Monthly Archives: August 2012

G.O.A.T (Greatest.Of.All.Tacos.)(Morocho Peruvian Fusion Cart Review – Union Square)

A few weeks ago, while perusing through the Food Truck forest that is Union Square West in search of DomoTaco, I came across a taco option (a tac-tion if you will) I had yet to encounter, Morocho Peruvian Fusion Cart.  Though intrigued, I was not so much so that I would abandoned the mission at hand (which was DomoTaco) in order to give it a whirl.  I did however, put a note in my Wunderlist to check it out, and two weeks later I trekked back into the aforementioned forest to give it a go.

Upon arrival, my excitement was immediately sent into a state of retreat as I read the price board.  $5 for the Hongos (veggie) Taco, $6 for the Carnitas (if you read our blog you should know damn well what Carnitas is) Tacos, and $7 for the Lomo Saltado (Grilled Rib-eye) Taco.  Normally I would have abandoned the mission right there with those prices, but the ingredients sounded so unique that I decided to splurge.  After all, you only live once and the good thing about having tacos as your specialty is that they are usually cheap.  So having mentally moving past the price, I confirmed with the affable young gentleman working the cart that I would in fact take one of each and handed him my money.  Upon receiving my change, I also experienced a mild stroke when said gentleman told me it would be a 10 minute wait.  10 minutes!  This is 5th Ave street meat not 5 star cuisine! Oh man was I pissed.  The only solace I could take was the eventual shellacking I would give them when it came time to review.

Then, with just one mushroom filled bite, all my animosity billowed away like steam from the grill as a perfect chorizo taco is cooked up.  These tacos were, without a shadow of a doubt, the best tacos I have ever experienced in my life.  I feel like this was my taco first communion.  I was a member of the taco congregation before, but this was the final deal-sealer as to my commitment to tortilla-wrapped religiosity. These tacos are so good, I will forbid my future children to have them until they are at least 21 years old and have experienced several hundred other taco alternatives for fear that they will never again enjoy another non-Morocho taco.  In short, yeah I’d say I’d recommend them to a friend.

Hongo (Vegetarian) Taco - This was the best vegetarian taco I’ve ever had.  Between the multi-mushroom attack (button and shitake), the asparagus and the choclo (peruvian corn) I was glad there was no meat in this taco because it was packed to the brim as is.  It should also be noted that the Choclo was gargantuan to the point where it looked like something out of Jurassic Park (see photo below to the left).  The sauce, a huacatay creme fraiche, carried a very interesting flavor that I will now actively seek out.  I did some research afterwards and Huacatay, also known as “black mint”, is a staple of Peruvian food.  Tacos aside, this sauce has put me on a mission to seek out more Peruvian dishes.

Jurassic Corn (next to a pen for size comparison)

Carnitas Taco

Carnitas (Pulled Pork) Taco - Probably the most run-of-the mill of my Morocho experience.  Not that it was run-of-the-mill in terms of the quality, just that it was the most familiar in terms of taste.  It was a sweet pulled pork taco similar to what you would expect from a high-end taqueria such as Mercadito.  I would order it again, as it would have stood out amongst most taco orders I’ve made in my life, but against the two other tacos that rounded out this order I’d have to say this was the weakest link.  It’s like putting Kerry Collins next to Phil Simms and Eli Manning.  Solid by the numbers, but not a legend…and a little too heavy on the red onion.

Lomo Saltado (Rib-eye Strips) Taco - This taco brought a tear to my eye.  It was…wait for it…legendary.  A masterpiece of fusion the likes of which I’ve never experienced before.  Perfectly grilled rib-eye steak, juicy tomato, red onion, cilantro, garlic, scallion and the two standouts of the taco; oyster sauce and soy sauce.  These last two gave it an Asian flare to it, effectively capturing everything that Morocho’s ‘asian-centric’ competitors should be aiming for.  This was, beyond the shadow of a doubt, the G.O.A.T (Greatest.Of.All.Tacos).

