is sometimes the people working the counter cannot understand you (or you them!). Chile Verde burrrito was excellent; I dreamed about it for days afterwards.

Anonymous said...

I second the comment on chile verde burrito.

Anonymous said...

I third that comment. I picked up my brother from Manchester airport once, and we stopped at El Mexicano jr. for takeout. As he bit into a chorizo taco on the way home he almost made me drive back for more, it was that good.

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