Leave Snack Dragon’s Tacos in their Cave

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We’re all on the hunt for NYC’s best tacos so when we hear that Snack Dragon is serving cheap tacos in Alphabet City until 4AM on weekends, we have a reason to be excited right? Wrong. I hit Snack Dragon sober and had five tacos, only one of which was actually delicious. It’s unfortunate they were out of Carnitas pork, the self-proclaimed best and the only one I really wanted, because the chicken, steak, and fish were all lackluster.

The Nacharito above was the one standout. So how do you mess up tacos?

The Nacharito (Above $3, $5 for a double-decker “Johnny Boy”), a crispy tostada topped with melted cheese, salsa, black beans, sour cream and cilantro, was my favorite item because it was actually heated up and covered in melted cheese. Everything else suffered due to a lack of culinary cohesiveness. Each taco was sprinkled with cold cheddar and salsa, lukewarm undercooked beans, and dry fish and meat. Nothing blended together.

The Grilled Sole taco ($4) was slightly spicy due to an obtrusive red cabbage chipotle cole slaw, but other than that it was flavorless.

The Carne Asada taco ($5) featured dry, sinewy skirt steak with a similar lack of flavor despite a purported marinade.

The White Trash taco ($3), barely seasoned ground beef with peas and corn, black beans, cold cheddar, sour cream, and scallion, was the driest and most texturally disappointing of all. The beef was slightly warm, the beans were cold and hard, and the cheese and sour cream were refrigerator cold.

The Grilled Chicken Verde taco ($3) was the only one with a tiny bit of flavor. The slightly moist chicken tasted faintly of cilantro and jalapeno but the sliced scallion atop the taco had the biggest presence.

With all due respect to Snack Dragon, I realize they’re working out of a hole in the wall shop with nothing but tiny steam trays and a small portable flat grill, but they need to ratchet up the heat on the various meats if they want cohesive tacos. No taco will ever be good if every ingredient is a different temperature. If you’re stumbling by drunk, stop in and let me know if the Dragon acquired any bite. I won’t be going out of my way for it anytime soon.

Snack Dragon 199 E. 3rd St. nr Ave. B, New York, NY 10009
Open until 2AM Sun. – Thurs., 4AM Fri. – Sat.
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5 Responses to “Leave Snack Dragon’s Tacos in their Cave”

  1. TACO KING Says:

    NYCFG-

    How could tacos that look that delicious not be good?
    I’ve passed by this joint a few times and seen people chowing down, then again it was 3am so maybe you have a point.
    Im disappointed, I was hoping this place would deliver.
    Where can I get tacos late night downtown?

  2. The NYC Food Guy Says:

    Taco King,

    I was as disappointed as you were. The tacos were very sub par.

    As far as your downtown taco options for weekends:

    2 locations of San Loco
    La Esquina’s grill upstairs

    Both places are open till 5AM.

    Read about San Loco in my Late Night Eats post.

  3. foodfella Says:

    Go straight to Union Pool for the tacos at the El Diablo Taco truck, they are amazing

  4. tacoking Says:

    I hit up El Diablo truck last weekend, they have my vote!

  5. The NYC Food Guy Says:

    Food Fella & Taco King,

    I’ll get there asap. I’ve heard good things all around about the El Diablo.
    What are the best tacos to get?

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