Flatiron Lunch: Los Tacos de Atlixco de New York Serves Up Tacos, Posole and Tripe from a Truck
Every Friday our man UltraClay goes south of the ML boundaries in search of a delicious lunch. Sometimes it’s Murray Hill south or the Flatiron District, sometimes Gramercy and everything in between- but we just like to call it Flatiron Lunch.
Last week in my round up of Flatiron food trucks I casually mentioned Los Tacos de Atlixco. Maybe you took my word for it and checked it out, but for those who need to see visual proof this post’s for you. I came across Los Tacos de Atlixco on the corner of 6th Avenue and 29th Street by accident a week or so ago. Seeing the truck crowd of Latino laborers from the area crowding around this old Fed Ex truck (the sign still says “No cash on board”), I changed my plans and decided I had to give it a try.
Given the predominant clientele, it seems English doesn’t come up very often when ordering. The signs along the sides of the truck are all in Spanish and ordering was a bit of a challenge. It was freezing on my first visit and I was dying for some soup, so I asked for an order of Posole. A friend put me onto it on a trip to San Francisco a few years back and when I saw it listed, I got excited.
Unfortunately, it wasn’t available. Communications being a bit poor, I didn’t figure out if it’s just an occasional special or if they ran out for the day or what, but they offered me what they described as a ‘beef soup’ instead.
When I got back to my desk and opened up the ‘beef soup’ I found that that wasn’t quite the clearest description. Though tripe does in fact come from a cow, it’s usually described a bit more specifically.
That’s ok, I’ve enjoyed tripe soup before and this was no different.
A quart full of soft, chewy honeycombed flesh with that squeaky, bouncy texture. The broth is spicy enough to warm my face without setting my mouth on fire. Instead of those giant hominy kernels, the soup had chickpeas scattered beneath the meat. On the side, there was a stack of warm tortillas, a bundle of lemon wedges and a small cup of chopped onions and cilantro.
Eating it out of the tall soup container wasn’t particularly convenient and I really wished I had a bowl on hand, but the soup itself was quite satisfying.
On my second visit, I wet for a bigger variety of items, starting with a quesadilla. I hadn’t ordered it at first, but when I saw that chicharrones were an option for a filling, I had to give it a try. The prospect of crispy, delicious skin enveloped in cheese was very exciting. Except that’s not exactly what it was. The skin was stewed, not roasted, so it was soft and chewy and sticky instead of crispy and crackly. It turned out to be very good regardless. The corn tortilla was crusty and toasted, the cheese inside was squeaky and chewy.
I also ordered some tacos. One chorizo, one al pastor and one carnitas. I’ll note first that nothing was particularly spicy, even with the two hot sauces provided. The flavor of the sauces were all good, but some heat would have been nice.
Even the chorizo, though tasty, didn’t have that kick to it that I would expect. That was disappointing.
The al pastor was an improvement. Served with chunks of pineapple, the pork was sweet and a little smokey.
I saved the carnitas for last and I’m glad I did. The rest would only have disappointed after something so wonderful. It’s listed on the menu as being ‘fried pork,’ but it doesn’t mention that the pork comes from perfect sticky, chewy, crunchy bits of ears lined with cartilage inside and deeply satisfying in each bite. I chomped down every last morsel of that taco and expect to order some more carnitas each and every time I return there.
Los Tacos de Atlixco de New York, 6th Avenue at 29th Street. 347.965.7186.