Maximum Mexican, minimal cost.
With a few
exceptions, New York Mexican food is inherently cheap, but that
still doesn't mean that you should settle on just any old burrito
barn. Not with East Harlem increasingly populated by good, cheap
taquerías like El PasoTaquería and La
Taquicardia (an offshoot of the pioneering La
Hacienda down the block). And not when you can grab a stool
at Matamoros Puebla Taquería in Williamsburg and stuff
yourself silly with $1.50 sopes, $2 soft tacos, and $4.50 tortas,
fastidiously made by two kindly hair-netted women struggling to
feed the onslaught of hungry hipsters.
worth: Tacos and tortas at Matamoros.
Matamoros isn't a restaurant, just a makeshift kitchen in the back
of a Mexican grocery store, and the pickings -- including tamales
on the weekends and a $5 off-the-menu burrito-- are relatively slim.
But the snacks, or antojitos, here possess much more flavor and
pizzazz than you'd have any right to expect, considering the price
and the slapdash, paper-plate setting. Red and green salsas are
fresh and vibrant; stewed meats are moist and flavorful, from pork
head (cabeza) to beef feet (pata). Vegetarians, relax: They do a
mean rajas con papas taco (peppers and potatoes) for just $1.50.
And the tortas --wonderful pressed sandwiches with mild white cheese,
avocado, salsa, and the meat of your choice -- are without peer.