Cocina Mexicana: Serving Up Amazing Tacos And Made To Order Guac

It’s taken me awhile to check out the Cocina Mexicana cart. They showed up amid the cluster of food carts at Liberty St. and Nassau before all of them were booted from the spot. While most of the others relocated, it was Cocina Mexicana and a smoothie cart that stayed put, moving over to the opposite corner along Liberty St. Some days the cart hasn’t been there when I’ve stopped to check it out, or they still had the window shuttered when I walked by around noon.

But one day luck was with me and I got in line to see what this cart could do. My hopes ran high as I saw the man working the window making fresh guacamole in a molcajete. 

Your options are more than you might expect from a cart this size and include tacos, burritos, tortas, quesadillas and tamales on the daily menu. There are also specials tacked up to the front of the cart which the day I was there included enchiladas in either a red or green sauce and shrimp in a chile sauce. And there’s the fresh guac with chips for $4.

I ordered baked pork (on the right) and vegetarian tacos ($3 each) along with a tamale with chicken in green tomatillo sauce ($3). Other protein options on the menu were carne asada, grilled chicken, and either fish or shrimp, and they also have cheese tamales for you vegetarians out there.

The tacos were so good you guys, in large part because of the tortillas. They were taken straight from a bag, then placed on the griddle and that made all of the difference – definitely some of the best corn tortillas I’ve ever had. They give you two with each taco and they withstood the large amount of juices from the pork, and oh that pork was delicious. It doesn’t look like much – just juicy shredded pork meat – but when paired with the avocado and chipotle sauces along with chopped tomato and lettuce, this taco sang.

The vegetarian version had rice and pinto beans, along with the same sauces and condiments as the pork version. It was good, although getting a torta or burrito might make better use of the ingredients.

Sadly, I did not care for the tamale. It was served at room temperature and the white corn masa was super crumbly when I stabbed my plastic fork in. The dark meat chicken within was light on the sauce, so there wasn’t a whole lot of flavor or moisture happening here, and no sauce or salsa to help things along. I’m not sure if it was an off day in the tamale preparation, but you may want to just get a third taco.

Yes, you can get good Mexican at a couple of trucks in the Financial District, and at fancier spots like Toloache, but I liked the homemade quality of the food at Cocina Mexicana. Plus, seeing guacamole made before you while you wait in line is a great way to show off that authenticity.

Cocina Mexicana Cart, corner of Liberty and Nassau streets


1 Comment

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    I had their cheese enchiladas and they did not disappoint. I went back for some bean, cheese & guacamole tacos and they were good too; but those enchiladas is what I’ll be having next time I get over there.

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