Finding myself with a rare weekend day in the city (and absolutely no commitments or responsibilities), I spent a lazy afternoon cruising the streets of my neighborhood, doing a little bit of shopping, a lot of browsing and people-watching, whilst enjoying the late summer peace that has pervaded the leafy streets of Nolita. Wanting an easy, cheap lunch, I decided to check out Pinche Taqueria, which opened up last November in a tiny storefront on Mott St.
To my surprise, I learned Pinche is no flash-in-the-pan trendy La Esquina wannabe. Rather, it’s a second location, the original having opened in 1973 in Tijuana, Mexico. It boasts “all natural rancho style cooking,” with everything made from scratch and nothing frozen or canned.
I ordered a fish taco and a carnita (braised pork) along with a side of yucca fries. All of their tacos are served in soft tortillas with onions, cilantro, guacamole and salsa. Not one to hinder the promise of Mexican food perfection, I ordered a Pacifico to wash it all down.
The tacos were, as promised, wonderfully fresh. The carnita in particular was outstanding- moist, flavorful braised pork heaped in the tortilla…at $2.75 it really is a great deal. The yucca fries, at $4.25, were way overpriced because they taste like nothing. Yucca is a hard vegetable to get right, and when you do, it’s delicious, but Pinche seems to think they should have no flavor at all.
My lunch came out to about $16, which, depending on how you interpret budget these days, is either really cheap compared to lunch at a restaurant or really expensive for two tacos and a beer (and some tasteless fries). I wonder how much it costs in Tijuana?
Overall, great tacos, worth a drive-by next time you’re in the hood.