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Eating Out + Eating In: $13.50 for a Greek Salad, brunch in Red Bank and fish stories

DID THEY SHRINK THE SALAD? I met a friend for lunch at the Suburban Diner, 172 Route 17 north in Paramus, and paid $13.50 for a Greek ...

Thursday, May 25, 2017

From Hackensack to Mexico City, we can't resist the allure of tortillas, moles & salsas

For Mexican-inspired food at home, I poached wild-caught shrimp from Whole Foods Market in the store's 365 Everyday Value Thick & Chunky Salsa.
For sophisticated Mexican food out, I ordered Alambre de Camarones or Veracruz-style grilled wild jumbo shrimp served with achiote rice and salsa verde picante at Rosa Mexicano Restaurant in Hackensack.

-- HACKENSACK, N.J.

By VICTOR E. SASSON
EDITOR

A photo-filled cover story on "modern Mexican" food had my mouth watering as I recalled great meals in Mexico City and Veracruz, and right here at home in northern New Jersey.

"Mexican cuisine has made the leap to the global stage of fine dining," Julia Moskin of The New York Times reported in last week's Food section.

I've always been a big fan of the food in Mexico, which I explored on vacations starting in the 1970s, for its French and Spanish influences, abundant seafood, complex sauces or moles, and spicy salsas.

On a family vacation to Mexico City in 2008, we enjoyed casual taquerias, and fine-dining restaurants for breakfast and dinner, and visited the enormous produce and seafood market, La Central de Abasto.

Mexican in the Garden State

For tacos in New Jersey, we started going to Brenda Lee in the city of Passaic, but Taqueria Los Gueros opened fast-casual restaurants in Englewood and other towns, and does a better job of sanitation.

The city of Passaic also has Mexican wholesale warehouses that are open to the public.

We've also been loyal to Rosa Mexicano, a fine-dining restaurant in Hackensack where just about everything is made from scratch.

A guilty pleasure is asking for another complimentary order of the scrumptious corn tortillas made in the dining room, because almost everything tastes better wrapped in one of them.

Here are links reporting on great Mexican meals here and in Mexico: