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Viva el Mariachi

Critics' pick
1/5
Photograph: Richard Burrowes
SONY DSC; El Mariachi
2/5
Photograph: Richard Burrowes
SONY DSC; El Mariachi
3/5
Photograph: Richard Burrowes
SONY DSC; El Mariachi
4/5
Photograph: Richard Burrowes
SONY DSC; El Mariachi
5/5
Photograph: Richard Burrowes
SONY DSC; El Mariachi
Astoria

Don’t let the name fool you: There’s no mariachi band at this unusual Mexican haunt. But there is plenty of ambience. Maybe too much. Grab a seat inside the storefront cantina and you can experience the joys of blinding lighting, blaring Spanish soap operas, and a phone that rings constantly for take-out and delivery. The food is kinder and gentler: Dishes are enormous and prepared with care and flair. Pierna adobada, marinated pork, is layered with spicy, smoky flavor. A plump half-chicken swims in a mole sauce whose rich, dark taste approaches bittersweet chocolate. Burritos are entire meals neatly wrapped in a tortilla; we like the chorizo version best.

Venue name: Viva el Mariachi
Contact:
Address: 31-11 Broadway
Queens

Cross street: between 31st and 32nd Sts
Opening hours: Mon–Fri 10am–12:30am; Sat, Sun 8am–12:30am
Transport: Subway: N, W to Broadway
Price: Average main course: $10. AmEx, Disc, DC, MC, V
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