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10 WNY places to explore deeper into Mexican menus, beyond tacos

January 13, 2019

This is my favorite place for mole poblano, the brown sauce of famous complexity – over 32 ingredients, the menu says. After three or four types of dried chiles, spices like nutmeg and cinnamon, nuts for texture, and the soulful sweetness of dried fruit, chocolate comes to the party as well.

Take a bite and its heady, intoxicating flavor unfolds like origami coming undone. It can be applied to chicken, or enchiladas, but I’d go with the carnitas, braised pork. The mole is my main reason for returning to a sometimes shambolic dining room.

Best Tacos in WNY 2018 (southtowns) via Buffalo Spree

January 01, 2020

Located in a can’t-miss bright-orange building en route to the Village of Hamburg, this taco hotspot has some of the best tortillas around, not to mention the fillings and salsas, which score points for quality and for authenticity. Try the carne asada, the al pastor, or, for a great vegetarian (though not vegan) choice, the chile renello; or, if you’re feeling like something out of what Americans would consider the ordinary, try the chapulin (grasshopper), cactus, and beef tongue. Tacos are served either Mexican style (with onions, cilantro, and salsa) or Texan style (with lettuce, tomato, sour cream and cheese). You know that Mexican style is the best, right? Especially with this excellent salsa verde, made from tomatillos instead of tomatoes, for that true taqueria flavor.

Best Mexican Dishes in WNY

May 03, 2018

Successor to Valle of Mexico II has upgraded service to adequate, bringing me back for mole poblano and gutsy rojo and verde sauces. Try the cricket taco if you dare.


February 09, 2018

"Mexico City was a place that my parents grew up in and it has a lot of different culture between the Aztecs and the Mayans and I definitely want to reflect that and bring that over here," Elder Martinez, owner of Mexico City, said. 

Martinez took over the restaurant business from her parents this past fall and opened up Mexico City in Hamburg.

Her goal was to bring flavors and traditions of Mexican dishes to Western New York in a way that she said no other Mexican restaurant here has.


January 11, 2018

At Mexico City, mole to revel in, grasshopper tacos and more

By Andrew Z. Galarneau | Published January 11, 2018 | 

If "mole" makes you think of a birthmark or a small nearsighted burrower, perhaps you have yet to meet a Mexican one.

Moles are a group of sauces that are one of the fine points of authentic Mexican cuisine. They can be sauces of legendary complexity, as in mole poblano, its preparation a daylong parade of toasted dried chiles, nuts, seeds and spices, including a dab of chocolate.

I mention this because there are adventurous eaters in the area who have never tasted real Mexican mole. I have fantastic news for them: there are more moles to be had close by. Specifically, in Hamburg, at Mexico City.

It's the third draft of Valle of Mexico, which started in South Buffalo, moved to Hamburg, closed, then reopened in October. Changes run deeper than its name. The biggest: food arrives before you seriously consider bailing and hitting the Pizza Hut next door.

HOLY MOLE! I’m not going to work in a restaurant again unless it’s my own

November 01, 2017

I was devastated to hear that Valle of Mexico II had permanently closed — and even more devastated when I saw it confirmed online. But like a phoenix from the ash, Mexico City has risen from the former Valle of Mexico II. Elder Martinez, a brave, spunky, and fiercely independent woman, has come to Buffalo to finish what her father started back in 2014. If you’re like me, you could not imagine a Buffalo without a plethora of Mexican restaurants like we have here today, but Buffalo was not always bursting at the seams with multiple restaurants of every ethnicity as it is now.

BUFFALO NEWS :"Mexican restaurant in Hamburg reopens with new name, leadership"

October 30, 2017

A Mexican restaurant in Hamburg has new leadership and a new name.

The place at 5569 Camp Road is called Mexico City now. Elder Martinez has taken over from the former owner, Hector Martinez, who is a family member, she said.

The menu has been slimmed down for swifter service, and she has installed a screen-based ordering system to speed information to the kitchen, she said. Valle of Mexico II had often frustrated patrons and would-be patrons with slow service.

The new-look restaurant opened Oct. 11, she said. Reaction has been positive, with many customers stopping by for lunch, then returning with their family for dinner, she said.

Tacos ($2.59-$4.99), burritos ($8.95), and the Mexican sandwiches called tortas ($9.79) are available. So are plates ($14.95-$18.95) of meat, rice and beans with the mole, red and green sauces that were a hit at Valle of Mexico II. "It's the same family recipes," she said.

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