Follow The Locals
By Pete & Will/
Any travel guide will tell you, when you want a region’s
authentic food, go where the locals go. If the inverse is
true, then locals should head for Los Campadres in Huntington
Station for an authentic south of the border experience.
In the 17 years that they’ve owned Los Compadres, Felix
and Maria Rivera have been feeding a steady clientele of Spanish
speaking customers. In fact, according to Felix, rougly half
of their business is from Spanish speaking population, with
many coming from as far as Hempstead and Brentwood.
Born in El Salvador, Felix met Maria in Chihuahua, Mexico
where he grew up. Their unpretentious eatery is in a standalone
building tucked behind the Walt Whitman Birthplace on Old
Walt Whitman Road. It’s off the beaten path, to be sure,
but that hasn’t stopped the regulars from practically
wearing a path to their door. Their Mexican is authentic and
Exceedingly friendly and gregarious, Felix greets customers,
takes orders and works at lightning speed to feed those who
pass through the tiny eatery. It’s an unpretentious
place where paper-wrapped tamales, tacos and other Mexican
specialties are served on paper plates at Formica tables.
If you’re looking for tablecloths, go elsewhere; Los
Compadres isn’t about ambiance – it’s about
At Felix’s insistence we started with the Guacamole
($2.99 small, $4.99 large). A plateful of homemade nacho chips
appeared almost instantly, arranged in a starburst shape in
a bed of chunky avocado spiced with garlic and cilantro. A
small pot of spicy salsa accompanied it. As an appetizer to
take the edge of the wait for food, it’s hardly necessary
because the Los Compadres kitchen works fast. Nachos and cheese
with salsa ($2.25 small, $3.25 large) or Quesadilla ($2.50)
are also offered.
Menu selections are composed primarily of beef, chicken and
beans and those high school Spanish classes might come in
handy. We tried a trio from the “Mexico Tipico”
column on the menu. Tacos de Chorizo ($2.25) was filled with
a flavorful Mexican sausage made on premises; the Tacos a
la Plancha, had chunks of sliced grilled beef ($2.25). Both
are small, but that makes it better for tasting other dishes.
The Fajita Pollo ($2.89) with shredded chicken, lettuce and
beans in a bread pocket was more substantial and the best
flavored of the three.
Enchiladas, Fajita or Chimichanga plates ($8.99) are meal-sized
portions, and combo plates ($8.99) allow one to taste the
Enchilada and Flauta with either a Tamale or Chimichanga.
Grill specialties include include chicken and beef dishes.
Whatever you choose, don’t miss the opportunity to accompany
your meal with authentic Horchata, a sweet drink of rice milk,
toasted sesame and cinnamon that those in the know seemed
to be drinking. Or try a bottle of Jaritos — Mexican
soda in flavors like tamarind, tutti frutti and grapefruit.
Hint: the bottle opener is mounted on the counter near the
243 Old Walt Whitman Road, Huntington Station
Cuisine: Homemade Mexican
Atmosphere: Paper plate casual
Price range: Inexpensive
Hours: 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. every day