NYC Tacos: Pinche Taqueria is Authentic & Flavorful

Date November 3, 2008

One of New York City’s ongoing arguments is the question of what constitutes a great taco. Can we all put our differences aside and simply focus on what’s delicious? Well NYC Food Guy can and I’m here to tell you that the tacos at Pinche Taqueria are tasty wherever you’re from. And if it’s any consolation, they’ve enlisted the assistance of several 80-year old women from Tijuana, Mexico to make sure things are up to snuff. Read on to find out which of the three tacos I tried wowed and where you can find it until 4AM Wednesday through Saturday…

Taco de Carne Asada ($2.95), Taco al Pastor ($2.95) and Taco de Pescado ($3.95)

The Taco al Pastor is Numero Uno

Spit-grilled pork is where its at; I’m talking about layers of chili pepper and pork roasting over an open flame and then shaved into a handmade tortilla and topped with chopped onions, cilantro, and a dollop guacamole. The flavors of fire, tender, fatty pork, and the underlying heat from the chilies combine with the fresh cilantro and onion to create my favorite of the three tacos I tried. The tortillas are small, but there’s a lot of meat and toppings packed into each one.

Fish Tacos Worth Reeling In Again

Pinche’s fried Mahi-mahi fish tacos have received some praise of late but while I enjoyed the crunchy cabbage and cilantro-mayo sauce, the actual fried fish arrived cold. The result was tasty but disappointing and the manager blamed it on a new fryer. I enjoyed it more than the Kingfish taco at Pampano Taqueria but I withhold my final judgement, and put the opinion to my readers, until a future tasting.

Pass On Carne Asada

There’s a fine line between a good grilled steak taco and a mediocre one. Unfortunately, the trend tends to skew toward the latter. The problem is that the pieces of chopped steak are usually dry and somewhat flavorless. At Pinche the steak in the carne asada taco was slightly moist but generally flavorless. The only saving graces were the onion, cilantro and guacamole.

Beware the Trap of the Yucca Fries

Don’t get me wrong, fried yucca is delicious. The only problem is that it’s heartier than potato and it fills you up a lot quicker. Although Pinche’s yucca fries ($4.50), which come with either cilantro mayo or roasted jalapeno ketchup, are tasty, they’re best when shared, otherwise this crispy snack will steal space for the main meal: tacos.

Taqueria and a Whole Lot More

Looking at Pinche’s menu, its a wonder how they can offer so many delicious dishes in such a small space. I recommend you come for breakfast, served until 4PM, to get a taste of their exemplary Heuvos Rancheros ($5.65 with rice, beans and tortillas), a personal reccomendation from the manager. This same manager also recommends the massive salads (bottom right on the menu) which come with your choice of meat.

Click on photos for Hi-Res Full Size Images

Pinche’s New Location

If you’re out drinking in the West Village, SoHo or even the East Village, you’re in luck. Pinche recently opened a new branch of their authentic taqueria at the corner of Lafayette Street and Bleecker Street, in the former space of Sparky’s. From Wednesday through Saturday you can now eat Pinche’s delicious Mexican food until 4AM. Liquor license is on the way.

Pinche Taqueria

227 Mott St. nr. Spring St.
New York, NY 10012
Hours: Thurs. – Sat. 12PM – 1AM
Sun. – Wed. Noon to 12AM
333 Lafayette Street at Bleecker Street
New York, NY 10012
Hours: Wed. – Sat. 7AM – 4AM
Sun. – Tues. 7AM – 1AM