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Mexican in Astoria?

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Any recommendations for Mexican restaurants in Astoria?
Not fancy ones- just really good, basic ones. Thanks

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    Astoria Lurker

    I am a big fan of El Potro (44rd & Broadway), the carnitas and chorizo tacos there are excellent. I haven't had much else but other people who have gone with me have had burritos, enchiladas and other tacos (al pastor, chicken etc) which all were good. It's a really small place and the jukebox music can be a little loud but I do enjoy the food.

    Also good is Viva El Mariachi on Broadway, closer to the N. I know there are a few other places people reccomend but I'm not familiar with them. Also , Las Margaritas (Broadway & 38th) isn't very good, although it has a more festive atmosphere than the other 2.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Astoria Lurker

      The last time I was at El Potro (admittedly probably almost 2 years ago) I had the most unbelievable mole sauce over something - I don't remember what, but I remember the mole sauce.

    2. My friends and I love Tacos Mexico on Bway and 38th. Not fancy decor, but really delicious. Their enchiladas are great, their pozole is perfect on a cold day and their mole (on enchiladas, chicken etc) is excellent. Everyone we have taken there has really enjoyed it and gone back on their own.

      2 Replies
      1. re: biogrrl

        I'll second Tacos Mexico- the tacos are simple and lovely, though the carnitas can be a little grisly sometimes. The nachos, though, the nachos are wonderful and can be a whole meal for me. Another bonus that isn't in every Mexican restaurant but should be, is delicious unlimited salsa and chips on the table.

        1. re: biogrrl

          I finally made it to Tacos Mexico last night- it was great. The guacamole was just right, and all the enchilladas and tacos were delicious. When we asked for desert though, they acted like we were crazy... Anyway, I'll be back.

        2. Pandaderia Hidalgo is a favorite of mine. They're located at 25-22 30th Avenue in Astoria. The front part of the store is a bakery (complete with Mexican breads that remind me of the ones I ate when I visited Mexico a few years ago!). The back is a small restaurant where they serve all kinds of Mexican food.

          It's located a few yards down 30th Avenue from the Mt. Sinai Hospital of Queens. Phone number is 718-726-4180

          2 Replies
          1. re: AmyC822

            Thanks for the tip – what do you like these days, front or back? A few years ago some folks liked their rajas, tamales and moles.

            Link: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/show/...

            1. re: squid-kun

              their tamales are essentially unchanged since then.

          2. How about one to take someone on a second date. She loves Mexican - not sure if she means Tex Mex or real Mexican. She lives in Astoria.

            1 Reply
            1. re: jjj

              without any information on what your date (or you) are like... tequilla sunrise would offer the most in terms of formal ambiance, the food is only passable, and should be avoided on the weekends... if a more laid back setting is sought, check out original mexican on twenty-ninth steet off of thirtieth ave... if you want authenticty with waiter service and alcohol, the spot on the north side of astoria blvd west of the astoria blvd station might be a good comprimise

            2. Do any of these places (or other recommended ones) have options for non meat-eaters (e.g., rice and bean burritos/tacos, cheese enchiladas, etc.)?

              1. A new favorite of mine is Tacos el Compita at 32-20 34th Ave. (formerly a short-lived arepa place, or possibly two short-lived arepa places). The posole soup is hearty and filling (and, admittedly, completely wrong for this weather, but I was craving it); the shrimp tostadas very fresh tasting with nice chunks of shrimp. Here's the menu: http://photos1.blogger.com/blogger/70...
                Haven't seen anyone else post about it so I'm curious what others think.

                6 Replies
                1. re: Brikka

                  Thanks for steering me over there. Tried the Mole Poblano Chicken Enchilada for lunch today and it was delicious. It's definitely better for takeout/delivery as there are only 4 small tables in the place. But in this part of Astoria it's the best Mex I've found yet.

                  1. re: Jonny Pops

                    Glad you liked! I've tried the mole since my original post and agree with you -- it's really complex and tasty. Never had the tacos (referenced below) so I can't speak to their quality, but we often sit there for breakfast on Saturday or Sunday, when I'll usually have huevos a la mexicana with lots of little zingy little chilies (and a Spanish-language variety show on the TV).

                    1. re: Jonny Pops

                      Oh Man. I post this with much regret, but El Compita changed their management and cook last week. Unfortunately the quality of the food simultaneously plummeted like like a bomb dropped from 30,000 feet. I had been frequenting, and loving the food at, this place for over a year now, but I am very sorry to say it looks like the party's over. If anyone is a fan and has the same experience I had PLEASE do what I did and tell them to bring back the old cook before it's too late! Also if you eat here and it seems like old times, please post and let me know.

                      1. re: Jonny Pops

                        Devastating! I'm not sure I have the heart to go in there now, but if I work up the courage and have the same experience as you did, I'll be sure to let them know what I think. Sigh.

                        1. re: Brikka

                          You have to. Mass complaints to the new administration are our only hope at this point!

