El Rey Del Sabor Round Two: Mole, Tamales, and a Spicy New Creation You Won’t Want to Miss
My first trip to El Rey Del Sabor, the Mexican cart on 60th and 3rd Avenue, consisted of a taco and a huarache. It was enough to know that this place was the real deal, and I posted immediately about the new-found gem. But that lunch was not nearly enough to satisfy my own personal desire to eat everything on their menu. I mean, the food I had was good… but what about their tamales? Or the fried empanadas? Oh, and most importantly the mole. I love mole poblano (the thick, dark, spicy, chocolaty sauce) and this cart serves up a version made from scratch by the owner’s sister. How could I not?
Enchilades topped with mole, tamales, and a new off the menu creation that is pretty crazy- after the jump…
Mole was what I was there for, and mole is what I got. Three enchilades, filled with your choice of meat, and topped with their very excellent mole poblano. It could have been a tad spicier (if you like things spicy) but all in all it was pretty delicious… and clearly homemade. You can also get your enchilades topped with green sauce (salsa verde) instead, or have mole put on top of any of the other things on the menu. It’s normally offered only as a topping on the enchilades, but the guy will pretty much do whatever you ask. A chicken mole burrito? Yes please! (That’s the first thing that popped into my head… but it will have to wait for the next trip.)
I also had missed out on the tamales on the first visit. As much as I love the tamale lady in front of the Mexican Embassy, her tamales don’t really compare to these. Topped with sour cream and salsa verde, the chicken tamale was pretty awesome. Not dry at all, and it had a good amount of chicken; the only complaint I had was the fancy restaurant style squirting of the sour cream. I’m here to eat Mexican food from a cart… don’t waste your time getting all fancy.
Not a great photo, but I tried one of the fried empanadas too. I think a lot of what is great about this cart can be summed up in the empanadas. One bite is all you need to tell that they are homemade and completely fresh. It’s a really nice change of pace from the frozen, processed empanadas and beef patties that are on every cart in Midtown.
Finally I asked him if there was anything new since I had been there last… maybe something not on the printed menu, that I could try. And that’s when shit got all crazy.
I watched him take salted beef (which is on the menu), and sautee it with onions, peppers, white cheese, and habaneros… into a Mexican Cheesesteak!!! Ok, so it’s not authentic “Mexican” food, but it’s hard to argue against. Spicy, cheesy, salty, beefy. What could be bad about that? And, I’m guessing if you wanted it spicier, he’d be happy to throw in some extra habanero. He served it to me as a make-your-own-taco kind of platter, but I suggested that it would make a great torta or burrito. Not sure if he’s made a sign for this “Mexican Cheesesteak” creation, but if not, you can just ask for it. He’ll know what you’re talking about… and probably would have no problem making it into tacos, tortas, a burrito, or as the platter I was given.
Finally, I don’t have a photo, but I also tried the barbacoa (lamb) which is a meat option not listed on the menu. If you like lamb, it’s pretty spectacular. Tender, moist, and nice and gamey- it’s a great option if you’re tired of the same old, same old. (And you love lamb.) Available as the meat in any of the items on the menu.
If I had any doubts about this cart’s greatness after the first post, they have all been put to rest. Fresh, homemade, authentic, delicious, cheap, and one of a kind (in Midtown anyway.) It’s Midtown Lunch perfection. And, after sampling 7 of their dishes, there is still more I want to try. (Mole burrito anybody?) It doesn’t get much better than that…
El Rey Del Sabor, SW corner of 60th Street and 3rd Avenue