The Taste of Mexico in Your Backyard: El Chilito

By Ferdinando G. Schiro

On a question to find an exceptional taco, I pulled off a busy Route 1 in Riverside to check out the spot once home to El Charrito. Turning on to Apache Place, the sign outside the restaurant now says El Chilito.

Noticing the name change, I had many questions including whether there was a new owner and how would the food taste. Luckily I was able to sit down with owner Carlos Terron.

Carlos Terron, owner of El Chilito on Apache Place. Photo: Ferdinando Schiro

Mr. Terron, a native of Mexico, came to the US for a better life and rose through the restaurant ranks at FLIK International. He started as a bus boy, then worked in the deli and then the grill. He became a sous chef after he asked to work in the kitchen where he prepped vegetables and learned how to make sauces. Ultimately he learned to cook all types of food for the workers there.

One day, Terron noticed a food truck that sold hotdogs, and found the idea of a food truck inspiring, but continued to work at FLIK where he had job security. Soon though, Terron had an epiphany. He realized that he needed to do something for himself. His idea of a food truck, with burritos, quesadillas, tacos and authentic Mexican cuisine was now in full force.

Owner Carlos Terron previously operated El Charrito, but after a rebranding and creation of a new website, reopened as El Chiloto. Photo: Ferdinando G. Schiro

Terron started the “El Charitto” food truck in Stamford about 12 years ago. Two years later he opened “El Charrito,” now El Chilito, the takeout restaurant on Apache Place in Riverside, where he has been since 2010.

Explaining the name change, Terron said he had wanted to do a complete rebranding. He said that at first business suffered because people
thought there was a new owner.

Terron said he enjoys owning a restaurant in Greenwich and that it felt good to get compliments about his Mexican cuisine. “This is good, authentic Mexican food, not Tex-Mex,” he said, adding, “I love what I do!”

Two of my favorite questions to ask restaurant owners;
What is your favorite dish to make? And. What is your favorite
dish to eat?

Terron said his favorite dish to prepare is Carnitas Tacos.

“It is the best taco from the Mexican lifestyle, ” he explained. “When this was El Charrito, it was a popular order.”

FerCarnitas, Cochinita Pibil and Chicharron Taco. Photo: Ferdinando G. Schiro

His favorite dish eat is a spicy new one called “Cochinita Pibil,” which is slow cooked pork with peppers and onions. The pork is marinated in advance for two to three days. The dish is served as a single taco, (pictured).

Terron finally boasted that his ingredients are fresh, sourced every day from New York. The guacamole and salsa are also homemade.

Flan is a popular dessert at El Chilito on Apache Place. Photo: Ferdinando Schiro

Breakfast is served all day and dessert options include flan (pictured).

In conjunction with Kreo Solutions, an IT firm that provides professional services and consulting based in Phoenix, Arizona, El Chilito completed its rebranding and has a new website, which is bilingual in English and Spanish.

The website features the menu, their history, and how to have El Chilito cater your next function.

It is also possible to arrange delivery from apps including Grub Hub, Uber Eats, and Seamless.

El Chilito is located at 7 Apache Place in Riverside. Tel (203) 318-9143.