When most people think of Mexican food, they think of heavy, cheesy, greasy food that leaves you looking for the nearest couch to take a nap. Taqueria Autentica offers the antithesis of that type of food, bringing the freshest, responsibly and locally sourced traditional Mexican food to Bloomfield. Every dish cooked up at Taqueria boasts the freshest seasonal ingredients from quality local purveyors, many of them friends of chef and owner Mike Natiello. Every item on Taqueria’s menu is crafted with care and a keen awareness for quality. Their rules are simple: “use fresh, premium, and preferably local ingredients; know where your food is coming from; keep the food simple; and try to be as authentic to Mexican food traditions as possible.” This awareness and care results in satisfying, delicious food with clean, fresh flavors. You’ll definitely leave Taqueria full, but you’ll also feel like you’ve eaten something quality and nutritious.
Last week when I had dinner at Taqueria, Mike had prepared a special with some super fresh and flavorful Jersey summer tomatoes. He sliced them thickly and dressed them simply with some spicy pickled jalapenos, creamy shredded mozzarella, and some zingy red wine vinegar- deceptively simple and outrageously delicious.
We also enjoyed a plate of house made chips and guacamole, accompanied with smoked cashew salsa and ancho chili sauce. Mike smokes the cashews himself, resulting in a spicy, smoky, creamy purée that pairs perfectly with the lime-y guacamole. Next came a variety of super fresh and flavorful tacos. Highlights for the tacos are the carnitas- slow cooked pork with caramelized orange peel, salsa verde, and the Hongos – a vegan option with mushrooms sautéed with herbs and spice and salsa verde. The torta is another standout, and easily one of the best sandwiches I’ve ever eaten. A torta is a Mexican sandwich served on warm toasty bread with black bean paste, pickled jalapeno peppers, queso fresco, chopped white onion, salsa and avocado, and whatever filling you like. I usually opt for the carnitas, but I’m sure any option would taste equally amazing.
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