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Taqueria Cielito Lindo in Riverhead: First bites

A trio of tacos at Taqueria Cielito Lindo

A trio of tacos at Taqueria Cielito Lindo in Riverhead: tongue, al pastor (pork with pineapple) and carnitas (roasted pork) in September 2014. Credit: Newsday / Joan Reminick

Lunch at the new Taqueria Cielito Lindo in Riverhead turned out to be a satisfying affair. The new place, which took over the downtown storefront last occupied by Julia’s Pizzeria & Restaurant, is simply appointed yet comfortable, with warm and efficient table service. You can also order food to go at the counter.

The place is owned by married couple (and co-chefs) Jasmin and Edgar Diaz-Leal, whose family owns the nearby Mexico Lindo, a Mexican grocery store, as well as J.R. El Rodeo, an East Moriches Mexican restaurant.

Here, handmade white corn flour tortillas formed the base of tacos ($2.50 each). One (lengua) featured succulent cubes of tongue, another (al pastor) had roasted pineapple and pork, and the third (carnitas) starred braised pork. All came topped with chopped onion and cilantro, accompanied by lime wedges. Fine eating.

Another dish I tried were sopes ($10), three fried corn cakes, each with a different topping —  chorizo (spicy sausage), chicken and campechanos (my favorite), a mix of shredded beef, pork and chorizo. Overall, heavy eating, but big on flavor. Next time, though, I’d ask the kitchen to withhold the crema (sour cream) topping.

The surprise of the afternoon was a grilled chicken platter ($10), ordered by someone on a relatively healthy eating regimen. The boneless breasts were moist, juicy, pleasingly garlicky, served with an avocado-topped salad, rice and beans. Clearly, a caring, knowing kitchen at work.

Taqueria Cieleto Lindo is at 29 E. Main St., Riverhead, 631-591-0732.