G.O.A.T (Greatest.Of.All.Tacos) – Lomo Saltado (Rib-eye) Taco

- Taco Slut

Between the Tortilla:

Lomo Saltado

  • Rib-eye strips
  • Tomato
  • Red onion
  • Cilantro
  • Garlic
  • Scallion
  • Soy
  • Oyster sauce

Carnitas

  • Pulled pork
  • Tomato
  • Salsa criolla
  • Aji panca
  • BBQ sauce

Hongo

  • Button and Shitake mushrooms
  • Choclo (peruvian corn)
  • Asparagus
  • Huacatay creme fraiche

Morocho Peruvian Fusion (Union Square)
Manhattan, NY

Website: Nada. 
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/MorochoNYC
Twitter: http://twitter.com/NYCmorocho


Beware of Your Uncle Moe (Uncle Moe’s Review – Flatiron District)

Lately, I haven’t been having too much fun with my day-to-day. A few weeks ago, I herniated a disc in my back and pretty much everything makes it hurt. It’s gotten bad enough that I’ve started going to a physical therapist down in the Flatiron District. The Taco Slut himself works in that area, and considers himself well versed in regards to the local taco dispensaries. But is he?

Walking down 19th street, I saw the promising sign of Uncle Moe’s Burrito & Taco Shop. I thought, “What luck! After I get some back relief, I can get some stomach relief with some hopefully delicious tacos”.  Unfortunately, there was no relief to be had. Just a sloppy taco mess.

Look at this sloppy mess. Think there’s enough lettuce?

I texted the above picture to El Taco Slut, to which he replied “Cafeteria taco right there.” How right he was. This taco slop might as well have come from a school or work cafeteria. No taco love! No taco flavor! No taco joy! Just meat, guac and whatever sauces plopped onto the tortilla, “Here you go, whatever, we don’t give a F!”. Not exactly the experience I was going for, but there was nothing else to do but the eat these “tacos”.

I went with the “Chile Colorado” (left) and the “Super Taco” (right). The Chile Colorado comes with some slow roasted chunks of pork and is dripping in a “chile sauce”. Must have been some weak chiles cause there was no spice! It’s kind of sad to have something called “Chile” and have it bland as all hell. Thank goodness for the salsa bar where actual hot salsa was available so I could add some real spice to this taco disgrace.

The “Super Taco” came with whatever meat/protein you wanted, plus cheese, guac and sour cream. Kind of like a Taco Supreme from Taco Bell. Yeah, I said it. I chose steak, which was probably a mistake, but I had already made so many. The steak had the consistency of a diner gyro. The guacamole was…..eh. It was more of “eat this fast and GTFO” experience.

Uncle Moe’s seems to be more of a burrito-centric place. They’ve got like 15 different kinds of burritos, while their taco selection is much slimmer at about 4. A burrito is that kind of meal where it just ends up being a mess anyway, where you do kind of just stuff all those fillings into that tortilla and wrapped up. I feel like my taco was made with the heart of burrito, just not fully wrapped up, just laying there, open-faced.

Luckily, there are other taco joints in the area (like El Carrito Rojo!) if I feel the need to heal my soul with tacos after some PT. There is no way I’ll ever go to Uncle Moe’s again. Consider yourselves warned.

- Doc Taco

Uncle Moe’s Burrito & Taco Shop (Flatiron District)
14 West 19th St., Between 5th & 6th Ave.
Manhattan, NY 10011

“Website”: http://unclemoesnyc.com
Twitter: No!
Facebook: No!


So long and thanks for all the fish…(Pinata’s Review – Long Island)

Pinatas: Fish Taco, Chorizo Tijuana Taco, Chicken Taco Grande

In a former life, when I was young enough to consider White Castle the pinnacle of culinary genius, I would frequent a small taqueria in Bethpage, Long Island known as Pinata’s.  At the time I was working as a technical writer for a defense contractor (a little different environment than the music industry position I currently hold), and my weekly highlight was to go to Pinata’s for lunch on Friday and get some fish tacos and chicken taquitos.  This week while visiting my parents, they offered to take me on a taco-tinged trip down nostalgia blvd. and I happily obliged.  While my path through life has taken me to ‘many-a-better-taco-joint’ since, Pinata’s still held its own.  In fact, I was happy to discover that even as a fledgling taco-slut my instincts had served me well, as the fish taco was still the best of the bunch that I sampled.

Fish Taco (Front & Center!)

