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Mexican restaurant El Rodeo serves authentic, affordable dishes in East Moriches


The "Combo El Rodeo" platter at El Rodeo Restaurant in East Moriches features a tamal, a taco, an enchilada and rice and beans. Photo Credit: Newsday / Erica Marcus

I finally made it to El Rodeo Restaurant in East Moriches, an unassuming little eatery with an impressive pedigree: It's owned by the Rojas family, who also own Riverhead's Taqueria Mexico, Taqueria Cielito Lindo and the grocery market Mexico Lindo.

El Rodeo doesn't diverge too far from the other Rojas restaurants: authentic Mexican food anchored by homemade tortillas and very fair prices.

Fresh, earthy tortilla chips and bright guacamole? Check and check. My pal and I both ordered the "combo El Rodeo" ($13) in order to sample tamales, tacos and enchiladas -- as well as the rice and beans. Tamales, so often ponderously dense and filled with dry chicken, were light and tender. Both the enchilada verde and Poblano (spicy red sauce) were winners, as were the  chorizo taco and the al pastor (marinated pork). We also ordered a new taco on me, campechanos, filled with beef, pork and sausage. I'll be on the lookout for these from now on.

El Rodeo is at 130 Montauk Hwy., East Moriches, 631-909-2666,


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