The first thing I noticed when walking into Cazadores was the brightly colored walls. They resembled the vibrant and lively streets of Mexico. The restaurant itself is conveniently located, tucked on the right side of the road in a slightly rural area lined with greenery.
Easily accessible with a car, it boasts a peaceful tranquility from hectic city life; but is only a five minute drive away from Tyngsboro town in Massachusetts, where activities such as the cinema and mall are located.
I was especially intrigued when hearing that the owners themselves were not from Mexico, but rather another South American country, Colombia. Hispanic culture is similar on the surface, although historical traditions differ. Countries residing in the continent are characterized by welcoming, family-oriented natives, warm tropical weather, lively music, and delicious food. Mexico is no exception. The cuisine from this region is fresh, delicious, vibrant, and spicy. Mexican food has become a staple of Western cuisine, and with good reason.
Dishes are distinguished by and many include a staple of meat (mostly chicken, beef, or pork), cheese, maize (the shell), beans, salsa, lettuce, tomatoes, avocado, jalapeno, and various spices and herbs. The country’s most widely known dishes include tacos, quesadillas, enchiladas, and tortillas. These are often offered with the option of flour or corn tortillas. The gluten-intolerant need not worry!
INSIDE THE RESTAURANT
This family restaurant has traditional paintings on the walls, giving a good idea of Mexican culture. Not too big or small in size, the first floor consisted of the dining area, with finely crafted wooden tables and chairs. The stairs lead to a dimly lit, furnished, and pleasantly decorated basement area. This was the bar, lined with bar stools and booths, serving the finest drinks originating from Mexico.
I ordered the “Tour de Mexico” made for two. It came with six tacos of varying meats - steak, chicken, and shrimp. Two chimichangas - beef and chicken, and two tamales. Delicious yellow rice that had seasoned green beans, carrots, and peas served alongside creamy beans were the perfect starter for this traditional meal. The plate was lined with guacamole, sour cream, lettuce, and tomato, most likely for the tacos and chimichangas that were to come. I noted the flavors of the rice and beans complimented each other very well. Everything so far was just the right amount of spicy, not too much or too little. (I do not do well with spicy food.)
Next came the rest of the main entree, plated aesthetically. The tacos, chimichangas, and tamales came with 3 dipping sauces. When I asked, the server informed me they were tomatillo, mango habanero, and plain habanero. My companion made the mistake of dipping one of his tacos in the habanero a little too much, prompting him to need water. Note: A little goes a long way with those pepper hot sauces.
Overall, the food was served on time and was absolutely delicious. As mentioned, I am not one that eats spicy food too often, but the Mexican cuisine at Cazadores was the perfect amount of savory and spicy. The flavors were balanced extremely well, and the food perfectly seasoned. The tacos were light, with a doughy tortilla, and the chicken was chewy and zesty. Coupled with the guacamole, tomato, and lettuce the tacos and chimichangas were a delightful take on Mexican food. The tamales were smooth and cheesy.
THE FAMILY BEHIND THE MAGIC
The Millan family had been dreaming of opening a restaurant for a long time. (Pictured above) Monica Arango-Millan, 35, Heidy Arango-Millan, 33, Luz Millan, 55, Brian Millan-Finnerty, 19, Jose Arango-Millan, 30.
Luz Millan came to the land of opportunity in 1995 - leaving behind her family in Colombia. From Nashua, New Hampshire, she would send money back to support her family. She worked and made enough money until she could afford to bring her children to the United States in 1997. “It was challenging, a very hard time not only for me, but for them,” Luz recalls, “We paid the price to be here.” Assimilating to a new culture is never an easy task, and Luz had to learn a new language, and at times worked three jobs.
Cazadores is fairly new and opened to the public on November 19th, 2017, The family goes back to Colombia periodically, and whenever they come back, they are grateful to be in a land where they can make a living off of sharing the delicious food of their hispanic heritage. Despite being Colombian, Luz wanted to keep the restaurant as authentically Mexican as possible. One of the chefs she hired knows his grandmother’s Mexican recipes by heart. In the early stages, furniture from Mexico was imported, and a large, beautiful mural was painted on a dining room wall (pictured above). Each family member has their own role, putting together what Luz calls “a great team” that is stronger when they are together.
Cazadores Restaurante Mexicano
130 Middlesex Rd
Tania is a 20 year old university student. She considers herself a dreamer, believer, and animal lover. She has an affinity for travel, and believes you can learn more from immersing yourself in different cultures than you can from anything else. She embraces diversity, and feels that food is the best means of cultural expression.