Fish Taco - One thing to keep in mind with Pinata’s is that they probably aren’t going to ever win any awards for presentation.  Even their fish tacos are pretty sloppy in appearance, but nevertheless they definitely are worth getting a little dirty for.  The cod, which is lightly breaded, is soft and flaky.  The Zesty tartar-esque sauce adds the perfect hint if ting, and the pico and cabbage make appearances without trying to steal the show.  Overall, this was the best taco of the experience.

Chorizo - Up until this week, I had never met a chorizo taco I didn’t like.  That is a streak that I wish I still had going, but alas I guess they can’t all be winners.  This was more of a stock sausage taco than authentic chorizo.  On top of that it tasted as though it had come from a day old Burger King supply.  The cilantro and chopped onions were barely there, if the chorizo was on point this would have been a blessing, but unfortunately that was not the case.  Lesson learned on this one.  Stick to the fish.

Chicken Taco Grande – Grande apparently translates to unraveled burrito in Bethpage because that’s exactly what this was.  It was a flour tortilla roughly twice the size of a normal taco, stuffed to the brim with grilled chicken, black beans, lettuce, pico de gallo, sour cream, guacamole, monterrey jack cheese & hot salsa.  It was pretty good (oh so descriptive, I kn0w…), although it left me a little fuller than I would have liked to have been.   It also required a significant amount of janitor work (eating the stuff that falls out of the tortilla with your fork), which is something I’d expect from a burrito, but not a taco.  I think if faced with the decision again I would probably skip this and just get a burrito (which are great from Pinatas).

In summary, its not a GREAT taqueria.  It is a solid one, and in Bethpage, Long Island I’m willing to bet solid is the best you’re going to get.

- Taco Slut

Between The Tortilla:

Fish Taco:

  • Lightly Breaded Codfish
  • ‘Zesty’ Sauce (a variation on tartar sauce)
  • Pico De Gallo
  • Shredded Cabbage

Chorizo Tijuana Taco:

  • Chorizo
  • Chopped Onion
  • Cilantro

Chicken Taco Grande:

  • Grilled Chicken
  • Black Beans
  • Shredded Lettuce
  • Pico De Gallo
  • Sour Cream
  • Guacamole
  • Monterrey Jack Cheese
  • Hot Salsa
  • Kitchen Sink

Pinata’s (Bethpage, Long Island)
601 Hicksville Rd.
Bethpage, NY 11714

Website: http://www.pinatasmexicangrill.com/
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Pinatas-Mexican-Grill/134858456565477
Twitter: No Tweets, Just Meats


MXCO Crntas Tco Rvew (MXCO Delivery Review – Upper East Side)

Friends, I have something shameful to admit.

I was away on vacation for a little while and until last night, I had not eaten a taco in almost 2 weeks. (I refuse to count the Baja Fresh “taco” I had at a rest stop in Delaware. GROSS. I was weak. Please pardon me.) There just wasn’t an opportunity to partake in anything wrapped in a tortilla during my Southern beach escape. To make up for my lack of taco intake last week, I jumped at the chance to try out a different taqueria in my neighborhood last night.

MXCO came recommended to me by some good friends. I am still not recovered fully from my long road trip over the weekend, so I had the tacos delivered to me, via delivery.com. Their menu has all the greatest hits of any respectable taco joint, like beer battered shrimp, braised short rib, black bean, chicken, skirt steak, and of course, chorizo. But I decided to go with an old favorite, coca-cola carnitas. My favorite Mexican restaurant by my office, El Centro, also offers this on their menu, so I was eager to try it out.

Coca-Cola Carnitas

My taco prize was delivered very quickly, and I have to say that I was impressed with what I saw. Thick chunks of sweet, glazed, slow cooked pork. A healthy portion of their “avocado mousse”, which just sounds like a fancy way to say, “creamier guacamole”. Add some black beans and pickled radish (a prime taco topping!), and just wow. This is one of the best carnitas tacos I’ve had in a while. The pork was nice and sweet, letting you know that there’s more uses for Coke than just plain drinking. The avocado mousse was also a nice treat, because every good taco deserves some sort of guacamole love!

