Mexican Restaurant El Tenampa Is a Dive Bar That Serves a Great Hangover Cure

Categories: ¡Oye! Comida

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Forget the ambitious newcomers occupying the rabid media for a moment. The spectrum of Mexican eateries that our city has on offer is a panoply that gets even more diverse when you head to the lower tier. Here, there are bodegas that act as taquerias. There are grocery stores that morph into lounges when the sun goes down. There are carts that generate street-level salons. And there are restaurants where the dining room functions as a dive bar. At Mexican Restaurant Tenampa (9614 Roosevelt Avenue, Queens; 718-335-7359), located in Corona, buckets of Victoria outnumber the place settings, and the waitresses function as bouncers, cutting off young men when they've had enough.

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Ex-Chef of La Superior Has a New Sauce Brand and a Forthcoming Food Truck

Categories: ¡Oye! Comida

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The smell of blistered chiles and toasted nuts rides a current of wind blowing down Morgan Avenue in East Williamsburg. The aroma perfumes the air, fills the nostrils, and then is swept away by the thunderous trucks that rumble north. It comes from Xilli, a commercial kitchen in the basement of an industrial building on that avenue, and the current project of Nacxitl Gaxiola, the former chef of La Superior and Pulqueria.


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Does New Santa Ana Restaurant Live Up to Its Sibling's Standard?

Categories: ¡Oye! Comida

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All photos by Scarlett Lindeman
Santa Ana Deli & Grocery on the corner of Irving and Stockholm is an excellent Bushwick taqueria. It's a place to while away an afternoon on an extended lunch break, sampling tacos and Mexican sodas. The decor is nothing more than a scuffed linoleum floor, folding chairs, and bags of dried beans, but there are quesadillas hand-pressed into sturdy packages with melted cheese and perfect green sauce.

This is why the New Santa Ana Restaurant (187 Irving Avenue, Brooklyn; 929-210-0860), a larger, full-service space opened by the same owners two blocks east, seems to be an unfortunate folly.

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At Cafe el Presidente's New Breakfast, the Tacos Trounce All Others in the City

Categories: ¡Oye! Comida

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All photos by Scarlett Lindeman
There are a pair of pineapples sitting in the window of Cafe el Presidente (30 West 24th Street, 212-242-3491), Tacombi's new outpost in the Flatiron, and their spiny visages are an invitation to the breakfast service recently rolled out. It is a pleasant spot to be early morning, when sunlight pours in through the windows on 24th Street. The space is cloaked in the olfactory allure of coffee from Chiapas and Veracruz being ground for cafe con leche, and salsas simmer on the stove.

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Here's Where to Find an Excellent Version of the Elusive Chiles en Nogada

Categories: ¡Oye! Comida

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Scarlett Lindeman
For such a colorful plate of food -- roasted green peppers in an ivory puddle dotted with cardinal-red pomegranate seeds and leaves of parsley -- the chile en nogada generates a lot of brow-furrowing. The controversy begins with the dish's provenance, which can be traced to an 1821 Puebla banquet that commemorated Mexico's Independence Day (September 16). Nuns created the dish to honor Agustin de Iturbide, who led the final revolt against the Spaniards, but which nuns, and at which convent? And every cook has firm opinions on the preparation. Should the walnut sauce be sweet or savory? Should the pepper be capeado'd (dipped in beaten egg and fried) or not? It is a complex dish, but most versions are, unfortunately, dessert-sweet, cold, and clashing.

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Here's What to Eat at Taqueria Tehuitzingo's Ninth Avenue Offshoot

Categories: ¡Oye! Comida

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All photos by Scarlett Lindeman
Early this year, Taqueria Tehuitzingo (578 Ninth Avenue, 646-707-3916) opened an offshoot of its Tenth Avenue bodega in a diminutive stall on Ninth. The splashy font of signage catches the eye of travelers pouring out of Port Authority, filling the spot's five tiny tables for post-expedition plates of ripe guacamole ($6) and Mexican Coke.

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A Reason to Go to La Mesita, a Perpetually Empty Bushwick Mexican Joint

Categories: ¡Oye! Comida

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All photos by Scarlett Lindeman
La Mesita (1513 Myrtle Avenue, Brooklyn; 718-366-8700), a perpetually empty Mexican restaurant that opened in Bushwick last year, seems to be suffering from similar pains that plagued the space's former occupant, a Latin American rotisserie chicken joint called El Asadero: It's overshadowed by other excellent options in the area.

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Where to Find Classic Mexican Sweets in NYC

Categories: ¡Oye! Comida

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Photos by Scarlett Lindeman
Ines Bakery's (948 Fourth Avenue, Brooklyn, 718-788-0594) slim counter space does a brisk after school business selling savory snacks like tortas on house made rolls ($5), pupusas ($3), and ham and cheese sandwiches ($4). But the Sunset Park outlet is, first and foremost, a bakery specializing in sweets.

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A Taste of What You Should Order at The Black Ant

Categories: ¡Oye! Comida

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All photos by Scarlett Lindeman
It was early May when The Black Ant (60 Second Avenue, 212-598-0300), a contemporary Mexican restaurant in the East Village, soft-opened its doors to a select few. There was a sturdy doorman dressed in black consulting a clipboard of names, an actual velvet rope, a truncated red carpet, and one of those plywood backdrops pasted with the restaurant's logo for the well-heeled to pose in front of while a photographer snapped away -- this is what a PR machine looks like.

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Hey Chefs: Stop Putting Crap in That Guacamole

Categories: ¡Oye! Comida

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Scarlett Lindeman
Gringos love guacamole. Actually, almost everyone in the United States loves guacamole. We consumes millions of pounds a year, in stripmall taquerias and sceney cantinas, rolled up in chain burritos and poured from a hermetically sealed bags purchased in supermarkets, as we have a God-given right to a margarita and chip firmly planted in mashed avocado. But during the recent Mexican fascination, the simple crush of avocados, lime, and salt has been taken a tortuous route. These days, the dish acts as a canvas for artful chefs to roll out novel flavor combinations in attempts to capture new audiences, whether it's through peas, pistachios, or pomegranate seeds.

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