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El Colima – The Best Mexican Restaurant in Nashua?

Happy National Taco Day! I’ve got just the place for you to celebrate if you’re looking for great Mexican in Nashua.

Where: El Colima 116 West Pearl Street, Nashua, NH 03060

Website: http://elcolima.com/

In the four years I lived in Los Angeles I ate authentic, delicious Mexican food regularly, so when I moved back here I was nervous I wouldn’t find the same level of food I’d grown accustomed to. One thing that’s so important to me in a restaurant is freshness. Fresh ingredients and fresh flavors is why I go out to eat, otherwise I could crack open a can at home and just make something myself! Luckily, El Colima in downtown Nashua delivers the fresh and authentic flavors I love in Mexican food.

I never had a chance to eat at Tacos Colima, the former incarnation by the same owners that was in a small space near Clocktower. They’ve moved to this new West Pearl location, and it’s a beautiful big restaurant. The staff wears bright red uniforms and the dining booths are high-backed, glossy mahogany like wood carved with the El Colima name.

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I’m obsessed with all the light fixtures in the restaurant. They’re so lovely.

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I think this is the Mayan calendar?

The meal starts on a high note with its delicious homemade salsa that has just the right amount of kick. It’s salsa like this that makes it impossible for me to buy store-bought salsa – it balances heat with a little sweetness, and a texture that’s not too runny but not chunky either. You can tell just by the bright red color and chopped pieces of onions and chiles, this is the real deal.

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Fajitas sizzled to the table with big chunks of onions, peppers, and rib eye steak. There was some confusion because the menu said a “side salad”, so just to be clear this means shredded lettuce with your usual sour cream, guacamole and tomato. Mmmm guacamole.

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I also tried the delicious carne asada. Fantastic. But the best part of either dish was the small side of pico de gallo served unassumingly on the plate. SO YUM! And so spicy. Like, really spicy. My one wish for both dishes would be more of the veggies, like the shredded lettuce and pico de gallo, and a little less of the rice and beans.

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Both meals came with warm, hearty corn tortillas, which I forgot to photograph, probably because I gobbled them up. Confession, I always order crunchy tacos. I’ve never liked flour tortillas. This was the first time I LOVED soft tortillas, and I can’t imagine coming back here and not getting them again. They were so satisfying I could probably just eat them on their own.

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While I loved the food, it really was a delicious meal, I thought the drinks were a disappointment. We shared a mango flavored house margarita in a pitcher for $25. (It’s priced $22 on the menu, I guess adding a flavor is an extra $3) The mango flavor was great; fresh and fruity. However, I don’t think there was very much tequila in it. I didn’t taste it, and I didn’t feel it. The pitcher seemed like a great value though, as the other drinks are priced pretty high compared to other bars in the area.

There also wasn’t any hot sauce on the table, and they charge a $1.00 for their red sauce delivered in a small dish on the side. It might not be the most economical meal, but I’m happy to pay more for real food and bright flavors.

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The bar area.

El Colima might just be my favorite Mexican in Nashua. It was one of those flavorful, hearty meals that filled me up so that I wasn’t even hungry for breakfast the next day. While the drinks were a miss, I’m hoping it was a fluke, because I can’t wait to come back for more of those corn tortillas and pico de gallo!

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