One negative to this experience was portion size. This order only came with 2 relatively small, though very stuffed, tacos. For $10, I’d expect at least 3, or at least some rice and beans, y’know? Also, I should’ve went to MXCO, instead of getting delivery. As with a lot of delivery foods, the condensation from the container made the tacos a little soggy, but that’s on me for choosing delivery. Overall it was a tasty taco time, and I look forward to trying out some of their other tacos soon, I’ve got my eyes and stomach on that chorizo.

Between The Tortilla:

  • Juicy chunks of carnitas
  • Pickled radish
  • Black beans
  • Avocado mousse (pretty guac-like)

MXCO (Upper East Side)
1491 2nd Avenue
Manhattan, NY 10075

Website: http://mxcony.com/
Facebook: No Friends :(
Twitter: No Tweets :(


Domo Arigato Mr Fish Taco (DomoTaco Review – Moving Target)

Domo Taco Logo!

My relationship with DomoTaco started roughly four months ago when I was not yet writing of my taco exploits.  I was walking to my office, a route I had traveled quite often, when this mysterious greenish-yellow food truck with a funny little ninja turd logo was parked on 21st St. between 7th and 6th Avenue.  Being the mature individual that I am, I was immediately attracted to said little ninja turd, and couldn’t take my eyes off it.  As I approached, I realized it wasn’t a turd at all.  In fact it was a taco (I just realized about five minutes ago its a fish taco) complete with a bandana and a mustache!  While I generally don’t like mustaches on my taco, I was still intrigued enough to return later that day and grab what turned out to be some seriously delicious Teriyaki Steak tacos and an order of Japanese Nacho Tots (tater tots with nacho cheese, pico de gallo, okinomi sauce, Japanese mayo, nori and shaved bonito).  I was in heaven.  Conceptually, fusion tacos was something alien to me, that is unless you count late night college munchies.  Japanese and Mexican cooking styles have a few similarities, but they are definitely different enough in terms of flavors that this could go horribly wrong, thankfully it walked the line between genius and insanity like a champ and I decided without a shadow of a doubt I would be returning.

But then, as mysteriously as it had entered my life, DomoTaco vanished seemingly never to return to The Flatiron District.

Fast forward four months and I happen to notice my old Turd Taco buddy in Union Square West.  Thank god there was a Hot97 Street team gathering a rather large crowd on the block, because without that distraction my giddy screaming and jumping up and down might have been a bit embarrassing.  Then again, this did happen in Union Square so it probably wouldn’t have even cracked the top 5 weirdest things going on in the vicinity.

Without further adieu, here are my thoughts on my, at least personally, highly anticipated sophomore Domo Taco experience:

Carnitas Taco, Veg Taco, Fish Tempura Taco (From Left To Right)

Carnitas Taco – This was probably the best of the lot, but then again when is the pork-related taco not the best of the lot?  The meat was a little sweeter than I typically like but I was definitely impressed with the overall taste.  I also think this taco lent itself best to the ‘fusion’ concept.  The Char siu pulled pork was definitely slow-cooked with care, and the accompaniments (Monterey Jack cheese, hot sauce, queso fresco and pico de gallo) all played their part well.

Fish Tempora Taco – I’m a big fan of beer battered fish, and they definitely use a quality batter here.  I would have liked to have been able to taste the fish a little more, but I would still give two thumbs up to this taco.  The pico, queso fresco and hot sauce were the same as the Carnitas taco, and the miso slaw was delicious to the point where I wouldn’t complain about having a full side of it as well.  My only question about this taco is the fact that they call it ‘baja’ style.  It didn’t necessarily fit that descriptor if you ask me, even if it was still a strong fish taco.

Veg Taco – Probably the most interesting conceptually.  The vegetarian option came with Asian black beans, edamame guacamole, queso fresco and hot sauce.  Black bean tacos are a personal favorite, and the edamame guacamole was interesting as well.  Overall this was definitely a great option for any vegetarians out there looking for an new twist on a veggie taco.

In closing, Asian Fusion taco trucks seem to be popping up all over the place.  I’ve only actually sampled a few of them, but if this is what can be expected from this particular style blend, its definitely a taco sub-genre worth exploring!

