Mexican in the Middle: Middle of Connecticut

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I spend a lot of time traveling between Boston and New York City and constantly find myself on the hunt for great food in the heart of Connecticut.  Always scouring yelp for some diamond in the rough right of I-84, I-91, or the Merritt Parkway, has lead me to some memorable and not so memorable places.  One place that is definitely worth the pit stop if you are making the drive is Cucaramacara Mexican Eatery in Meriden, CT.  Situated about a half a mile from where I-91 and the Merritt Pkwy collide, Cucaramacara bring giant flavors to a tiny strip mall.  With their scrumptious offerings pasted on the outside window beckoning diners in, it serves as what I’ve always said about certain cuisine.  The more a type of food looks like a mom and pop hole in the wall, the better and more authentic it is.  One step into the small storefront and you are assured that this is an authentic family run establishment.  A handful of tables fill the bright red lined dining room, with a gateway into the kitchen providing ample viewing space to see all the Mexican magic occurring behind the scenes.

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The standard options ubiquitous to any Mexican eatery are plentiful here, and prepared with such authenticity and love that it is no surprise it appears that someones abuelita is running the kitchen.  With so much to choose from I recommend going with one of the combination platters.  Wanting some crispy tortilla chips with my meal I went with the fresh fried chips and two chicken tacos.  The chicken was spiced nicely with garlic and a bit of cumin and topped with fresh onion, cilantro, and an otherworldly green chili salsa.  Other big hits include the fish taco, which freshly swims right off the grill and topped with the customary accoutrements.  Also the al pastor taco is bright and vibrant with a giant punch of spice right to your palate.  While sticking primarily to tacos this trip, we couldn’t help but see the gigantic and delectable looking burritos, fajitas, and mammoth torta’s flying out the kitchen window and will definitely be spending some time exploring the menu on the next pass through.

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If your travels ever find you smack dab in the middle of Connecticut craving some Mexican, you are doing yourself a disservice if you don’t check out Cucaramacara Mexican Eatery.  Connecticut may still be revolutionary according to their marketing, but little do they know that it’s the Mexican food leading the charge.

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