Monday, January 25, 2010

The Best Food I Ate in NYC: Pinche Taqueria

After being in New York City for two months, I was disappointed with the food. Admittedly I was on an unpaid intern's budget, so I never paid more than than $15 for a plate and could count the total number of restaurants I had patronized on one hand.

If there's one thing that surprised me on this extended visit, it's how often New Yorkers eat out. Every night of the week every restaurant was packed to capacity. Factor in the bagel carts for breakfast and a take out lunch, and I would wager that a significant proportion of New Yorkers eat out three times a day. Meanwhile, I was trying to keep my meals out on the town down to once a week! After all, I had a Trader Joe's to satiate my culinary curiosities on the cheap.

On my very last night in the city, some friends and I went to Washington Square Park and played in the fountain while an awesome bluegrass band played nearby. Coming out of Utah where I actually played in a bluegrass band, it was a surreal experience to hear one in the big city.

Then we headed to this tiny Mexican joint called in NoHo called Pinche Taqueria. The place oozes authenticity, which it should since it was founded in Tijuana in 1973, and then completely transported, kitchen and all, to NYC.

Photo credit: Melissa Hom,

Now I haven't been to Mexico, but I'm pretty sure I've had the real deal in L.A., and this, my friend, is the real deal. Nothing's canned, frozen or microwaved. It's all fresh and organic. The meat is grilled over a mesquite charcoal grill. The tacos pop in your mouth and leave you wanting more. According to "New York Magazine," abuelitas (little old Mexican grandmas) make the tortillas and butcher the meat with a machete on an avocado tree trunk. And at $2.95 each, really, how can you go wrong?

Photo credit:

The moral of this story, if you want some real deal Mexican in NYC or are just looking for some top notch food for very little dinero, hit up Pinche.

Summary: The real deal!
NoHo: 333 Lafayette St (between Bleecker St & Houston St)
Nolita: 227 Mott St

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