PINCHE TAQUERIA ~ Lafayette Street, Manhattan
NYC TACO escaped from a freezing January day and grabbed some tasty tacos at PINCHE TAQUERIA, with a very discerning taco guest: a young New Yorker who’s a former inhabitant of Tucson, Arizona.
Pinche Taqueria is a thin sliver of real estate (we’re talking three to six feet across in the seating area) between Lafayette and Mulberry street in Noho, and it’s known to be the go-to taco place in the neighborhood. A lone space heater on the floor couldn’t keep the cold from creeping in, so we hoped our order of Taco de Carne Asada, Taco de Pollo Asado, and Yuca Fries would warm us up.
One word to describe their Yuca Fries: Yummy. Yuca’s a root cultivated in South America for the last ten thousand years, and yuca fries are a lighter and richer tasting alternative to French fries. You get a large basket for $4.50, with dipping sides of cilantro mayonnaise and roasted jalopena ketchup. You will eat them all, but won’t feel guilty about it.
The chicken tacos were fresh and tasty, but to Tucson Girl, the toppings were disappointing: a paltry smattering of guacamole, with a few small pieces of lettuce and tomato. No pico de gallo, but you can purchase a tiny (TINY) side for a dollar. “A dollar for pico de gallo?”, she exclaims. And a bland pico de gallo at that. Perhaps Pinche wants to keep their tacos “pure” by not smothering the meat?
NYCTACO had the steak taco – but unlike the chicken it was a bit rubbery, and a little cold. The waiter’s walk from the kitchen to our table probably lowered its temperature a few dozen degrees. (It was cold in there, people.)
Tucson Girl’s final assessment? Pinche Taqueria is her favorite taco place in NYC. Although it doesn’t reach the quality of mexican or southwest tacos, for Gotham it’s “pretty good.”
For NYCTACO, the jury’s still out. Stay tuned…