NYC Tacos: Don’t Try To Be Healthy at Pinche Taqueria, Order Nachos Instead

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Sometimes it doesn’t pay to try and eat healthy.  After a greasy late night meal my heart was begging for something unfried at lunch the next day.  I hadn’t eaten at Pinche Taqueria’s second NYC outpost on Lafayette and Bleecker, so I decided to stop in for a Taco Salad, and of course, an al pastor taco.  Good thing my friend ordered nachos because it was the chips and melted cheese that saved the meal.  Don’t forget, this location of Pinche Taqueria is open until 4AM Wednesday through Saturday.

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Taco Salad with Shrimp ($7.50)

Mixed green salad topped with guacamole, sour cream, beans, cheese and choice of meat

What started as a genuine attempt at eating something moderately healthy turned into a bland mess.  The guacamole, sour cream, refried beans and slightly sharp cheese combine to create a mass of blandness which dominated the overcooked, over seasoned shrimp and the sparingly applied cilantro dressing. The shredded iceberg lettuce and chopped tomato waiting in the greasy taco shell below was far from mixed greens and didn’t provide the reward one deserves for mining through the mess which crowns this salad.

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Al Pastor Taco ($2.95)

In my first review of Pinche’s SoHo location, the al pastor taco took the crown among the three I tried. It wasn’t as juicy, spicy or fresh this time around but it still hit the spot.  Fatty, chili pepper-spiced spit fire pork is shaved onto a single fresh tortilla and sprinkled with onion, cilantro and two types of mild salsa. If the heat you desire is lacking, ask for some hot sauce.

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Nachos ($6.25)

The only thing missing from this delicious mess of hand made chips, melted cheese, guacamole, sour cream, beans, and slices of pickled jalapeno was the presence of salsa or chopped tomato to balance out the creaminess with something acidic.  This is a great order of nachos, with cheese that actually infiltrates the top layer of chips and touches bottom. But like all nachos, you need to work on them quickly otherwise you’re left with piles of congealed cheese resting on soggy chips, which in the end is really not that bad.

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Pinche Taqueria

333 Lafayette Street at Bleecker Street
New York, NY 10012 (Google Map)
212-343-9977
Open until 4AM Wednesday through Saturday
Open until 1AM Sunday through Tuesday
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15 Responses to “NYC Tacos: Don’t Try To Be Healthy at Pinche Taqueria, Order Nachos Instead”

  1. Phil Says:

    FG, have you given the chipotles or baja freshs of the world a run? Any opinion on that genre of mexican food?

  2. Sweet Freak Says:

    Bummer… that shrimp taco salad actually looks good. But then again, it is tough to beat the simplicity and deliciousness of good salty chips and hot, melty cheese. (I also sort of like that congealed cheese/soggy chip taste at the bottom of the plate!)

  3. phil-ate Says:

    Phil ate a burrito!

  4. Master Says:

    I thought Foodguy doesn’t approve of Chipotle anymore. 😦 Ah well, hopefully he can find us some good, authentic Mexican grub elsewhere in the city…what’re your thoughts on Cuban food? I’ve been to Son Cubano on 14th and 9th, and their pernil was delicious (even though pernil is Puerto Rican style pork).

  5. sarah Says:

    ooooooooo damn

  6. phil-ate Says:

    the best thing on a pernil sandwich is pickles. try Freeman Pickles. i am salivating thinking about it!

  7. Sweet Freak Says:

    Master, for Cuban food, try Cafecito on Avenue C – so delicious, satisfying and down to earth.

  8. butter team Says:

    Nice. Will try.

    Just found this blog and I am about to read the shit out of your archives.

  9. The NYC Food Guy Says:

    Phil,
    I haven’t eaten at either place in over 6 months at least. When I’m in the mood for a fast food style Mexican meal it’s usually at work and in that case I order Burrito Box everytime. Awesome, freshly prepared Mexican food and some of the best salsa I’ve had in the city. Money meal is a grilled chicken burrito sour cream on the side and a large order of chips and salsa. Slice the burrito in half, in the foil, slather some salsa and sour cream on each bite and you’re in business. Check out the reviews here. If I had to eat at Qdoba again, I’ve only been there once, I’d make sure to get extra queso sauce. Baja Fresh I’ve only had once, by delivery, and it was very unimpressive. Moe’s, I’ve also only had once and didn’t love it. I’d always rather strive for an authentic or non-corporate Mexican place if I can.

    Sweet Freak,

    Great minds think alike. I love the left over cheese too, find some clean chips and bring the nachos back to life. The salad did look great but it obviously underwhelmed. Maybe the standard mixed green salad is better than the taco salad. Something worth checking out. Where’s your favorite Mexican in the city?

    Master,
    You know me well. Never been to Son Cubano. Definitely a fan of anything pork though. You know that much. Cafecito was very good the one time I went. They have this garlic sauce I put on the pork that was pretty excellent but very rich. That’s really the only official Cuban meal I’ve had in the city. But as Sweet Freak said, it’s quality. I’d trek out to Cafecito again though, I never hear anything but good things.

    phil-ate,
    Freeman’s pickles, interesting. What else do you get there? They have a pernil sandwich?

    butter team,

    Thanks butter team. Glad to hear it, feel free to shoot any questions my way by email (lawrence@nycfoodguy.com) or just by leaving comments, I always check and write back. What’s your story, very interesting and fun website you’ve got going too.

  10. Phil Says:

    Hey Master, I know it’s a chain but I’m a huge sucker for Sophie’s, the cubano joint, especially during lunch when working. The fried plantanes are awesome.

  11. Master Says:

    Definitely putting Cafecito on my list then. There’s a lot of Sophie’s restaurants, and the menus have some pretty good prices. Which fried plantains do you get, Phil? The maduros or tostones?

  12. Phil Says:

    I usually go with the maduros..

    hey FG – did you take down your post about the harlem wings??? Either my internet is crapped out or you took it down….

  13. Sweet Freak Says:

    NYCFG,
    Having lived in San Francisco for seven years, I’m one of those annoying people who’s never satisfied with Mexican here in NYC. That said, I will indulge in the occasional Chipotle burrito for lunch (I do love their principles, though don’t know how valid they still are with their mega empire) and am a big fan of the delicious (though by no means cheap) Mercadito on Ave B.

  14. The NYC Food Guy Says:

    Sweet Freak,
    You’re one of those people? Ugh. Ha. I can handle that. What’s your top taco in the city so far?

  15. Kuj Says:

    That shrimp taco salad looked good, what a drag.
    I’m on 60 and Madison, and I’ve tried Taco City on 2nd ave. Any experience over there? I’ve only gotten delivery from them, so I’ve never even seen the place (not a good move, I know), but it came recommended.
    I need to check out Burrito Box.
    Also, ever ate at Margon? It’s off 6th ave.Times Square ish, maybe 52nd street, can’t remember, think it’s Cuban.

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