You often hear that there's no good Mexican food to be had in NYC. Usually based off the fact that the person spouting this is from California, so only they know what good Mexican food is.
I am writing this to debunk that myth. It's bullshit, there are plenty of good Mexican places in NYC, you just have to know where to go.
As an Irish person growing up everything outside my Mother's kitchen seemed bland to me. My favorite food was Chicken Fajitas for a long time until they too became bland and I wanted something new to amaze and delight my taste buds, that's when I started exploring other Mexican options.
Mexican food is awesome, the freshness of the coriander and the zing of lime, the versatility of the tortilla and the bite of the chilli pepper. The people of Arizona don't seem to want it there and I for one don't think they deserve it. Which is fine, it means more Mexicans will avoid that desert shithole and they can keep their Burger Kings that litter I-40.
Tomorrow is Cinco de Mayo when the Mexicans celebrate their Victory over the French, and I'm dedicating this post to Mexico and to fighter Saul Alvarez, the most Irish looking Mexican I have ever seen.
From Limerick via Mexico.
Definitely my favorite mexican dish they're basically everything you could ask for in a street food, cheap, easy to stuff in your gob and taste great.
Patty's Taco Truck.
I came across this truck when I was up watching Ireland playing Rugby on the upper East side, it's always parked outside the Subway on 86th and Lex during the day. Stumbling into the van after too much Guinness I was feeling brave and went for Tacos de Lengua (Beef Tongue Tacos). They were amazing. spicy, with moist meat and perfect toppings of lettuce and pico de gallo.
I tongued this Taco, it was romantic.
Dos Tacos Taquiera
This place is just off union square, on 4th Ave a small hole in the wall place, a little pricy but everything is organic and the packaging is all biodegradable and sustainable so I'm willing to pay a little extra. I got the tacos carnitas (pork tacos) and when asked if I would like super spicy I naturally said YES! They weren't joking, this thing nearly blew my head off, but It's now a go-to place for a taco any time I'm in that neck of the woods. They pack it with meat and the tortillas are tiny but taste great, I believe they ship em directly in from a supplier in Queens. These things are amazing.
I'm not sure when I first heard of Sopes but I liked the idea, they're like a cross between a burrito and a taco, with a hard shell with the refried beans but without the rice.
I heard about a little hole in the wall place called...
La Rosita Grocery & Taquiera.
Now this place is cool, it's a tiny Mexican shop in Hell's Kitchen with a window in the back and a few tiny seats. When I went the seats were all full of Latino guys on their lunch break getting stuck into some great looking Mexican food. They serve all the usual fare along with their Sopes.
I took my order to go and went down to the Hudson to eat it in the Sunshine. Sitting in the shadow of The Intrepid Aircraft Carrier I pondered America's love hate relationship with Mexico and immigration in general while I ate my Sope.
Fold it and stuff in face.
NBC's Rachel Maddow had this to say about the Sopes from this small Family run place:
“I not only ‘like’ those chicken sopes, if those chicken sopes ran for Congress, I would quit my job on TV to go door-to-door campaigning for them.” - I have to agree with her, they're bloody great.
One thing is certain, racist lawmakers or not, with food this good, the Mexican people will be always be welcome in my house for lunch.
Felices fiestas Amigos!