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Quality Mexican Cuisine at Estrellita Poblana III

Estrellita%E2%80%99s+provides+the+Fordham+community+with+an+culinary+alternative+to+the+borough%E2%80%99s+largely+Italian+fare.+%28Courtesy+of+Flickr%29.
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Quality Mexican Cuisine at Estrellita Poblana III

Estrellita’s provides the Fordham community with an culinary alternative to the borough’s largely Italian fare. (Courtesy of Flickr).

Estrellita’s provides the Fordham community with an culinary alternative to the borough’s largely Italian fare. (Courtesy of Flickr).

Estrellita’s provides the Fordham community with an culinary alternative to the borough’s largely Italian fare. (Courtesy of Flickr).

Estrellita’s provides the Fordham community with an culinary alternative to the borough’s largely Italian fare. (Courtesy of Flickr).


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By Elizabeth Nealon

Arthur Avenue is known as Little Italy, but nestled among the Italian restaurants and shops there is a Mexican restaurant that has managed to thrive since its opening 11 years ago. Estrellita Poblana III is a popular spot for many Fordham students, which might shock people who expect us to eat, sleep and breathe Italian food and never for a moment be ungrateful for the fantastic Italian culinary scene buzzing just off campus. However, one can only have pizza so many nights in a row and Estrellita Poblana III satisfies the need of so many Bronxites and Fordham students who crave a variety of eateries.

Estrellita Poblana III is one of five Bronx-based restaurants owned by the Gonzalez family who put their soul into not just the dishes, but into the whole dinner experience. In such a small space they managed to set a surprisingly large number of tables, making the seating a bit tight but not uncomfortable. The staff are friendly and clearly a close-knit group of co-workers. Many times during my visit, I could hear laughter emanating from the kitchen and non-stop banter between our waitress and the cooks.

The décor of the dining room is subtle, except for two murals on each wall which depict various Mexican landscapes and portraits of beautiful women — one who closely resembles Bella Hadid. The restaurants of Arthur Avenue are swimming in tradition and culture, and Estrellita Poblana III is not the first place that comes to mind as a family-owned restaurant in Little Italy. Instead, most people would think of Mike’s Deli, whose “About Us” page on their website begins their story in 1919. The history of Estrellita’s in less known than that of Mike’s, but Estrellita’s still manages to cook up delicious Mexican fare in a neighborhood with a low tolerance for mediocre food.

In the time I was there, various deliveries of fresh ingredients were made and the wealth of options on the menu was intimidating to say the least. Our helpful waitress chose dishes that would be perfect for people with dietary restrictions or who prefer less-spicy foods. Estrellita’s guacamole might be some of the best I have ever had, and the large serving is enough to feed four or five people. I was not too optimistic on what would be available for someone who doesn’t eat meat, but at Estrellita’s, one can essentially substitute fish or extra veggies for meat in any dish you want. As a filling for the restaurant’s burritos, tacos, fajitas, etc. it offers such a wide variety.

You could get free-range chicken while the diner next to you could be enjoying beef tripe. The sizzling fajitas come with a little drama as they’re brought out while steam billows from the burning-hot cast-iron skillet containing the peppers, onions, and shrimp. The tortillas are soft and incredibly fresh and nicely display the unsung heroes of any Mexican dish – the rice and beans.

Luckily, Estrellita’s delivers. On those days when the homework is piling up and you absolutely need some tacos and guacamole, you will not even have to leave campus to get some of its delicious food.

Estrellita’s provides the Fordham community with an culinary alternative to the borough’s largely Italian fare. (Courtesy of Flickr).

Still, the atmosphere of Estrellita Poblana III is perfect for dinner with friends. It is pretty casual spot that offers top-notch Mexican food at a comfortable price-point for many college students. Perhaps next time a friend or family member visits, show them around the unexpected side of Arthur Avenue and dine at Estrellita Poblana III.

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Quality Mexican Cuisine at Estrellita Poblana III