Your First Look at La Biblioteca’s Tequila Bar Tacos

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I haven’t touched tequila in years. Just a whiff brings back memories of my 20s and “just one more shot” at 3am on a Tuesday night. No, thanks. That said, I’ll do a go a long way for a good taco. When I read about Zengo’s new lunch of three tacos for $10 in their tequila bar, I knew I’d have to suck it up and bury those shredded memories to get my hands on some high class tacos.

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Descending from the daylight into a dark basement bar is a little ominous for the lunch break. I assure you and any co-workers or superiors who may be reading this that brightly colored bottles of liquor on the wall are not usually the decor of the places I have lunch.

Ordering takes place at the bar and they tell you that you should listen out for your number, but my order got brought to my table. Your mileage may vary.

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The menu is relatively short and sweet, there are a handful of tacos, split between $9 and $10 for three. I ordered a mixed batch with one each of carnitas ($9), carne asada ($10) and the special of the day, duck ($10). They rounded that up, and I paid $10 for the three and splurged on an order of mango juice ($3).

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The tacos are spare. There’s one tortilla each and they’re topped with onions and cilantro. Cheese and guac each cost a buck more .


The duck was great – packed full of shreds of crispy, chewy bits of meat and skin.

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The carne asada was my least favorite. Meaty and tender, sure, but it needed something more. I usually expect it to be roasted or grilled, so maybe a little char or grillmarks would have made it better.

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The carnitas left me wishing I’d just ordered three of those. Crispy like the duck, meaty like the beef and with a great porky flavor that really left me craving more.

The first complaint I expect to hear is that it’s $10 for three tacos. Yes, that’s not a great deal, but walking back to the office, I passed the Qdoba across the street and saw noticed that their tacos were $7.39 for three tacos that I can’t begin to imagine are remotely as good. Yes, it’s not a $2 taco truck, but it’s plenty good.

On future visits, I want to check out the mahi mahi and maybe the chicken, although I expect to want more of those carnitas more than anything else. I’ve never been to Pampano Taqueria so I can’t say if it’s different or not (it’s the same owners and same chef) but I’m guessing if you like one, you’re going to like the other.

The + (What somebody who likes this place would say)

  • Duck Tacos FTW!
  • Porky goodness in those carnitas.
  • I get to stare at booze (and maybe try some) during lunch.
  • The wait at Pampano Taqueria is so long! This took 5 minutes.

The – (What somebody who doesn’t like this place would say)

  • Ten bucks for three tacos! I can get a much better deal from El Rey del Sabor, two avenues away
  • For ten bucks, you can double up my tortillas. Seriously.
  • The mango juice was watery. I should have stuck with the Jarritos.
  • My carne asada should be grilled or roasted. Needs more char.

Zengo, 622 3rd Ave. (40th St), 212-808-8110‎


  • i think I’m gonna stay with Pampano Taqueria for now….

  • I went for this special the other day and it was awesome – wish they’d had the duck tacos when I was there! Really like the carnitas though. And in case anyone was wondering, the $5 margarita gets a thumbs-up. :)

  • I felt walletraped when I paid 7.57 for 3 tiny tacos at Choaza (28th and madison). 10 bucks–F*** YOU Biblioteca! 2 bucks each for those TINY THINGS–MAX! Yo quiero TACO BELL!!!!!

  • Bargain compared to Choza where the tacos are have both the flavor and size of a beer coaster

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    I ate there yesterday with a bunch of coworkers. The duck was excellent and the carne asada was dry and disappointing. I had the mahi mahi, which is coated in a thin layer of a creamy chili sauce that really tied the flavors of that taco together (the carne asada could have benefited from those flavors, I think).

    I will say that, despite the small portions, I was fairly sated after lunch, though I certainly could have eaten more.

    I’d go back for the mahi mahi and to try the carnitas, but probably not too frequently.

  • Right on Wayne. Choaza blows ass. And the douche owner of the one on 28th had the gaul to tell me he had a better deal than Taco Bell right down the block. uummmm, fu choaza, 7 and change got me a supreme burrito and a 2 tacos!! The 2 tacos easily decimated the 3 tiny tacos choaza gave me in every respect, size, taste, etc., not to mention the burrito supreme. That being said, 10 bucks for 3 authentic tasty tiny tacos is not worth it to me. I will cry and rub my chin….

  • Mexicue does the single tortilla thing as well, and the taco falls apart after one bite, not sure why these places are so clueless, thankfully there are proper tacos elsewhere.

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    In the spirit of Mexican food…

    New York finally has some decent and authentic Mexican food to feed the stomach and soothe the soul :)

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