Taqueria Autentica: Tiny Tacos Big on Flavor

Authentic Mexican food, right here in Bloomfield.


My husband and I met in South Texas, got married in Guatemala, and were foreign correspondents in Latin America for more than five years. So there's no doubt we love our Mexican food.

When we moved to Montclair in the summer of 2009, we immediately checked out places like on Bellevue Avenue.  Don't get me wrong. We like Tinga—especially their 12-inch burritos—but it simply didn't scream "authentic."

In general—and I'm not singling out Tinga—places that over use heavy cheeses or don walls with pictures of cacti are not authentic.

Real Mexican is nothing fancy and often includes the use of lime, cumin, cilantro, Mexican oregano, and fresh tomatoes.

And that's exactly what's on tap at the 27-seat Taqueria Autentica at 1035 Broad Street in Bloomfield.

The former food truck and regular presence at the Montclair Farmer's Market—and around Newark—has enjoyed a permanent home near the intersection with Watchung Avenue since last September.

It even garnered a nice review in The New York Times last month.

But this Montclair Patch editor hadn't visited the eatery until this weekend. And she's so glad she popped in.

Taqueria Autentica buys its corn tortillas from Tortilleria Nixtamal in New York City, which are made from fresh masa and include no preservatives. They use locally raised, hormone- and antibiotic-free chicken from Goffle Road Farms in Wyckoff. If that's not enough to send you beelining for Bloomfield, there's also the taqueria's house-made chorizo with no preservatives or unnatural ingredients.

The restaurant’s tacos are priced at between $2.75 and $3.50, with about three needed to fill you up at dinner. I had the taco with carnitas, slow-cooked poor with carmelized orange peel and salsa verde. The filling was tasty, tender, and had a nice touch of lime.

If you don't like tacos, there's a very satisfying enchilada de pollo—corn tortillas baked with chihuahua cheese, chicken, and salsa—for $8, not to mention quesadillas for $5 and tostadas for $4.50.

There also are authentic dulces such as a pudding with intense chocolate and Mexican spices topped with roasted almond slivers—for a mere $3.

Much to my children's delight, the restaurant sells Jarritos, a popular brand of tasty Mexican soft drinks; diners may bring their own beer or wine.

Owned by Bloomfield residents Michael Natiello and Alyssa Aiello, the restaurant serves brunch on Saturdays and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and a variety of small plate specials that include such items as scallops and Mexican risotto for $7 to $9 on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday evenings.

All in all, Taqueria Autentica has helped make this part of Broad a go-to strip of ethnic cuisine, with STAMNA Greek Taverna just nearby and across the street.

Check it out and bring the kids (there's even an easel in the corner so that children can do some drawing). You won't be disappointed.

Taqueria Autentica, 1035 Broad St., Bloomfield, 973-320-4157. Open Tuesday through Thursday, 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m.; and Sunday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Where do you go for authentic Mexican fare? Let us know in the comments section below.

Steve Szuhany April 02, 2012 at 11:46 AM
The food truck still goes out. They usually post on their Facebook page where they are headed. https://www.facebook.com/pages/Taqueria-Autentica/358541011180
Mark Remollino April 02, 2012 at 06:25 PM
Mexican Mussels, 7 bucks, well worth it.
Kyle Martinowich May 30, 2012 at 04:45 PM
Taqueria Autentica My takeout experience! Tacos; The tortilla shells are incredible. Tastes like fresh corn and is griddled to perfection. Carnitas-Simple & delicious, pork was completely tender, shredding during every bit. Tremendous flavor! Pollo-Outstanding bold flavors within the grilled chicken. Not over cooked and still very juicy. Carne Asada-Quality Skirt Steak(Tender, good fat content) and not overcooked. Excellent seasoning House Made Chorizo- Uncased ground Chorizo griddled to perfection. Delicious blend of spices. Sauces & Salsas; Tomatillo(salsa verde)- Excellent, very flavorful and not to watery Pico- Fresh, correct balance of Tomotos and Onions Crema Fresco- Traditional Crema, sour but not thick like Sour Cream Chiptole Crema- Bold, but not overly spicy Suggestions- I would have liked some Cotija cheese on my Carnitas tacos. Favorite-Chorizo Taco with Chipotle Crema
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