Menu Musings: Authentic Mexican For Cinco De Mayo
Port Chester's La Picardia Taqueria has all the lengua (cow tongue) and horchata (rice water) you need to celebrate May 5 in proper Mexican style.
American and Mexican culture blend colorfully on the walls of La Picardia Taqueria in Port Chester, with Jerry Garcia and Grateful Dead posters (an ode to the Capitol Theatre across the street) mixed with Mexican flags and decor, but the menu here is strictly traditional. While the burritos and quesadillas are absolute must-trys, here are some more Taqueria treats that reflect what you might find on the streets of Mexico this Cinco de Mayo.
Hibiscus Tea, Tamarind and Horchata Drinks, $3.50
Hibiscus tea is made from its namesake flower, which is becoming more prevalent in all types of restaurants. Tamarind is a Mexican fruit, which is boiled down to a sweet taste similar to apple juice. Horchata is rice water mixed with cinnamon, a refreshing ice-cold drink that can serve as an inviting starter or light dessert.
Lengua Taco, $4.50
If you didn’t know it was tongue, you might mistake it for beef, but its steamed, mild, tender meat goes great with La Picardia's homemade jalapeno sauce.
Tripa Taco, $4.50
Another Mexican favorite, tripa comes from cow intestine, and for this dish, it's grilled, ultimately evoking fried pork belly. The tacos are served with cilantro and onions.
Tostadas de Tinga, $7.50
Corn tortillas are topped with a generous portion of shredded chicken in chipotle sauce, served with sour cream and Cotija cheese.
This traditional Mexican snack also makes a great side with your tacos. Toasted corn is smothered in homemade chipotle sauce, sour cream and Cotija cheese, fusing full flavor with a pleasingly crunchy texture. Fittingly, the word "esquites" comes from the Nahuati word "izquitl," meaning toasted corn.
Steak Gringo/Taco Arabe (Arab taco), $5.50/$4.50
Taco arabe, which are ostensibly tortillas stuffed with spiced pork, (right) originated circa-1930s Arab-Mexican cuisine served in Puebla. Lime juice is its primary accompaniment. Steak Gringo is akin to an open face taco, served on a flour tortilla with melted cheese and pineapple. You can choose pastor (pork loin), carne asada (grilled steak), vegetarian, chicken, chorizo or fish as your filling.
These delicious fried corn empanadas are filled with cheese, served with sour cream, lettuce, pico de gallo, and topped with Cotija cheese.
Taco Platter, tacos range from $3 to $4.50 each
It’s worth getting a platter to taste the different options at La Picardia. Shown here: tripa, pastor (pork loin served with chili ancho, a mild chili pepper powder, orange and pineapple), lengua, vegetarian, carnitas (pork), grilled steak, and white fish tacos.
La Picardia Taqueria is located at 118 Westchester Avenue in Port Chester. It is currently a BYOB establishment, open seven days a week and late on weekends to accommodate Capitol concertgoers. They also offer free delivery and are available via Seamless.
La Picardia Taqueria
118 Westchester Avenue