Mon-Fri, 10am-11pm; Sat-Sun, 9am-11pm
B, D at Fordham Rd.
American Express, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
Crotona Park North to East Fordham Rd., Southern Blvd. to Valentine Ave.
Tucked uncannily between the pastry shops and pizzerias of Bronx County’s Little Italy, this small, plain cantina has been serving seriously authentic Mexican plates since 1999. Estrellita Poblana’s sprawling menu is spangled with winning dishes: There’s a mix-and-match section, where you select the vehicle (taco, burrito, chalupa, and nine others) for one of sixteen meats, like chorizo, chipotle chicken, tripe, or suadero, a moist beef marinated in orange juice. Most of these items are topped with savory black beans, cool, fluid sour cream, salty white queso, and some fresh veggies. Other standouts include tortas you can order loaded down with subtly flavored lengua (beef tongue), or a smooth and creamy headcheese—an offal mash-up that tastes like a mild terrine. There’s much care given to sauces, as well: the pico de gallo, offered gratis with salty housemade chips, is just-chopped-fresh and a good accent to a side order of flat-grilled cactus pads, while the chocolate-brown Oaxacan mole imparts a low-frequency smolder to anything it blankets, making even a simple trio of cheese enchiladas exceptional. Local families eat contentedly under murals of pastoral pueblos. Later in the evenings, packs of Fordham students order $2 tacos by the dozen, washing them down with cheap, frosty bottles of Pacifico.Recommended Dishes
Tacos with lengua or cabeza, $2.50; enchiladas de mole poblano, $11.95