Great Mexican joints

In anticipation of Cinco de Mayo, we check out five new places that are breathing life into New York’s South of the Border dining and drinking scene.

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  • Photograph: Virginia Rollison

    Watermelon pulque curado at Pulqueria

  • Photograph: Virginia Rollison

    Enchiladas de jamaica at Pulqueria

  • Photograph: Virginia Rollison

    Borrachos Beans at Pulqueria

  • Photograph: Virginia Rollison

    Verduras tacos at Pulqueria

  • Photograph: Virginia Rollison

    Pulqueria

  • Photograph: Virginia Rollison

    Pulqueria

Photograph: Virginia Rollison

Watermelon pulque curado at Pulqueria

The regional mash-up | The Mexico City cantina | The subterranean pulque den
The anti-taqueria | The farm-to-table restaurante

The subterranean pulque den:
Pulqueria

The backstory: Heather Tierney (a former TONY staffer) and her brother Christopher, the duo behind cocktail hot spot Apothéke, opened New York’s first ode to the ancient fermented agave spirit pulque last September. Traditionally, pulquerias were working-class taverns serving the milky namesake slug, which has been brewed since the days of Aztec civilization. But the pair take inspiration for this bar-restaurant from the recent pulqueria revival in Mexico City, where rollicking bohemian versions of the classic watering holes have proved popular with the artsy denizens. Like its sibling bar, Apothéke, next door, this sultry underground canteen, done up with brown straw hatching and turquoise-and-cream tiling, has been drawing downtown partygoers to Chinatown since its Fashion Week opening.

What to order: Despite the modelesque crowd, the spot doesn’t dumb down the menu, offering plenty of grist for adventurous diners, with lesser-known regional dishes and, of course, a spirit not easily found elsewhere in the city. Pulque might challenge uninitiated drinkers—its dominant flavors are the raw vegetal starchiness of an unripe mango and the funky sourness of a lambic. But the menu includes infusions, as well as margaritas, micheladas and other cocktails for those seeking a mellower quaff. We favored the Watermelon Curado ($14), an easy-drinking tropical sipper that balances the raw edge of pulque and smokiness of mescal with fresh fruit juice, the sweet Mexican herb epazote and lime. The chef also works earthy pulque into a few of the dishes, like the soupy Borracho Beans ($9), made with long-stewed pintos, dark beer and fatty bacon. From the sprawling menu, we also liked the Verduras tacos (two for $11), stuffed with sweet strips of poblano peppers, rich mushrooms, and acidic smoked, grilled and poached cactus, as well as the tangy Enchiladas de Jamaica ($19), filled with stewed hibiscus flowers, beets and jicama, blanketed with a tart chipotle sauce and cut with crema and queso fresco.

11 Doyers St between Bowery and Pell Sts (212-227-3099)

Users say

3 comments
jade
jade

Compadres resturants. Few in ashtubula ohio. One in grove city pa. Meadville pa and new castle pa few others

özden aloba
özden aloba

Hay?rl? olsun,bol ?ans dilerim,hepinize sevgiler..