Taste the Stunning Moles of La Morada in the Bronx

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Photos by Scarlett Lindeman for the Village Voice
Tlacoyo
La Morada (308 Willis Avenue, Bronx; 718-292-0235) is one of the most pleasant Mexican restaurants in the city. The space is cloaked in a noble purple, the kitchen emits aromas that quell the sharpest of cold-spring funks, and there are books by Paz and Plath in the lending library. The Saavedra-Mendez family, which runs the restaurant, is cheerful and gracious, and you'll be charmed before the food arrives.

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Here's a Bright Glimmer of Good Mexican Food in Midtown

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Photos by Scarlett Lindeman for the Village Voice
Carnitas
Tacos Grand Central (153 East 43rd Street, 212-867-5545) sits in a narrow stand slipped in between a Subway and a Lotto & Scratcher store in the shadow of Grand Central Station. It opened just two months ago, a bright glimmer of Mexican food in a midtown dominated by burrito chains and the occasional immigrant-run taco cart.

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Go Eat This Vegetarian-Friendly Torta at La Nortena in Williamsburg

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Photos by Scarlett Lindeman for the Village Voice
La Norteña's torta
The torta and the even larger cemita, the plus-sized sandwiches in the Mexican sandwich canon, are as legendary for their girth and heft as their plentiful layering of meats upon meats. And in New York City, you can find many worthy versions. The tortas at Puebla Mini Market (3905 Fifth Avenue, Brooklyn; 718-435-3326), one of which contains beef stew and chicken tinga, are composed with a precision usually reserved for the operating room, while the lauded Tortas Neza (11103 Roosevelt Avenue, Queens; 718-505-2121) constructs the gargantuan Torta Puma with so much deli meat, egg, and cheese that just looking at it is enough to elevate your blood pressure.

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What to Order at the New Tijuana Picnic on the Lower East Side

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Photos by Scarlett Lindeman for the Village Voice
Tijuana Picnic (151 Essex Street, 212-219-2000) is the new downtown outpost from Acme vets Jon Neidich, Jean-Marc Houmard, and Huy Chi Le. Alex Lopez, from Kittichai, runs the kitchen, imbuing loungy Mexican-American party food with Asian sparks. There are duck wings cured with Asian spices ($12); skewers of mako shark grilled with green yuzo kosho ($12); silky guacamole freckled with charred corn ($8) — all things to pluck with thumbs and forefingers.

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Order the Bone-Warming Chilate de Pollo at Antojitos Mexicanos

Categories: ¡Oye! Comida

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Photos by Scarlett Lindeman for the Village Voice
Though it operates with little fanfare, Antojitos Mexicanos (107 Graham Avenue, Brooklyn; 718-384-9076), a restaurant on Graham Avenue in Williamsburg, is never empty. There's always a handful of families dining together, sharing quesadillas, sipping cinnamon-laced horchata, the spot serving as a cheap respite in a neighborhood of perpetually rising rents.

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Eat the Chile Relleno at Cerveceria Havemeyer in Williamsburg

Categories: ¡Oye! Comida

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It doesn't look like much. A puddle of vermillion flooding one side of the plate; the other half, filled with unadorned white rice. But while the chile relleno ($11) at Cerveceria Havemeyer may not catch the eye, it makes up for it in the mouth. It's an uncommon order for the taco and beer hall, hiding in plain sight on the back of the menu. The only people who actually order it may be those who have stolen a bite from a friend's plate and have been converted.

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Chicharrón Preparado, Reinvented Vegan-Style at El Rey

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Scarlett Lindeman for the Village Voice
Ever wondered what those plastic-like orange pellets in little plastic bags hanging in your local Mexican bodega are? Chips? Candies? Some inedible substance? Here's your answer: Their name is chicharrones de harina, and they are processed and pressed flour dough that fries into puffy, crackling pastel orange chips that mimic fried pork skin chicharrones.

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Williamsburg Bodega Stalwart Mexico 2000 Opens a Restaurant

Categories: ¡Oye! Comida

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Photos by Scarlett Lindeman for the Village Voice
Mexico 2000 (367 Broadway, Brooklyn; 718-782-3797), the Williamsburg stalwart for cheap Mexican produce and cecina tostadas, has finally outgrown its shell. On Saturday, the proprietors opened the doors of their new restaurant (369 Broadway), currently also named Mexico 2000. They had been holding on to the location, two doors east, since 2012, waiting on permits and using it as storage space for their overflowing bodega.

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At Astoria's El Rey, There's Mexican Food for Everyone

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Scarlett Lindeman for the Village Voice
El Rey (2521 Astoria Boulevard, Queens, 718-545-2292) is a Mexican restaurant in Astoria, Queens. There are elevated red banquettes you have to step up into; these squishy booths make drinking buckets of miniature Coronas easier, even when it's cold outside. The twinkling Christmas lights bounce off mirrors emblazoned with Victoria logos, and there is a framed painting of a farm girl tending to a newborn calf who looks a little too pleased by the animal's wet tongue swiping her face.

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A Taste of the New Don Pancho Villa

Categories: ¡Oye! Comida

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Photos by Scarlett Lindeman for the Village Voice
Don Pancho Villa (189 Borinquen Place, Brooklyn; 718-388-4552) is a new Williamsburg restaurant that prompts a double-take. Located on a block of Grand Street just east of the BQE, it sports a wooden frame flashing its name in neon and a small parking lot; it looks as if it was sucked up from a suburban mall in Denver and plunked into Brooklyn.

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