Once only available during the agricultural season at the taco trailer next to Monte Alban Mexican grocery in Medina, Monte Alban’s tacos and other Mexican treats are now available year-round in Batavia.
La Oaxaquena Taqueria has opened in Batavia, giving Monte Alban taco lovers a chance to hit their favorite tortilla-borne proteins closer to the Thruway.
The restaurant is operated by Nancy Rosario, whose extended family is responsible for Mariachi de Oro in Medina and Maizal Mexican Kitchen and Mescaleria in East Amherst. “Our menu is limited right now, but will grow over the summer,” she said. “La Oaxaquena” is a term for women from Oaxaca, the Mexican state the Rosarios hail from.
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Tacos ($3.50), come in flavors like al pastor (pork-pineapple), carnitas (roast pork), and chorizo (sausage). Lengua (tongue) and arrachera (marinated skirt steak) are $4.50.
When it comes to taco fillings, vegetarians get to choose from nopales (cactus) or nopales enchilado (marinated cactus). Cheese quesadillas are $4.99, though, on a 6-inch flour tortilla.
Tortas, the Mexican griddled-roll sub stuffed with refried beans, tomato, lettuce, mayonnaise, avocado, cheese, and pickled jalapenos with your choice of taco filling, are $12.99.
Menudo, the tripe-chile stew famed as a hangover remedy, is on the menu Saturday and Sunday, with noodles on request.
While you’re there, look for your Mexican grocery needs, including dried chiles by the piece, at Monte Alban II, in the same plaza.
Location: 4152 W. Main Street Road, Batavia. Hours: 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Thursday through Monday. Closed Tuesday, Wednesday. Phone: 585-219-4108.
OPENINGS & CLOSINGS
Tonawanda dinner option: Espo’s Catering has opened at 365 Somerville Ave., Tonawanda, formerly Donut Kraze, next to Peking Quick One. Owners Brent and Caitlin Esposito, who’d been running their catering company without a storefront, reopened in-house dining Jan. 19.
Check out the menu at esposcateringwny.com. Dine-in hours are 4 to 8 p.m. Thursday through Saturday. Phone: 716-245-3043.
Crazy Good Eatz done: After reconsidering her options, restaurateur Shetice Jackson announced she will not be reopening Crazy Good Eatz, at 2285 Main St.
“It saddens me to let you all know I’m not going to reopen Crazy Good Eatz,” she wrote on Facebook. “I spent my life savings and borrowed over $100,000 to open this restaurant that has only been open for a few months. But after I prayed about my situation while in the hospital, I realized there is only one Me! There is no amount of money worth me risking my life and health.” Read more
MORE RESTAURANT INTEL
Waxlight honored: It’s easy to leave off the “Bar a Vin” part when talking to friends about the uber-creative Waxlight Bar a Vin, but its wine, cocktails, and drinks program is one of this unique Buffalo restaurant’s strongest selling points.
Last week, the restaurant at 27 Chandler St. was named one of the best places in the nation for Outstanding Wine and Other Beverages. Making the James Beard Awards semifinalist list will draw more attention to the work of Jessica Forster and Tony Rials.
Forster, a trained sommelier, excels at guiding guests by the glass to memorable discoveries. Rials, recognized as a top Buffalo cocktail artist for years, also has a keen alchemist’s touch for making non-alcoholic options the life of the party, like housemade sodas in orange cream, ginger pineapple, and cranberry fizz.
“To be recognized nationally alongside so many amazing restaurants is quite literally mind blowing,” Waxlight’s Instagram post said. “The amazing beverage scene here in Western New York is truly a tide that raises all ships, and we couldn’t be more excited to be a part of it.”
Italian Festival date: Mark your calendars for Buffalo’s Galbani Italian Heritage Festival, July 14 to 16. The celebration of Italian heritage and street cuisine event will fill Hertel Avenue from Delaware to Virgil Avenue. On Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, the fun starts at 11 a.m.
ASK THE CRITIC
Q: My daughter said she wanted to do a lemonade stand this summer, and then my son said he wanted to do a sardine stand. It is wild how much this kid loves sardines and he doesn’t get why people wouldn’t necessarily want to buy roadside sardines from a 4-year-old. Anyone know if there are any Buffalo area restaurants with a sardine dish on the menu?
A: After Graylynn stopped serving sardines with romesco, no, not exactly. But the creative cooks at Waxlight Bar a Vin usually have little fishies of some sort on the menu, among its $4 to $6 section of tidy bites.
These days, Waxlight offers Spanish oil-cured anchovy toast, with “Caesar-ish crème” at $4.50 a throw.
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