lachaparrita_01If it seems that La Chaparrita on Shrewsbury Avenue in Red Bank is getting more traffic these days, it could be proof of the power of the plug.

The tiny bodega was featured in Sunday’s New York Times. But not for its fresh fruit and Pinguinos packaged cupcakes.

Turns out the shop has a busy little kitchen turning out “fresh Mexican comfort food” that attracted writer Kelly Feeney’s attention.

Here’s a taste:

The taco platter is an order of three with a choice of chicken, beef or goat meat, among other options ($7). (Platters include a side of rice and beans.) The chicken burrito ($8) was surprisingly light, simply filled with marinated chicken tossed with fresh cilantro and onion; it is topped with a little cheese and comes with chili sauce on the side. The quesadilla al pastor containing spicy pork and pineapple is heftier ($8), as is the huarache, a deep-fried tortilla covered with chorizo, cheese, avocado, lettuce and tomato ($6; other fillings available).

There are two small folding tables with room for six chairs if you’d like to eat in the store (you may be sharing a table). On weekends one table is sometimes covered with the overflow of goodies from the kitchen and pots are filled with special treats. They include tamales like the “rajas,” filled with shredded pork and poblano peppers, and the rojo, with red chilis and pork ($1.25 each).

Feeney might also have mentioned the pechuga de pollo. We recommend it.