- Goat Town
511 E. 5th St., nr. Ave. A; 212-687-3641
You know Tex-Mex by its chips and dips, by its fajitas and chile con queso, and especially by its combination plate, a gloppy, denatured reminder of the early-twentieth-century period when Tejano restaurateurs started making their ancestral cuisine safe for gringos. Leave it to Julie E. Farias, a Mexican-American chef who’s worked in the kitchens of Andrew Carmellini and Daniel Boulud, to rescue the undersung relic, a featured attraction on her “M&I Mexican Mondays” menu at Goat Town, where she’s taken to smoking beef cheeks and goat shoulder out back. Farias still has family in San Antonio, where she grew up, and imports flour tortillas from her aunt and uncle’s grocery and tortilleria. Nick’s Flaco Plato, named for Goat Town owner Nicholas Morgenstern, is both an homage and a delicious plate of food: two cheese enchiladas (yellow American cheese, no onions, the way Farias likes them), one puffy taco (a blistery deep-fried tortilla stuffed with braised beef tongue), one breakfast taco of your choosing, and, of course, rice and beans. It will run you $25 and fill you up until Wednesday, earliest.