- Taco Slut

Between The Tortilla:

Carnitas Taco
Char siu pulled pork
Monterey Jack Cheese
Pico De Gallo
Queso Fresco
Hot Sauce

Fish Tempura Taco
Baja style beer batter fish
Miso Slaw
Pico De Gallo
Queso Fresco
Hot Sauce

Veg Taco
Asian black beans,
Edamame Guacamole
Queso Fresco
Hot Sauce

Domo Taco (moving target, check the twitter for location)

Website: http://www.domotaco.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/domotaco
Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/domotaco

Carnitas Taco, Veg Taco, Fish Tempura Taco (From Left to Right)


Saturday Night Taco Fever (Slow Cooked Pork Shoulder Tacos)

You can tell be the way she cooks that pork, she’s a taco queen no time to talk…

Slow Cooked Pork Shoulder Tacos (sans greens)

Sometimes you have the sort of week where you’re so worn out that you just want to let loose, hit up your local disco and tear up the floor. Sometimes, your sequined jumpsuit is at the dry cleaner, and you have had the sort of week that finds you in your office at 4:30 AM Saturday morning only to wake up four hours later to continue your work week for another six hours. When that happens, there is only one thing that can salvage your Saturday night. Lots of beers, Newsroom, a taco-mate and some decadently tender slow cooked pork shoulder tacos. This was my Saturday night…

After a quick trip to the grocery store with Taco Queen, we made our way back to get the taco festivities started. To properly slow cook your pork, keep in mind you are going to need a minimum of four hours. We got a nice sized pork shoulder at our local butcher and let it marinade, in the slow cooker, key to this will be the marinade.

We started with a dry rub, which Taco Queen made using garlic, chili powder and oregano.  Next she covered the pork in mustard and gave it a healthy dose of sriracha.  Step 4 the TQ poured peach salsa (from Trader Joe’s) over the top.  Finally, she put a tiny bit of the same Lawry’s Santa Fe Chili Marinade with Lime and Garlic you might remember from last week’s Camping Taco blog and two light beers into the slow cooker and placed the pork in.  Four hours and a considerable number of Modelo’s later, we were ready to start working on all the supplementary ingredients that we were going to include in our Saturday Night Fever tacos. We went with cilantro, radish, cotija cheese, red onion and my lifeblood, sriracha. If you’d like you can also add some greens, as Taco Queen did.

With the Greens

Yes this is a pretty standard list of taco accompaniments, and yes we do usually like to get a little experimental in our quest for the ultimate taco. But at the same time when you’re having a rough week, there’s nothing better than a classic taco, and this slow-cooked pork taco with the ingredients listed here is pretty much my ideal in terms of comfort food.

Between the Tortilla:

  • Slow-cooked Pork Shoulder (In Marinade)
  • Cotija Cheese
  • Radish
  • Red Onion
  • Cilantro
  • Greens (optional)
  • Slice of Lime (for that extra zest!)

Marinade:

  • Tiny bit of Lawry’s Santa Fe Chili w/ Lime and Garlic Marinade.
  • Taco Queen’s Homemade Dry Rub (Chili Powder, Garlic, Oregano)
  • Sriracha
  • Mustard
  • Peach Salsa
  • 2 Light Beers of your choice

- Taco Slut


Camp Yummytaco (Catskills Camping Chicken Tacos)

Camping Pulled Chicken Taco!

Kiva!

E.B. White once wrote “I would feel more optimistic about a bright future for man if he spent less time proving that he can outwit nature and more time tasting her sweetness and respecting her seniority“.

Doc Taco once g-chatted “Tacos really ARE fucking delicious“.

So what could possibly be better than eating delicious tacos while appreciating nature with good friends?  In short, not much.  I recently returned from a camping trip to the Catskills with the Taco Queen, our taco compadres Tonetilla & TaCol (who also brought their little cute-as-carnitas puppy Kiva) and to be honest, I wish I was still in the woods.  We drank copious amounts of beer, hiked 10 miles a day through beautiful terrain, found a cascading waterfall and ate like kings.  Twice during the week we even made campfire tacos.  Needless to say, this will now be a staple of all future camping expeditions.

Camping Tans.  This is what our camping tacos consisted of in case you would like to have a go at them yourself.

