Groceries in Front, Terrific Tortas in Back

Behind Jalapeño Deli's unassuming storefront is a crack Mexican kitchen that turns out some of the best tortas in East Harlem, says JungMann. Chorizo is a highlight, its spicing beautifully balanced. Quesadillas, made with Cotija cheese and, if you ask, an off-menu option of very flavorful chicken, "threaten to be an addiction." Avoid carnitas, JungMann warns: "mostly flaccid pieces of fat."

One reason he was delighted to find this place was that El Paso Taqueria, an uptown minichain once heartily recommended by Chowhounds, wasn't doing it for him anymore: "Sadly it seems to have left the dynamic spicing and quality behind."

Jalapeño Deli [East Harlem]
1629 Lexington Avenue (between E. 102nd and 103rd streets), Manhattan
212-828-2803

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