We don’t know who invented this Taco Tuesday crap, but we think pretty much EVERY day is a perfect day for tacos. Like, say, a few Saturdays ago when we finally hit up Rincon Taqueria in Norwalk after seeing, oh, we don’t know, pretty much ALL of our friends rave about it on Facebook and Instagram. See, we’re kind of taco fanatics, so it seemed a little ridiculous we hadn’t gotten to this authentic Mexican spot sooner.
The long and the short of it is, it totally lives up to the hype we’ve been seeing. Here’s why . . .
First up, let’s talk about the restaurant itself. It’s easy to pass it by, since it’s in a mini strip mall across from Wendy’s in the Kohl’s shopping center. When you’re driving by, just look for the wave logo and there you’ll have it. As you enter, you get the kind of feeling like you’re at a super casual neighborhood cafe or deli, but packed with Mexican goodness. You get the sense that people go in and out for take out and that they probably know all their customers because they’re regulars.
You might think, by the looks of it, that they don’t serve alcohol, but they do. Oh, they do, featuring a small selection of Mexican beers, wine and, of course, margaritas!
Their menu is small, which we actually loved, mainly because that meant between us and our friends Renato and Alicia from lockfoodrocks.com, we could try the entire menu, FTW! As we decided if we could pull that off, they brought us some chips and salsa with our meal. The salsa was spicy, had a sweet vinegary kick, and a nice garlic bite. The only real disappointment of the night, though, is the chips were bagged brand quality, not freshly house-made, which is always a big bummer when going to an authentic Mexican spot. That said, things turned around quickly when we got our other food.
Our first tastes were a series of tacos, namely the Pescado, Carne, and Pork. To pack all those ingredients in, they use two taco shells which help in holding it all in.
The fish taco was lightly battered and crispy on the outside, while still being delicate and juicy on the inside. One of the best fish tacos around. The carne wasn’t as flavorful, though, and needed more salt and spice to it. The star was the pork which was flavorful with tender meat and a bright and vibrant tomatillo sauce. Bringing it all together was a punch from the cotija.
As we were taking down the tacos, the guac came to the table. They serve it up with scallions, onions, and cilantro on top. The guac itself was creamy and silky, and was definitely freshly made. It could have benefited from more lime and salt that could bring out more complexity, though.
We also ordered the beef empanada. There was a gentle spice coming through and the beef was rich. The thing that we found interesting was that they had little bits of olives in the filling. This added a nice small tinge of wild saltiness to the dish.
Oh, and then the chilaquiles came to the table. Does it get better than ribbons of tortilla with lots of cheese, cilantro, and avocado on top? No, it doesn’t . . . well, actually, it does . . . that’s the next dish we’ll talk about. But, in terms of chilaquilles, this has been the best version that we’ve ever tasted. The tortilla strips were thick and crispy and held up very well to the sauce. The chorizo that it’s served with is smoky and spicy. The sauce was great, too, bringing it all together with a nice spicy undertone. It is definitely a filling dish and could be an entire meal if you chose . . . or just use it as an app if you’re us.
Tamales: These guys are in the steamer for 5 hours. Yeah, 5 hours. The corn stuffing is the thing of dreams with just a tad bit of sweetness to it. The chunks of corn inside added texture, too. Add in some juicy and delicate chicken and you’ve got some of the most amazing tamales that you’ll ever unwrap.
We were washing all of these dishes down with some margaritas, of course. The cocktails were lime forward, not too sour, but were a bit too sweet for Dan’s taste . . . Kristien didn’t think so, though.
Around this time, we were told that if we liked the chilaquiles, that we’d love the huevos rancheros even more. Well, we couldn’t let that one slip by us, so we put in an order. The green sauce on top was fresh, fun, and vibrant, and the rice was that perfect al dente you’d hope for. We liked the taste of the rice because there was a tiny whisper of saffron coming through it all. Then, wrapping it all together was that same chorizo that we loved from the chilaquiles and plenty of cheese. This was a fantastic way to end our meal.
Overall, we were couldn’t stop gettin’ our Mexican on at Rincon (seriously, we wanted to go back the next day). It felt authentic, everything (other than the chips) was fresh, flavorful, and well prepared and the prices are great (because paying fancy restaurant prices for tacos just seems sacrilege). We’d go there any day for any of the things we ate, but we dream most about their dishes beyond tacos, so be sure to branch out of your taco comfort zone when you go there . . . which should be like, tonight depending on when you’re reading this.
Address: 493 Connecticut Avenue
Phone: (203) 354-7313