It’s Mexicue Monday at the NYPL
I’ve been trying to hit up all the food carts parked at the New York Public Library (40th + 5th) to accompany the Lunch Hour NYC exhibit. Often, the trucks parked there aren’t in my area of Midtown, so I’m trying them out while I can. They have a brick and mortar store (7th btw 29th and 30th) which is just out-of-bounds, but the Mexicue truck doesn’t make its way to midtown too often. So if you would like to try it out without the trek, today is the day you’ll want to hit it up…
The fusion fad is pervasive in food truck culture, and although I admit the marrying of two cuisines can sometimes be a complete miss, I’ll try just about anything. And BBQ didn’t seem too far of a deviation away from Mexican food. I’m glad I went relatively early, at about noon. About a minute I stepped in line, I looked behind me and the line had stretched far around the corner. Thankfully, the assembly line of food preparers seemed to keep us moving right along.
So here’s the deal. You’ve got a lot of choices to make. First, you have a choice of several proteins from Mexicue’s “smokehouse”: BBQ chicken, BBQ brisket, pulled pork, black beans, BBQ pinto beans, or burnt ends beef chili. The proteins dictate the price and range from veggie options at $8.25 to the $9.95 brisket. The vehicle for protein consumption comes in a few different styles: a burrito, 3 tacos, a salad bowl, a rice bowl, or 3 sliders. Then you’ve got toppings: BBQ crispy strips, lettuce, country slaw, pickled jalapenos, pickled red onions, cojita, or guacamole for an extra $2. Then you choose a sauce: Bama BBQ (a creamy sauce), Mexican BBQ (a spicy sauce), Memphis BBQ (a mole sauce), green chili, cilantro lime crema, and morita chili vinaigrette with smoked peppers. Whew.
Decisions, decisions. When it came down to it, I selected a more traditional Mexican lunch — three tacos, BBQ chicken, pickled red onions, cojita, and green chili sauce.
My overall impression was that it was a beautiful dish and it was filling, but the overall quality just didn’t match with the $10 price. I liked that each taco had two white corn tortilla, but they still fell apart toward the end of finishing each taco. The meat was good. It had a nice flavor and wasn’t dry, which is a big deal to me. But onions were very crunchy — not pickled enough in my opinion, and a overpowering. It was so sharp that I couldn’t taste much of the salty cojita cheese and they were very difficult to bite through. I also thought the tacos needed quite a bit more sauce.
However, I think the food could be a lot better if you choose the right ingredients, and the place has gotten some good reviews in the past. Unfortunately, in my first experience there, I felt that I just had some really expensive chicken tacos. If I go back, I would like to try something a little more in line with their BBQ-Mexican fusion idea.
Any readers want to share a favorite Mexicue combo? I’d like to go back and try again while they’re still at the library.
Mexicue, 345 Seventh Avenue, 212-244-0002