Lunch’er Jill to Me: “Mi Nidito is Not That Bad!”

Mi Nidito

After I posted about the not so great $5 burrito I had at Mi Nidito last month (on 8th Ave. btw. 51+52nd), I got this email from Lunch’er Jill sticking up for them.

We had our office Christmas party at Mi Nidito a few weeks ago. I had suggested the place to my coworkers because, since Chipotle moved in next door, I have been worried that the restaurant would close and I wanted to provide some financial support. As I was sitting with the group, I glanced over at the bar and noticed a guy waiting for his takeout order. Wait, is that Zach from It couldn’t be. He never eats here. Well, apparently it was you, waiting for your not-very-good food.

I was so sad to read your piece about Mi Nidito. (especially the face that Chipotle is having such an impact). I thought maybe since Mi Nidito served drinks their happy hour would tide them over financially. Apparently not. As a long time fan I have to suggest a few dishes that I think are really great and you should try sometime.

The chicken tortilla vegetable soup, PKs black bean soup, beef flautas, the santa fe burrito. The soups are especially good. I was wondering, too, why at some restaurants you try just one entree before writing a review, and at other places you try multiple dishes. Is there a formula for that or does it just depend how hungry you are at the time?

Thanks for the email Jill.  At all the restaurants I eat at, I utilize an ordering algorithm that is so complex I couldn’t even begin to explain it to you. Unless you are an M.I.T grad who also graduated from medical school with a degree in gastroenterology. You literally need to be that good.

In the case of Mi Nidito, nobody had ever recommended anything to me… and I was just super curious about the $5 burrito lunch special. So I bought it, and wrote about it. Now that I have some recommendations, I’ll have to go back with a team of “experts” (aka fatties) and test out the rest of the stuff. Anybody else have any thoughts about Mi Nidito? Feel free to post them in the comments…


  • Not quite related to the topic at hand, but I’ve been to mi nidito a bunch of times (but this was from 2000 – 2005). My recollections are:

    - Great top-shelf margaritas
    - Great guacamole. However, I had never had guacamole before mi nidito since for years I couldn’t bring myself to eat guac (or even avocado since the “green greasy goo” never seemed appetizing to me. I split guac and chips along with a pitcher of margaritas with a friend.

    So maybe it was the company or the margaritas, but I’ve always enjoyed food at Mi Nidito. I’m far from dogmatic about “Midtown Lunch”ing, but if someone said “we’re going to Mi Nidito for lunch/dinner”, my reaction would be positive, not negative.

  • And I just noticed the chipotle right next f’ing door to the Mi Nidito. That’s f’d up. (I hadn’t been in that neck of the wood for a long time).

    I can’t believe people oblige chipotle. Tacobell I could understand, but chipotle? Please.

  • I want to hear more about this chicken tortilla soup. Zach you can finally live up to your pledge to review non-asian soups ;-p

  • I ordered delivery from Mi Nidito half a dozen times when I used to work nearby (2004-2005). It was always reliable for a solid meal.
    The chicken tortilla soup was good but not great, if I recall. It’s exactly what it sounds like.

  • I’ve had the PK Black Bean soup, and if I wasn’t sitting at the bar with work clothes on I would have licked the bowl.

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    @adamprato – on my uptown block there are two middling but not bad local pizzerias, each owned by a moderately popular local character.

    There is also a Dominos.

    I’ll let you guess which one has a fleet of bike delivery guys running in and out all day.

    The degree to which people will Hoover up name brand shit when there’s a better local option right next door is somewhat depressing, but no longer surprising.

    BTW, though somewhat different, this is how I view every person who voted for 5 Guys burger when Carnegie John is right down the street and ten times better. But that’s just me, and I realize it’s not exactly the same situation.

  • I don’t eat or work around Mi Nidito but sounds like they could use the business. I don’t understand the long lines to Chipotle either. Their establishment should not warrant the masses. Chipotle is okay but definitiely not to be frequented often for lunch/ dinner. Same thing with taco bell. Once in a while is cool.

