Downtown Manchester’s newest Mexican restaurant, Alas de Frida, is a sister to long-established El Rincon just around the corner. It has a darker, cozier atmosphere and a different menu that still retains that made-with-love vibe from El Rincon.
I dined alone yesterday, just days before Halloween, and the weather was mild enough that the front door was propped open for a bit. I enjoyed the festive Halloween decorations at the hostess stand.
The chips and salsa were clearly house-made as you would expect from a good Mexican restaurant. The chips were delightful and the salsa was not spicy at all, and had a slightly smoky flavor as well. I would have definitely liked a lot more heat in the salsa.
To start, I ordered the Cadillac Margarita and an adorable Mini Cheese Dip which was only $5. I mean, I can certainly put away an entire queso fundido by myself, but just because I can doesn’t mean I should. I tried to keep it reasonable since my margarita was one of the premium ones at $18. But it was my birthday week! That’s how I justify it.
The margarita was actually wonderful, with Don Julio Reposado Tequila, Grand Marnier, and fresh lime juice. The fresh lime juice is a dealbreaker for me as I don’t like the sugary filler of a sweet house mixer. Their House margarita is offered at $9 but it does include the mixer.
I ordered the Tacos de Cochinita Pibil which comes on 3 blue corn tortillas with cilantro, and served with gorgeous salsa verde, and a little cup of pickled red onions, pineapple, and habanero. It was so beautiful and smelled amazing. There was a little bit of heat from the salsa verde, but not much, and I actually didn’t get any heat from the habanero at all. But the pickled red onions and the smashed pineapple gave a lovely bright overtone to the whole dish.
I love birria tacos as much as the next person, and they make a beautiful birria at Alas de Frida, but the Cochinita Pibil was such a good choice for me. It has such a cleaner, brighter feel that still is packed with flavor. I absolutely love the blue corn tortillas. Normally in Mexico they would serve each taco with two tortillas (la copia) and they didn’t here in this case. Luckily none of my tacos broke so it worked out okay.
Finally, one more thing about this restaurant that I love is that you can pay your bill right from your phone at the table….. and then just leave! They drop a bill with a QR code that links you to a payment option and off you go. I love when restaurants have this option. It’s so easy, and probably so much easier for the servers also. So far I have not run into too many restaurants that offer this in my area, and I wish more would.
Alas de Frida
931 Elm Street
Manchester, New Hampshire
MORE MEXICAN FOOD? CHECK IT OUT
New Hampshire Food Photography
Erika Follansbee is a published Goffstown, NH food photographer whose job is to make food look amazing. She is available for hire to help small restaurants and cafes to create beautiful images of their dishes to use for marketing, websites, and social media. Magazine-quality food images are the best form of advertisement.
Erika is also a wedding photographer. Visit www.erikafollansbee.com for more information.