Monday, February 1, 2010

The Closest I've Come to Mexico in New Jersey

Pancho's is good, and does score some major vegan brownie points for offering tofu sour cream and soy cheese, but the most authentic, and best, Mexican food I've had in Bergen County, New Jersey: La Batalla in Bergenfield.

I've blogged about this charming restaurant before, but it's so worth mentioning again.

Food is home-cooked here, and doesn't come out in five minutes, like it has at Pancho's. Feeling like you are in someone's home kitchen in Mexico is an accurate way to describe it. While you wait, snack on their complimentary chips and salsa. I love that this is BYOB, which saves a small fortune.

My stand-by is vegetable enchiladas (hold the cheese). The rice is cooked in chicken stock, so you can substitute with a small salad with sliced avocado. This entire feast cost $9.95.

I've gotten in the habit of bringing my own take-out containers for leftovers, so I can enjoy it all over again the next day (if there's any left!) and not have any disposables going into the landfill.

There's a vegetarian plate, $9.95, (cheese enchilada, cheese chile relleno, guacamole burrito), but go with the chile relleno with no cheese and guacamole burrito if you want to omit the dairy.

The service is always friendly, and the food....making my mouth water as I write this. I truly feel like I'm eating at local spot in Mexico, after a day of sandy beaches.

Bergenfield's main street is filled with "For Rent" signs, like many main streets. While I eat most meals at home, I will continue to support local, reasonabley-priced establishments such as this.

Visit La Batalla, 83 N. Washington Ave, Bergenfield, NJ.

How about a little Mexican packed into your lunch bag or for a festive, inexpensive dinner after a long day? These are new at Trader Joe's, and made it immediately into my shopping cart.

Add your favorite fillings. I like shredded lettuce, black beans and corn, or simple guacamole tacos.

If at home, finish with a fruit floe. A strawberry floe has just 100 calories, lime, just 60. The price is right: $1.99 for four bars. Their mango tangerine sorbet is just as yummy and wallet-friendly at $2.49 for a pint.


ConsciouslyFrugal said...

Oh, how I love Trader Joe's. And I'm thinking I probably shouldn't visit your blog when I'm starving. Oy!

Catherine @ The Vegan Good Life said...

I love it too! I actually get excited abut going food shopping every week there and to my local farm. The TJ prices are the best.

I'm always starving and thinking about food. If I know I'll be dining somewhere in a month, I'll review the menu before. Food is one of life's great pleasures in my opinion.

Chessbuff said...

I used to live in Bergenfield, and so it is kinda like my hometown too, among five others. I'll try La Batalla on my next Mexican craving.