Tehuitzingo is Arguably the Best Mexican We’ll Get in Midtown
Ask the simple question, “Where’s the best Mexican food in New York City?” and you’ll likely be met with exasperated sighs, an eye roll, and the fierce proclamation that New York Mexican cuisine could never in a million years rival that of California’s (at least until California is swallowed by the Pacific). Part of me agrees. I’ve had the pleasure of eating at the clapped out taco trucks in random parking lots around Salinas and Fresno, CA – gleefully shoveling down $1.50 tacos meant for the local day laborers, now being elbowed out by DSLR toting hipsters.
But we shouldn’t be so self depreciating, for there’s perfectly acceptable Mexican to be had at Tehuitzingo Deli and Grocery (10th Avenue between 47th & 48th st) – well out of reach of Midtown, but accessible for the lucky lunchers that work on the western edge of Midtown, or those with very lax lunch breaks (they also deliver as far east as 6th ave).
Over the years, the blog-o-sphere has caught on to Tehuitzingo’s culinary refuge, despite its unassumingly modest storefront, earning words of praise from Grubstreet, the guys at Immaculate Infatuation, or our very own Philadelphia correspondent, Jamie (back when she worked in Midtown West). Despite being ‘outed’, they’ve kept their heads down and stuck to a menu of street food favorites, divided into quesadillas, sopes, tortas and tacos of various flavors.
They cook their tacos with simple honesty and integrity. Walk towards the back of the grocery store, past the dry goods, the coolers of Jarritos soda and Dos Equis, and place your order with the lady manning the small counter. Pick a filling, perhaps a braised heap of luscious and pleasantly funky goat meat ($2.75), and they slap it onto two warm corn tortillas, sprinkle a bit of cilantro and onions, and present it without any unnecessary flourish. The way it should be done. Add a squeeze of lime and a swipe of their homemade salsa, take a bite and you’ll remember why you schlepped to BFE for a taco.
The single menu item that gets me hustling over to 10th Ave (or call up Tehuitzingo on speed-dial) are their tortas. At $6, it’s a hefty sandwich, with crusty and fresh rolls wrapped around your choice of proteins – ham, chicken, salted beef, chorizo, and the like. My go to is the torta de pollo, which comes as a fistful of tender chicken, melty fresh quesillo, an appealing smear of avocado and fiery hot pickled peppers. This $6 sandwich reliably leaves me with a few beads of sweat on my brow from the spice, thoroughly full, and rapturously happy.
It may not be the best Mexican food in the States, or even New York for that matter, but for being accessible to the Midtown luncher, it’s pretty damn good. Great even. With that reality in check, cast aside the self-consciousness and roll with what you you’ve got – that is, Tehuitzingo is arguably the best Mexican food near Midtown, and definitely worth a visit.
Tehuitzingo, 695 10th Ave (btw. 47+48th), 212-397-5956