Tucked away in New York City’s West Village neighborhood, The Taco Shop, a new bar and restaurant, is making waves, but more importantly, it’s making authentic Mexican street food. Since opening in 2012, Jimmy, Natalie and Alex Sanz, along with chef Dudley Nieto, have worked to sling out genuine Mexican fare. In an interview with NBC Latino, Nieto explained that he wants to expose American foodies to tacos that are even better than their Mexican street cart counterparts.
“For first-time diners, I want to provide an experience they’ll never forget," Nieto said. "That’s my challenge: to put authentic yet contemporary food at the table.”
And it seems the chef can really walk the walk; just last year the Mexican government singled Nieto out by distinguishing another of his endeavors as one of the “23 Authentic Mexican Restaurants”.
Among Nieto and the Sanz family’s trademark dishes at The Taco Shop are the beef barbacoa, a taco made of slow-roasted short ribs that fall off the bone, and the crispy pork belly taco topped with homemade pickled onions. Vegetarians can take a bite out of the portobello taco, flavored with fire-roasted poblano peppers and finished with fresh cheese.
And don't forget to check out their “not taco” and side options. Try tamales: simple roasted pork or smoky chicken are wrapped in a bed of flavored cornmeal masa and steamed. If you're looking to lighten up, try the spicy cucumber salad or the refreshing ceviche, a blend of onions, peppers and thinly sliced tilapia in a citrusy lime juice, great for the hot summer months.
If perfectly flavored $2.95 tacos don’t whet your appetite and the luchador masks and brightly colored walls don’t attract you, The Taco Shop’s assortment of Mexican beers, artisan tequilas and tropical $5 margaritas certainly will. Its Happy Hour (Monday through Friday from 3 to 7 pm) is really the best way to sample the goods: three tacos plus a beer or Margarita, all for $12. Need we say more?
Get a taste of what The Taco Shop is dishing out with their recipe for Chicken Tinga Tacos.