Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Wondering what the opposite of Taco Bell is? Answer: Empellon Taqueria

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The roadside taco refined.  Empellon Taqueria  proudly finds its heritage in the roots of great Mexican taco makers – many of whom prepare almost as fast as their customers can scarf them down. The flour tortillas may ruffle the feathers of some maize (corn for you English speakers) tortilla fans, but it didn’t phase us. Offerings range from traditional basics to more adventurous taco creations. For those looking for ground beef in a crispy corn Ortega-esque shell, you will be wildly disappointed, but being in NYC, you can easily run to the nearest Taco Bell (and are likely not reading this blog anyway :) ).

We started with the NYC Mexican staple of guac, which was simple, fresh and delicious.  The avocados were still chunky and you could add your own level of spiciness with side sauces. Then it was on to the tacos – we tried several varieties including: skirt steak, pork, sweetbreads and fish (fried, obviously).  All of the tacos were well balanced with the appropriate touches, but for me, the fish was supreme. It was the perfect hunk of white, flakey fish with a spicy mayo and crunchy slaw. My dining companions all favored the skirt steak, so everyone left happy.
Empellon Taqueria is located just off 7th Avenue South in the heart of my favorite neighborhood, where Chow (an old stomping ground) used to be located. The atmosphere certainly says West Village more than Mexican, the service friendly – the manager verrry friendly (go figure) and the vibe lively but not too loud.  The meal was great, the company even better (guest blogger and future-husband Mitch Wexler was our special companion) but the price was a little high for my taste.

Empellon Taqueria
212 367 0999
230 West 4th Street 
(corner of W4th and W10th)