Sunday, September 2, 2012

Saturday Splurge: Tacombi (Manhattan)

There's an unspoken rule on the subway in New York City... you should give up your seat to a pregnant woman. That being said, you know a restaurant's really good when you purposely allow your 'food baby' to stick out, in hopes of securing a seat on the train. Yes, I paraded my belly without shame and yes, I got a seat. Damn was that food good!

If you don't know this by now, you're just not paying attention... I love Mexican food. I'll wear a sombrero even, if that's what it takes to enjoy a taco al pastor or a bowl of creamy queso. So when Adam and I stumbled across Tacombi on Elizabeth Street, I had full confidence that this would be the beginning of a torrid love affair with some tacos.

Tacombi @ Fonda Nolita is what you call a 'taqueria on wheels'. Dario Wolos, a native of Mexico, opened Tacombi in 2010, after being 'discovered' by Food Network personality Aaron Sanchez while serving up tacos out of his Volkswagon Combi on the beaches of Playa del Carmen. Making sure not to lose the food truck appeal, Wolos opened up shop in a 2,100-square-foot garage and parked an actual VW Combi inside. The best part is... that's where they put the tacos together! The roof of the van lifts up, leaving room for at least 3 people to get in there and plate some tacos.

Even when it's crowded, they keep things moving. We got a table within ten minutes, but that didn't stop us from having a few drinks beforehand. The bar holds a colorful display of red and white sangria and a crazy little cocktail of horchata (a traditional Mexican drink usually made with rice, milk, vanilla and cinnamon) spiked with sake. Of course I went for the horchata. The combination was surprisingly delicious...and I'm not even a fan of sake!

While we were happily sipping our adult beverages, the food started to arrive. Wait!?! We JUST sat down! That was faster than a New York minute! We started with the corn esquites, which I can only describe as a steaming hot cup of goodness - toasted corn, cheese, chipotle mayo and lime.

For our taco selection, we went with the beef barbacoa, al pastor de puerco, zucchini and mushroom and maiz y poblano tacos. The tacos range anywhere from $3-6, which I found to be a little on the pricey side when you consider their size. I've eaten a lot of tacos in my life (obviously). I'm not going to say these are 'the absolute best' tacos I've ever had, but they are definitely a solid choice when you factor in the surroundings and the fun cocktails.

Tacombi makes you feel like you've temporarily escaped the tribulations of a hot New York City summer. You can almost see the glistening ocean waves. Did I just hear someone say, 'Which way to the beach, ladies?'?

And, as for the dress code, you might want to call them for verification, but I'm willing to bet your surf shorts will suffice! Surf's up, city folk!

267 Elizabeth St. (between Prince and Houston)
New York, NY 10012

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