If you write a food blog you are frequently subjected to foodies and their strong, hyperbolic opinions. One of the most common kvetches I hear in New York is that there is no good Mexican food. There may be some truth to this, especially when you consider how many great restaurants there are in this city–but come on, none in all of New York?
Thursday night I experienced some of the best fish and pork tacos I have had in recent memory. Honestly, I have no idea how they make them in Mexico but I can’t imagine them being any better than these. The fish (Yellowfin tuna belly) and Pork (slow roasted Berskshire pork) tacos were absolutely buried in a delicious pile of pickled red onions, roasted chili de arbol, crispy rice, hearts of palm, olives and onion bits. When you factor in the reasonable prices of these delicious creations they get elevated to “off-the-hook” status. Add house-made drink specials, served in Mason jars and you have a winner.
We ordered two desserts: A mini-snow cone ($2.00 + $2 w/ tequila) and two orders of flan ($4.00). Both were excellent. Writer Rider Ace reported that the snow cone was “very light, not sickly sweet” and noted that it was a bit like compressed beads of ice, describing it as not quite “snow” but more like a “sleet cone” in a good way. Recent coverage of other great NYC snow cones is here and here.
The flan was just straight-up flavorful, fresh tasting and not too sweet. Big Tex from the team, who describes himself as a “flan-ologist” and has street-cred in this area owing to the fact that he grew up closest to Mexico out of anyone on the team, gave it two thumb-shifters up and also noted it has a unique flavor.
One final note: New York Magazine already mentioned that the staff here is very friendly–but I wanted to confirm that we had the same experience. They make you feel like you are on vacation (in Mexico?).
Cascabel Taqueria has two locations: one on the East side at 1538 2nd Ave. (80th St.) and one on the West side at Broadway and 108. Their website is here. (the site doesn’t yet list the West Side location).