  • Chipotle is very overrated. I don’t get it either. I’ve been to Mi Nidito once for the good happy hour. Next time I will try the food.

  • @adamprato I’ll usually give Taco Bell a pass, but I gotta say, not in New york City! Taco Bells are so gross here I’ll totally pick a Chex-Mex Fresh Tortillas taco over a NYC taco bell taco any day….

  • (I’ll probably catch major flak for this but here we go…)

    I live very close to Mi Nidito. I ate there about a year ago, and was not impressed – it’s just your standard Tex-Mex stodge you could get anywhere (Arriba Arriba, Blockheads, Chevy’s, etc).

    I go to the neighboring Chipotle on a semi-regular basis because it’s not as gloppy, heavy or as greasy as my meal at Mi Nidito, not to mention faster and less expensive.

  • chris, it’s apparently quite good for vegetarian tex-mex though. My weird ass (Read vegan) parents go there every once in a while when they are in the city.

  • Overrated? Chipotle f’n SUCKS! (Unless you like massive rice balls wrapped in a tortilla. Yuck.)

    Chris6: Did you ever look at the nutritional stats for Chipotle? I’m sure that the food at the other Mexican places is FAR better for you….

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    I live half a block from Mi Nidito, and I’ve ordered takeout from there several times. It basically sucks. The food has ranged from mediocre to terrible, and the last time I ordered, admittedly several years ago, it was gloppy, greasy, nasty and tasteless. And like $25 for enchiladas. I’m not saying Chipotle should put everyone out of business, but not every local place deserves to stay in business just by virtue of being local. El Centro on 9th is much better, and cheaper, and great margs.

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    When working at Sony Studios in the late 90′s, I’d eaten at Mi Nidito a bunch of times; I always thought it was meh. At the time, Tacocina was MUCH better, but they went downhill too. The best was the Mexican truck that was on 9th at about 50th: SO GOOD.

    I agree totally with stevenp: Chipotle sucks majorly. Awful, gummy flour tortillas and near-flavorless fillings? No thank you. In what universe is this supposed to resemble Mexican food?

    La Paloma Burritos on 45th between 8th & 9th is pretty durn yummy, and a tremendous deal, esp. their chile rellenos.

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    I never think of Mi Nidito as a lunch place, more of a “stuff your face full of huge amounts of food and awesome margaritas at a late-ish dinner” kind of place. For that, it is excellent. I am a big fan of their chicken and spinach fajitas.

    If I were craving Tex-Mex-ish in that area and it was lunchtime, I’d hit up Burrito Box on 9th Ave. near 57th.

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    I gotta agree with Stevenp too. I hate Chipotle! The couple of times I’ve eaten there I always end up spending a good portion of the evening in the bathroom.

    I’m all for the small taqurias and trucks around the city although when I do eat chain Mexican I have to admit I love Baja Fresh. Their mahi tacos and the nacho burrito make my week.

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    I love that Pho.Lover threw Baja Fresh into the mix! As a transplanted west coaster I’ve missed my Baja fix since moving here and was PSYCHED to see that they set up shop here. Only problem is that I don’t work close to their locations so I have to wait a while to get my fix. Any idea if they’re opening new stores any time soon?

    Always looking for other good mex options so I’ll have to try out Mi Nidito so I can throw in my two cents.

  • Adam Prato hittin’ the margaritas as if they could cure his rash ;P (still bitter about you stealing the last of the pork over at the El Ray cart over the summer). Happy 2010 buddy! :>

  • howdini–the fillings at Chipotle (C->S, t-before-p) are not ‘near-flavorless’; they have all of that wonderful *cilantro* flavor in the huge mass of rice! (*ugh*)

    Sarah:–agree, TBs in NYC really do suck, and you get to pay double for the privilege. (Where are the 79/89/99-cent items? Hah!) Which is why I always make it a point to stop in at TB when I’m visiting family out of town (Chicago, Florida, etc.). Or when I’m staying in AC and want to stock up on room munchies for in-between gambling jags. A cold TB burrito for breakfast can be tasty…..

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