At Casa Latina, everything — from the guajillo salsa to horchata (a sweet, cinnamon-flavored rice drink) to the soft, warm corn tortillas — is made on site. A few blocks off of swanky, expensive Warren Street, Casa Latina is an affordable oasis. There are four indoor tables, outdoor seating, and a parking lot (a rarity in Hudson). Mexican paper decorations and Frida Kahlo portraits spruce up the funky, functional décor. And, the food is prepared in sight of the tables. You’ll see for yourself, the Romero family knows how to cook, and they know how to hustle!
Our super-friendly waiter, Javier (the son of owner/chef Maria), walks us through the menu. We ask what’s the specialty of the house, and he says everyone loves the tacos (it’s true, they’re fantastic). But tonight we’re looking for something less usual, so he tells us to try the sopes ($8), a traditional Mexican dish consisting of a fried masa base with savory toppings. You’ve got your choice of cheese, beans, pork, or steak. They’re hearty and heartwarming, and will keep you filled up on a cold winter’s day. One of the cehfs, Alberto, is from the Puebla region of Mexico, and these sopes are his specialty.
Make Sure to Try: The Pupusas
While you’re here, make sure to try the pupusas ($3-$4), too. What are they, you ask? Pupusas are a delicious corn masa flatbread and the national dish of El Salvador. Owner and head chef Maria Romero is Salvadorean, and these recipes are ones that her familiy has made for generations. The pupusas are filled with one or more ingredients and served with curtido (cabbage slaw) and salsa. We tried the loroco sopes (loroco is small, green flower buds that are used for flavoring in Central America). They’re fantastic!
Oscar declared that their homemade horchata ($3) was one of the best he’s ever had. “Every sip tastes like Christmas,” he said, thanks to the canela (cinnamon). The Romeros’ humble demeanor belies the accolades they receive from a huge range of visitors, and in just three years, they’ve become a Hudson institution.
Casa Latina Pupusas Y Más, 78 Green Street in Hudson, NY; (518) 653-1334. Open Monday through Saturday from 10am to 9pm; closed Sundays.