By Charles Dubow
Thanks to the prevalence of fast food chains such as Taco Bell, most Americans have never experienced the pleasures of authentic Mexican food. This is unfortunate because there are nearly 40 million Americans of Mexican descent living in the U.S. today and for years salsa has been out-selling ketchup. Fortunately for serious foodies there are still plenty of restaurants, taquerias, and food trucks offering the real deal, if you know where to look.
One such authentic Mexican restaurant is Momma’s Tacos, located on Church Street in the heart of New Milford. Open only since November 2021, Alejandra Aguilar Gonzaga and her daughter Alissa Swantek are cooking mouthwatering meals with all the complex, smoky, spicy richness that characterizes true Mexican cuisine.
“I’ve been a professional chef for 20 years,” says the diminutive Alejandra, who is originally from Mexico City and studied cooking at Gastronomia y Sazon in Tuluca, Mexico. “For the past 17 years I had a restaurant in Middletown, NY. But then someone bought the building.” A friend told her about an empty space in New Milford and she jumped on it. “It is a great location,” she says with a big smile. “We are right across the street from the Town Hall. We are doing a very good lunch business.”
The restaurant itself is simple but light and airy, with seating both inside and out. Alejandra offers familiar traditional Mexican dishes such as empanadas, enchiladas, guacamole, and tacos, of course, but also more adventurous items such as grilled cactus (delicious) and pernil—which is shredded roast pork served with rice and some of the best beans I’ve ever eaten. Everything is piquant, fresh, flavorful, and absolutely delectable. Not to mention reasonably priced.
The tacos deserve special mention. Fillings include grilled steak, roast pork, marinated pork, chicken, vegetarian, chorizo, or tongue. (If you haven’t tried tongue before, I recommend it.) Each serving comes with three home-made corn tortillas that are wonderfully light and chewy, and topped with cilantro and onions.
Open every day from 11am to 7pm. No alcohol served. Delivery available through GrubHub, DoorDash, and Uber.
17 Church Street, New Milford, mommas-tacos.com, 860-717-4577