Long Island Mexican Food: Freshly Fried Buffalo Chicken Fingers & Salad on Steroids at Pancho’s Border Grill in Great Neck

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If you didn’t have reason enough to head to Great Neck for Kensington Deli’s insanely delicious brisket with fried onions and gravy sandwich, now you have more incentive: the best Buffalo chicken fingers I’ve ever had and for dessert, a huge salad topped with juicy, marinated char-broiled chicken and Mexican vinaigrette, all at Pancho’s Border Grill.

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I’ve been eating at Pancho’s for almost fifteen years and while it’s lost a bit of it’s edge, it always satisfies with sizzling steak fajitas, a seriously diverse 4 or 5 item combo meal and the two dishes featured in this article, the Buffalo chicken fingers ($8.95) and the large Pancho’s salad with grilled chicken ($9.95).

There’s only one proper way to start a meal at Pancho’s, however, and that’s with a few bowls of their free unlimited house-made chips and salsa. While the chunky tomatoes in the salsa have been downgraded from fresh to canned, the hearty salsa is till brimming with cilantro, garlic and chopped onion, providing an authentic flavor I’ve only seen rivaled at Burrito Box, home of my favorite salsa in Manhattan.

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If you eat the addictive delicious chips and salsa as quickly as I usually do, the Buffalo chicken fingers should arrive by the time you finish your second helping. Thick, fresh chicken tenders are tossed in a light breading and fried until crisp and golden brown before being dressed in a mild house-made Buffalo sauce. Dipping them in the standard bleu cheese is tasty but by no means necessary, the fingers are that good alone.

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The large Pancho’s salad arrives on a massive platter overflowing with chopped iceberg and Romaine lettuce, chopped tomato, cucumber and onion, shredded carrots and shredded cheddar. A massive char-broiled grilled chicken cutlet sits atop the goodness, sliced and covered in a thin layer of caramelized marinade. Ask for some extra Mexican vinaigrette (mix it up with a fork before applying evenly), mix the salad up and you’re in for some serious deliciousness.

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Both Pancho’s Border Grill & Kensington Deli are in immediate walking distance of the Great Neck Long Island Railroad station, 30-40 minutes from Manhattan’s Penn Station. Click here for a train schedule to and from Great Neck. Feel free to email NYC Food Guy (Lawrence@nycfoodguy.com) if you have any questions.

Pancho’s Border Grill

Multiple Locations

Pancho’s Border Grill
10 Grave Avenue
Great Neck, NY 11022
516-839-5305
Pancho’s Border Grill
4119 Hempstead Turnpike
Bethpage, NY 11714
516-579-5500
Pancho’s Cantina
4245 Austin Boulevard
Island Park, NY 11558
516-897-8300
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15 Responses to “Long Island Mexican Food: Freshly Fried Buffalo Chicken Fingers & Salad on Steroids at Pancho’s Border Grill in Great Neck”

  1. Dan Says:

    man, do i love panchos. you gotta show off the two item combo next time. awesome enchiladas, burritos, quesadillas and sweet potato fries.

  2. stevenp Says:

    Damn, don’t get me hoppin’ onto the LIRR now for food adventures! Damn, those buffalo tenders look good.

  3. The NYC Food Guy Says:

    Dan,
    Check out the links within the story, the Kensington Deli link contains shots of the combo meal. What’s your go to combo?

    Stevenp,

    Ha. Sorry brother. In this case it’ll be smart giving into temptation. Bring a lady with you in the summer and I’ll tell you how to get to some great parks for a picnic on the water.

  4. Dan Says:

    I go with the steak enchilada and a chicken and black bean quesadilla with sweet potato fries (well done) and colorado chili…it’s the bomb…for two days at least.

  5. kristen Says:

    how are the margaritas there???

  6. The NYC Food Guy Says:

    Dan,
    Sounds awesome dude. Well done fries are key. What’s the colorado chili?

    Kristen,
    Margaritas are solid. Frozen and regular. I think they have Happy Hour deals too if you’re ever near there. How have you been? How goes the Murray Hill sushi hunt? How about salad slices? Any luck?

  7. stevenp Says:

    NYCFG: What’s the neighborhood like? Any good cafes or such to hang and do some work with a laptop after lunch and a few margs? My B-day isnext weekend and they have a $10 off within 3 days, so it’s an even more serious possibility this week!

    Also, how are the flavored margs? (Blueberry, guava, papaya?)

  8. Phil Says:

    Did anyone see Nate Robinson dunk over superman last night?????

    I think that salad is bigger than Nate Robinson!

  9. Daniel Glaser Says:

    Another island choice I recently discovered. Not far from the LIRR Main Line and on the express bus route to Lake Success is Santoor Indian restaurant in Glen Oaks. Absolutely delicious meat dishes and vegetable/potato crepes. http://www.santoorgrill.com/ if you want to take a look!

  10. Dan Says:

    colorado chili is just what panchos calls chili. it’s good.

    and stevenp the flavored margs are solid.

  11. stevenp Says:

    Tomorrow may well be my birthday lunch at Pancho’s, with tasty frozen margaritas! I don’t see the buffalo chicken strips on their lunch menu though. But there’s oh so much else to try! Anyone have their ribs, or enchiladas, or ????

  12. thebigredapple Says:

    This is quite the claim you’re making. I grew up in Buffalo and I typically decline to eat anything called “Buffalo sauce” outside of that city. In fact, I generally refuse to eat any chicken wings that don’t come from the Anchor Bar, where the sauce was invented. I may have to head out there and see for myself if you’re truly sticking by this claim.

  13. The NYC Food Guy Says:

    stevenp,
    It’s a nice neighborhood with a Starbucks being the only place to camp out for the day. It is close to Pancho’s though. I say start at Kensington Deli for the brisket sandwich then camp out at Starbucks then hit Panchos later on. Can’t speak for the margaritas, don’t really booze when I eat.

    Phil,
    Krypto-Nate was nasty.

    Daniel Glaser,
    Thanks for the serious intel Daniel. I’m not a huge Indian food guy. How’d you find out about that place? You ride the bus in LI?

    stevenp,
    Dan has had the steak enchiladas and swears by them. The ribs aren’t great. Fajitas are awesome as long as they’re actually sizzling. The topping plate that comes with the fajitas is great, it features lettuce, tomato, shredded cheese, refried beans, guacamole, sour cream and a little container of pickled jalapeno peppers which really adds great flavor. I suggest you build the tortilla in this order: Spread a light layer of guac and sour cream, then beans and cheese, then pickled jalapenos, then steak, peppers, onion, and then a little jus from the fajita skillet. Oh man. Get these and some Buffalo chicken fingers for app and you’ll be stuffed.

    thebigredapple,
    These fingers are no Anchor Bar but as far as Buffalo Chicken fingers go, I can’t see it getting much better than these. I would consider asking for some extra sauce ON THE SIDE to dip in because they’re usually lightly sauced. I say ask for it on the side so they don’t get too soggy.

  14. thebigredapple Says:

    How very ‘Sally’ of you (I can only hope you get that reference).

  15. Daniel Glaser Says:

    I found about the Indian place from my grandmother, who’s eaten there a few times. She invited me to join her last Saturday and while I don’t ride the buses, it’s not a long drive down Union Turnpike from the gym I go to. Posted a bit of a review on my blog: http://danglaser.wordpress.com/2009/02/15/underrated/

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