EAST HARLEM / SPANISH HARLEM, NYC — There was a food holiday earlier tis week—National Coffee Day—that saw me get creative with the concept and grill a shell steak with dry rub made with espresso grounds. That turned out to be well worth the effort.
But for today, National Taco Day, I kept things very simple, and made the quick trip up to El Barrio / East Harlem / Spanish Harlem for my favorite (and my vote for the best) authentically delicious tacos in all of New York City, found at Taco Mix.
They are known—and have been well-written about—their classic al pastor taco, featuring the shavings of pork marinated in over 10 spices, than layered onto a trompo, a vertical rotisserie spit that roasts the meat for hours and lets all the rendered fat and flavors seep back into itself.
The place is a huge hit with both the El Barrio locals and the young gentrifiers assimilating into the neighborhood, so much so that the stay open as late as 4am most nights, and open as early as 8am. Not much later was I there, enjoying my al pastor taco topped with chopped raw onion, fresh cilantro, and a wedge of grilled pineapple.
The al pastor is the special for National Taco Day, only costing a dollar each, when they usually run $3.50. Being already such a huge fan of Taco Mix's entire menu (not just of tacos, mind you!), I also ordered a lengua (tongue) taco, and the goat, both excellent in their own unique rights.
Sure, there may be too many food holidays to take seriously. But when the two generations of of authentic Mexican food lovers and cookers take their culinary traditions and heritage this seriously, I'd be remiss not to take full advantage of it on a day honoring just that.
TACO MIX | 234 E 116th Street, #1, New York, NY 10029 | (212) 289-2963 | tacomixusa.com