Under The Tortilla Tent:

  1. Grilled Pulled-Chicken - We also grilled up some skirt steak one night, but the Taco Queen (who led the taco charge on this trip) really outdid herself with the pulled chicken.  It was so tender that it legitimately melted in our mouths as if it had been in a slow cooker for eight hours.  She also marinaded it in Lawry’s Chili Marinade with Lime and Garlic which I’m a big fan of.  Muy excelente!
  2. Are They Fruit or Vegetables? (Tomato & Avocado) - Not sure what it is about produce that walks the line between fruit and vegetable, but they go damn well in tacos.  Taco Queen used ample avocado and tomato for these tacos.  Both were nice and fresh, and added to the tortilla-appeal of the tacos.
  3. Radish - As I’ve mentioned previously, radish is a serious plus when it comes to filling a tortilla.  It’s crisp and refreshing, and gives a nice bite.  Just remember to cut them nice and thin!
  4. Grilled Pineapple

    Pineapple - As the Doc noted in our joint review of Casa Mezcal, pineapple adds a nice sweet to an otherwise savory taco.  For added flavor, throw the pineapple on the grill.  This will caramelize the fruit, concentrating the sugar and enhancing the sweetness!

  5. The Tortilla La Fe Taco-sized tortillas.  Toss em on the grill for a couple of seconds to give them a little strength to hold all the goodness they’ll soon contain.

These are the essential elements to the perfect camping chicken taco.  Enjoy!

- Taco Slut

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Tacos With Friends (Casa Mezcal Review – Chinatown)

With so many taquerias and trucks in this city to cover, it’s very rare that el doctoro and I get to sit down and enjoy each other’s company over some tacos and Tecate.  This past week, we decided a trip to the ‘so-hot-right-now’ Barrio Chino would be a great excuse to celebrate our tortilla wrapped friendship.  We even had the honor of sharing this meal with Craig of New Fork City NY, a man with some serious taco knowledge in his own right.  Unfortunately, part of the problem with trying to get into a ‘so-hot-right-now’ restaurant is that everyone else seems to have gotten the same inside tip about how great a place it is.  You’d think after three years of it being impossible to get into Barrio the crowd might have dissipated a bit, but when we attempted to check in they told us it would be an hour-and-a-half wait.  Luckily, right across the street is another solid taco haven by the name of Casa Mezcal.  Here we could be seated immediately, and with the ravenous taco-hunger we had built up this seemed a more suitable option.

Casa Mezcal is a little more pinkies’ up than we’re used to reviewing, but for the most part it lives up to the prices.  Craig had a margarita that he enjoyed, the Doc and I got Tecates (as to be expected), and we all split some guacamole and chips.  I don’t think I’ve ever been to a sit down mexican restaurant where someone didn’t give me the hot tip in advance of “definitely try their guac, its the best ever”, but in this case I assure you…try the guac.  Its smooth, fresh and well seasoned, and when you add a dash of their salsa verde or tomatillo sauce (at least I’m pretty sure it was tomatillo) you get a nice bit of kick to it.

I do have one regret with our order.  After looking up Casa Mezcal later that night, I found out that among their specialties is Chapulqueso (fried grasshopper, tomatoes and basil in melted queso).  Somehow I’ve never eaten grasshopper, although I’ve wanted to for years.  Being that you can cover pretty much anything in melted queso and have it taste good, I figure this might be the place where I should check snackin’ on some grasshoppers off the bucket list.  But I digress, after all unless you’re gonna put Jiminy Cricket between a tortilla with some salsa verde and chorizo, checking out those grasshoppers wouldn’t have made it into this blog anyways.

