My friend of Salvadorian-American extraction and somewhat dubious taste (he likes Mama Mexico) took me to this place yesterday. And I have to say it was good. Maybe even great.
In my friend's words, it's the only place in 3 years of living in New York that comes close to the tacos of his native LA. I don't have that kind of experience here yet, and he doesn't read chowhound, but it seems possible.
Tacos El Paisanito is a tiny room with a counter and a table off a main drag in University Heights. We ordered takeout, and the phone-person was very accomodating and spoke English well. They have a full menu featuring tacos, enchiladas, tortas, cemitas, quesadillas, chilaquiles, various platos, other things. Sadly, no horchata, jamaica, tamarindo, except for what comes in Jarisco form.
My order was four tacos and a soda- cecina, chorizo, lengua, and "pork" aka carnitas. Each was $2 or $2.50 and came wrapped in two soft corn tortillas, with only chopped onion and cilantro on top. Sliced lime and radish on the sides. Also came with a salsa rojo and tomatillo-verde. These were top-notch. Lots of tart piquant tomatillo in the verde, and a nicely complicated hot/smoky chile flavor in the rojo. And the tacos? Somewhat cooled when we got there, but still very good. The best were chorizo and cecina. The former was really closer to al pastor, with a bright red color, crisp edges, and spicy-sweet flavor. Even better was the cecina- pure charred aged beef goodness. Lengua was a little gamy, really in a good way, and not chewy at all. Pork was chopped, not pulled like carnitas, and was the least exciting, though still flavorful.
A little hard to get to, but I'm already planning my return. Next time I'll grab the table.
Tacos El Paisanito
202 W FORDHAM RD
BRONX, NY 10468-5509
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