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Tacos Nuevo Mexico

My level of interest in New York City’s most livable neighborhood is lower than I even thought. Just before Cinco de Mayo of last year, I noticed a “we’re closing for renovations” sign at Tacos Nuevo Mexico. Nearly a year later, and I’m witnessing the nuevo style for the first time.

Tacos nuevo mexico interior

Whoa. Taxidermy? Antler light fixtures? Wood, wood, everywhere. The only thing missing are the Edison bulbs. I’m digging the modern-ranchero style.

Tacos nuevo mexico martini list

The martini list? Not so sure. What's a Rob Roy doing on there?

Tacos Nuevo Mexico is a solid in-betweenie Mexican restaurant for those who don’t get off on forearm-sized rice-filled burritos (Calexico and Oaxaca, closer to me) and are feeling too lazy to go farther down Fifth Avenue to Sunset Park (though you should every now and then).

Tacos nuevo mexico gringa quesadilla

Sure, they are vegetarian-friendly (and you would be stupid not to given the area), you can get tacos with flour tortillas for $1 extra and fajitas are now being hyped, but this is still primarily Mex-Mex, which is scarce in New York City’s more livable neighborhoods. Inauthentic or not, I enjoy their gringas, my favorite cross-cultural mashup: a quesadilla stuffed with al pastor and pineapple. I appreciate the Mexican fondness for meat/cheese/pineapple combos, also one of my favorite trios.

My only beef with the South Slopeified menu is that at some point they stripped away the Spanish and when I look at the taco section I see roast pork, grilled pork and spicy pork.  I’m not sure which are meant to be carnitas and which are pastor. No matter, I still ordered one carnitas, one pastor and one lengua.

Tacos nuevo mexico tacos

Tacos are double-tortilla’d, wrapped in a cone and garnished with chopped onion, cilantro and an avocado salsa. Perfect.I’ve seen online complaints about the watery “guacamole.” This isn’t guacamole.

Tacos nuevo mexico enchilladas oaxaquenas

String-cheesy Oaxacan enchiladas were a special.

Tacos nuevo mexico facade

Previously on Tacos Nuevo Mexico.

Tacos Nuevo Mexico * 491 Fifth Ave., Brooklyn, NY

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