Food News: Authentic Mexican comes the Riverside, Water View Dining in Jamestown, and The Perfect Empanada

March 2022

Posted

Authentic Mexican flavors in Riverside

Marta Ochoa, a native of Guatemala, quietly opened Taconeando, an authentic Mexican-style eatery, in early December. With menu items like parrillada (barbecued meats topped with guajillo sauce), huaraches (masa dough with pinto beans shaped like a sandal), and birria-style meat (beef slow cooked in a flavorful stew) for their tacos, word quickly spread among Mexican food enthusiasts. “I worked in a Mexican place for 10 years and learned everything,” Ochoa says.

While Ochoa maintains that Mexican food has the more commercial appeal, she slips some of her homeland dishes on the menu, including a Bistekaso combo. Her seafood soup, which mixes crab, shrimp, muscles, and white fish in a flavorful broth, is also done in a Guatemalan style. Sandwich lovers should sample her tortas: the Caribbean has eggs and ham, the Hawaiian features ham and pineapple, and the Milanesa uses breaded chicken filets. Riverside

Dine on scrumptious views in Jamestown

Wickford on the Water owners Shannon and John Brito are opening their second restaurant in Jamestown this spring. JB’s on the Water shares a similar menu to its sister restaurant, but with an elevated twist. The new digs include a full liquor license, a private dining room for events, and a drop-dead gorgeous view of the Jamestown Bridge. John says the plan was always to expand and when the site became available, they jumped right in. “The pandemic helped,” he says, noting that Wickford on the Water enlarged their patio to take advantage of their waterfront setting.

While the JB could stand for Brito’s name, he shares that the building was originally a home owned by Middletown resident James A. Brown, who in 1890 ferried the structure across Narragansett Bay to Jamestown on a barge to its current location, where it became the Bay Voyage Hotel. A fitting homage for such a storied history. Jamestown

Pop-up empanada biz serves up pockets of perfection

While The Perfect Empanada officially launched in November 2021 out of Hope & Main, it began living in owner Pablo Mastandrea’s head over 20 years ago. Leaving his native Miami for an MBA program in upstate New York, he found his favorite comfort food was not readily available. “I was all stressed with school and there were no empanadas,” he laments. That forced him to make his own.

Twenty years (and a move to New England) later, he turned his obsession into a business, serving up his handmade artisanal pockets at breweries and pop-ups around the state. He recently began offering a “Take and Bake” option, which features 10 frozen flavors – think classics like spicy beef and savory chicken or more unique offerings like the Cuban and the Reuben – from which you can build a custom order. Catch him at General’s Crossing Brewery in Jamestown or order via the WhatsGood app. Warren

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