I ate at Mercadito on Saturday evening. There are no reservations, because the place is very small (maybe seating for 20-30?), but we had a table within 30 minutes. Our server, Talia (sp?), was just bubbly enough to appear in love with her job, but no much so that we felt like we were watching a high school sporting event. She claimed to have tried everything on the (relatively limited) menu & we believed her, after all of her recommendations were dead-on.
The guacamole was the closest I've ever had to better-than-mine, and the tortilla chips were phenomenal. Apparently, an older woman comes in every morning to make corn tortillas. The chef (Patricio) then bakes some to use with the guac. Perfectly salted, outstandingly crisp & hot . . . Bye-bye South Beach Diet & Hello Mercadito!
My 2 friends & I shared 3 different soft filled tacos - the ancho-rubbed pork (with pineapple, this was our favorite), the chicken (don't remember all of the fillings, but the chicken was tender & tasty and the fresh corn added terrific crunch), and the vegetarian (a mix of tomatillo puree, queso blanco, chopped zucchini, etc.). Each plate came with 3 tacos (1 for each of us) and we were more than satisfied.
When Mercadito gets its liquor license (it's BYOB, for now, with no corkage fee), they are planning on serving over 100 different kinds of tequila. I have no idea where they're going to STORE all of those bottles, but it sounds like an ambitious effort.
I will be returning to this place frequently. For the guac, 9 soft tacos (3 of each type), and a dessert sampler (chocolate flan, rice pudding with mango, and caramelized plantains), the bill came to $50 *with* tip.
East side of Ave B, near 11th St.
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