Passion: Fruit

Passion: FruitPassion: FruitPassion: FruitPassion: Fruit

A dd condensed milk to pretty much any food and you’ve won me over. But let’s set that aside for a moment. Because people really go to Cositas Deliciosas for the fruit. 

Wedged between a bakery and a hair salon on Grand Avenue in Fair Haven, Cositas makes up for its tiny space with big flavors. The glass cases that dominate the narrow eatery are filled with mango and papaya, strawberry and blueberry, cantaloupe, banana, pineapple, watermelon, passion fruit, guava, tamarind, mamey and more—the list is impressive. So is what Cositas Deliciosas can do with it.

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Flights of Fancy - July 19, 2018

There are Smoothies ($5 small, $6 large) and Shakes ($4, $5). There are choose-your-own Fruit Salads, served straight up, sweet (with yogurt, honey, condensed milk and granola; $8, $9) or spicy (with salt, lemon, chamoy sauce, Valentina hot sauce and Tajin seasoning; $6, $7, $8). If you’re thinking fruit-as-dessert, there are Italian Ices ($2, $3) and Snow Cones ($3, $4) in fruity flavors and traditional ice cream selections topped with fruit ($2.50 to $8). You can try a Diablito ($4, $5)—a Mexican-style snow cone with tamarind or mango syrup covered in chamoy sauce, Valentina sauce, Tajin seasoning and lemon—or a Monjita ($4, $5)—shaved ice, eggnog, strawberry, syrup and that delicious condensed milk—or even a non-alcoholic Piña Colada ($6, $7).

My daughter came along for the ride, and, taking two of the restaurant’s four seats, we tried a couple of options that were new to us. The Mangonada/Chamoyada ($5, $8) is a common Mexican treat. Served sweet or spicy, ours was icy and spicy, with a scoop of mango-flavored Italian ice covered in peppery chamoy, a sauce made of pickled fruit. Fat wedges of tasty mango garnished the dish, with more at the bottom.

We also ordered the Cholado Colombiano ($7, $8). Which brings me back to condensed milk, a rich surprise in a dessert beverage that looked like a fiesta. A cup of red and orange and pink and green fruit was topped with syruped ice, garnished with slices of green apple and mango and crowned with a giant split strawberry stuffed with cascading coconut. Eating this confection required a spoon and a straw—the kind with a little scoop on the end—with which you can dive in, discovering pieces of blueberry, grape, papaya, mango and walnuts. And, yes, the entire concoction was bathed in condensed milk. It was gorgeous to behold, and it tasted heavenly.

In the category of the familiar, we tried a Parfait ($7) made with yogurt, granola, strawberries, blueberries, mango and papaya. And condensed milk. This one was too sweet for me, but my daughter found the sugar heightened the flavor of the fruits. We also sipped Fruit Water ($3) made with watermelon and cantaloupe. (You choose the fruit.) Our server sweetened this drink to our taste, suggesting these fruits needed just a little bit of sugar. Unlike a shake or a smoothie, the fruit water was light and refreshing, more of a summery thirst-quencher than a sweet treat.

Cositas Deliciosas isn’t just about fruit. The menu also includes Tamales (3 for $5), Nachos ($9), Tostadas (3 for $9), Quesadillas ($7), Burritos ($8) and more. Veggie salads are $8, and you may need one after packing on the fruity calories. We tried the Tacos (4 for $10). You can pick four different fillings, so we ordered one each of marinated pork (al pastor), beef, chicken and carnitas (also pork). The tacos—all tasty—were served with both green and red sauce on the side. They were garnished with onion, a generous pinch of cilantro and three gorgeous slices of lime. The limes were big and juicy and perfectly ripe, even on a plate where they were playing second fiddle.

That consummate garnish, I thought, as my daughter squeezed a lime over our tacos, was the ultimate sign of a business that takes its fruit seriously.

Cositas Deliciosas
271 Grand Ave, New Haven (map)
Mon-Sat 7am-10pm, Sun 7am-9pm
(203) 782-4757
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Written by Kathy Leonard Czepiel. Image 1 photographed by Dan Mims. Images 2-4 photographed by Kathy Leonard Czepiel.

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About Kathy Leonard Czepiel

View all posts by Kathy Leonard Czepiel
Kathy Leonard Czepiel is Daily Nutmeg’s associate editor. She’s also a fiction writer, writing teacher and book club troubleshooter at KathyLeonardCzepiel.com. Her favorite New Haven scene is a packed summer concert on the Green with dinner from the food trucks, and she loves that there’s always something new to discover here.

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