Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Mejor Taco Research Trip

Basically there is just one type of food that I do not like and it is Fancy Mexican food.  I do not need my tacos dressed up, I do not need my enchiladas exotic.  I do not need to eat my food in a restaurant done up like a cantina.  I do not believe this prejudice comes from any snobbish insistance on authenticity, but a very strong Not Broke, Don't Fix it attitude . . . or, better said, if the Ride's not busted, it doesn't need to be Pimped.  But April Bloomfield of the Spotted Pig, the Breslin and the John Dory, three unimpeachably excellent establishments just opened up a Mexican spot in the East 30's and I had to see what she was up to over there.  It is not often you get to have Great British Mexican food in New York City.

I forgot to say the place is called Salvation Taco.

Right now they're only serving lunch and, dipping in around 4 on a Friday afternoon, the establishment was quite non-bustly.

The menu.  I was on a solo research mission, so I ordered all the tacos and one torta.  Snacks, maybe we'll meet some other time.

The tacos were small, which is how I prefer them, but single-tortilla'd.  Oh well.  But they were good. The skirt steak with pecan and chipotle was on point and the cauliflower with curried crema very nice. 

The lamb breast on naan taco.  Not a Mexican thing about it, of course, but I'm not mad.  It was very tasty.  All three tacos were very fine, but three of these tacos won't get me anywhere near full.

So good thing I ordered a torta.  Although I quizzed my server on all the tortas, when I saw they had a salchicha torta, I knew that's what I would be getting.  I remember vividly some 16 years ago having my first hot dog torta, one of my very first tortas, really.  I didn't know yet that Mexicans cooked with hot dogs like they were any other type of meat . . . in fact, one of my very last meals in Mexico City was a hot dog casserole.  The sandwich arrived wrapped in paper, bisected and bowled.  At the very sight of it, with mayo, avocado and black beans visibly generous, I knew we were in business.

And let me shoot straight with you: This sandwich was perfect.  The Platonic ideal of what hot dog torta should be and certainly the best torta I've eaten in this city south of 116th street.  Consider me impressed, consider me craving another.  I'll need to come back and try the rest of the selection, perhaps ordering them two at a time to make quick work of it.  While the cost/value/deliciousness of the tacos is a bit off at $3, all the tortas come in between $7 and 9 a piece and that price is pretty nice.  A bit more than a torta at La Casa, but also 70 blocks closer to my apartment.  Fair trade.  I wish I had been around when the cooks figured these sandwiches out.  Wonder what the research was like, you know?

But a definite complaint: Total lack of salsas.  Would have tossed a splash of something spicy on everything I ate.  And I don't mean from a bottle of Tapatio.  Like a little bowl of something.  That's what I mean.

Misc. decorations:

Signage being painted while I ate.

Dinner is coming sometime to Salvation Taco and I've read of things like a whole roast pig taco pulling dinner and such.  Consider me quite interested.

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