Tacos De Lengua (Beef Tongue)

Tacos De Lengua (Beef Tongue) - All of the core competencies of a good taqueria were clearly on display with this taco.  The soft, made in-house tortillas wrapped around boiled beef tongue and some fresh onions and cilantro (served with a slice of lime on the side) were the very model of the old adage “Keep It Simple, Stupid”.  All the flavors played off each other very well, and although I would have to say the Lengua tacos from El Carrito Rojo are better (and cheaper) I would definitely order these tacos again.  Quick hint though, add a little of their salsa verde or tomatillo sauce to your taco for a little spice.  There salsas are exceptional and play off of the simplicity of these tacos well. – Taco Slut

Between The Tortilla:
Boiled Beef Tongue
Cilantro
Red Onions

Al Pastor (Chili Rubbed Pork)

Al Pastor Tacos (Chili Rubbed Pork) - Usually, I prefer having more than one option when going out for tacos. I like being able to create my own plate of 3 tacos, just so I can maximize the experience. So when I can only choose one style per order, and this menu had some solid choices, it can be a little overwhelming. “Do I go with the Carnitas?” “The Al Pastor looks good, maybe I should have that.” “I haven’t had a Fish Taco in a while.” When my mind started to sound like this, I put my taco fate into the hands of our waitress. I asked her what she thought the best taco was, to which she responded “Oh, well the Al Pastor is good and…” Before she could finish, I told her she read my mind and that’s what I’d have.

What drew me to the Al Pastor was the inclusion of pineapples. In combination with the chili-rubbed pork, the pineapples would add special sweetness to the taco, which I haven’t had before. It’s almost like the Hawaiian pizza version of a taco. To my surprise, though, I could barely taste any chili at all on the pork. A little salsa verde on the taco did help bring up the spice. The pineapples were the standout of the tacos, making each bite sweet and juicy. Before I knew it, all three were gone. I’ll be on the lookout for future Pineapple + Taco combinations. - Doc Taco

Between The Tortilla:
Chili-rubbed pork
Pineapples
Onions

In closing, this is a great place to come with some friends for a nice sit down dinner.  The drinks are good and there is an art gallery and performance space on the second and third floor if you’re looking for some post meal entertainment.  While we were a little disappointed about not being able to check out Barrio Chino, there will be future taco outings and we are very happy to have tried Casa Mezcal.  A return is in the works, and grasshoppers will be on the menu.

Casa Mezcal (Chinatown)
86 Orchard St.
Manhattan, NY 10002

Website: http://www.casamezcalny.com/
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/casamezcalny
Twitter: twitter.com/casa_mezcal_NY


Happy Birthday Tacos! (La Flaca Review – Chinatown/Lower East Side)

What more could a guy ask for on his birthday than friendship and tacos? Well, I’m sure we could name a few more things, but this weekend I was happy to celebrate my birth with just that! Before we hit the bar in Chinatown, I wanted to make sure we all had a great meal. Now, Chinatown isn’t necessarily known for its Mexican food, so I had to trek a couple of blocks east to find what I was looking for: somewhere that could fit a large group, cheap drinks, and, of course, tacos.

We ended up at little place called La Flaca, nestled on the border of Chinatown and the Lower East Side. My gang of 12 friends pretty much dominated the restaurant, but the affable staff was more than happy to fill us with tacos y Tecate.

Longaniza Chorizo Tacos w/ Rice & Beans

It should be clear by now that chorizo is my favorite taco filling. So it was easy for me to choose La Flaca’s Loganiza Chorizo tacos, and what a great choice it was. They had spice, though a bit subtle, which I’ve found lacking in some of my recent chorizo adventures. Thankfully, the chorizo wasn’t overly greasy, so we’re not talking about a sloppy taco here. La Flaca also threw on some tasty guacamole, which I think is always a welcome addition to anything. Surprisingly, I did not notice the potatoes that also came on the taco, but they obviously didn’t take away from anything.

My friends also got a variety of the other taco options from the menu. Though I didn’t taste their tacos personally, everyone was pleased with what they got. They praised the grilled tilapia tacos and the plain ol’ ground beef in equal measure.

Besides the excellent tacos, I must give a shout out to our servers.  When one’s night is centered around friends, tacos and Tecate it is hard to find room for improvement, but this top notch crew still managed to make an awesome birthday fiesta that much more enjoyable.  La Flaca staff, we salute you!

Between the Tortilla:

The Loganiza Chorizo came with the following taco friends:

  • Chorizo
  • Potato
  • Guacamole
  • Cilantro

Gooooood eatin’!

- Doc Taco

La Flaca (Chinatown/Lower East Side)
384 Grand St., corner of Suffolk St.
Manhattan, NY 10002

Website: La Flaca
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