                          1. re: Jonny Pops

                            When they changed to the new chef, the food went WAY down hill. I don't go there anymore myself. It was such a nice spot and the tacos were top rate - as well as the wonderful tamales. I wish I'd tried the mole now.

                  2. El Compita is very good - nice tacos and tortas especially. Cheap too.

                    1. I've had a couple very nice meals at the tacqueria in BLUE on 30th avenue just east of Steinway. Credible carnitas, which is unusual for Astoria Mexican. Plus this place is a diner (same mexican cook) so there is a regular menu and real seating and a clean dining area.

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: babar ganesh

                        El Potro has excellent carnitas. I have walked by Blue almost every day but never had the courage to go in there, it just looks like a dingy diner. Maybe I should try it one of these days.

                        1. re: Astoria Lurker

                          I tell you what. I'll go to El Potro (where i've never been) and you go to BLUE, and we can compare notes.

                      2. We went to Tacos Mexico on Bway and 38th the other night. It was good (better than anything I'd had in Manhattan), but not great (had better at San Diego in Greenpoint and a couple of different places in Sunset Park).

                        Part of the problem may be that my wife and I are vegetarian (don't tell us what's in the beans, we don't wanna know); so it may be that the carnitas or whatever at Tacos Mexico are da bomb. But the cheese enchiladas with mole sauce were so-so (actually, the mole was excellent, but the enchiladas were tired and chewy, and no queso fresca, if I'm spelling it right). The nachos were delicious, so good call on that. My wife had vegetarian tacos- all the ingredients were fresh and tasty. Next time I will try a burrito.

                        It's also not quite as cheap as I would want it to be (but maybe that's new york).

                        one more thing- excellent horchata.

                        Will go back, but am interested in trying other places.

                        1. here's my current list of places i think are good and places i'm curious about:


                          not in astoria, but in sunset park: la fe grocery at 55th or 57th and 5th ave. sorry, but if you are listening, you really needed to hear about this place. mindblowing huaraches.

                          ok, now astoria:

                          good (but variable):

                          -- el compita on 34th avenue around 32nd. good but variable carnitas. (one time excellent, one time bad, one time good.) tasteless but beautiful chicken tacos. no ambience, but you can sit there and watch mexican gangster movies.

                          -- blue on 30th just east of steinway. good carnitas, perhaps somewhat variable. they are nice in there. the place doubles as a diner.

                          -- los portales on broadway. best el pastor spit in nyc. suadero tacos also good. they have one of the big pans with everything frying in it up front. carnitas and chicken tacos forgettable. very mexican ambience.

                          -- tamales at joseph and so and so (it's not "maria" but i can't think of it) 23rd avenue at astoria blvd. this is a store with tamales in the back, but just on the weekend.

                          curious about:

                          -- restaurant in the back of the mexican store at broadway and 41st street. the restaurant just opened a short time ago and they have kept irregular hours. i haven't been.

                          -- luna on broadway at 43rd or 44th. sit down mexican with a more varied menu than the likes of tacos mexico. something makes me think it will be good but i haven't eaten there.

                          other places i wouldn't put on my short list but which i've tried:

                          -- original mexican food, 29th street at 30th avenue. nothing outstanding here. formerly called "hidalgo grocery". tamales downhill. nice mexican grocery store ambience with grill in back.

                          -- the place near astoria and 21st street (forget the name) don't bother.

                          -- flor de luna on 36th avenue: don't bother.

                          -- taco truck on 30th avenue: don't bother

                          -- tacos mexico, teculgo iv, etc., whatever that one on broadway and 33rd is -- listen to other people on these. i'm not a fan, but they aren't bad.

                          5 Replies
                          1. re: babar ganesh

                            Luna on Broadway used to be El Potro, which was my favorite in the neighborhood. I haven't been since the name change, any reports?

                            1. re: Astoria Lurker

                              No reports. I was planning on going tonight but swung by Nebuta instead. Pork katsu. Mmmm. Maybe luna tomorrow.

                              1. re: Astoria Lurker

                                went to luna tonight, had the pork adobo rojo. merits a solid "eh". tasted like the cook had dumped a whole can of mccormick's curry powder in the sauce.

                                1. re: babar ganesh

                                  I'm more interested in the tacos, the other dishes were never really the strong point when it was El Potro either. I am a bit nervous to try it though because if it really sucks compared to El Potro I will be very sad.

                                  1. re: Astoria Lurker

                                    well, maybe i should have tried tacos then.

                            2. I wholeheartedly recommend Taqueria Coatzingo in Jackson Heights (Roosevelt and 76th, approximately).

                              1. I'll throw in my two cents in favor of Tacos Mexico (38th/Broadway). Went there for the first time the other night -- not a ton of ambience, but very nice service and really solid, straightforward Mexican. (My girlfriend and I are from California, so we're constantly frustrated by the lack of good Mexican food out here.)

                                I got three al pastor tacos ($2 each), which were massive and superb. So much flavor, in fact, that it was kind of overwhelming -- I wish I had mixed it up and gotten another kind as well.

                                My girlfriend got combo enchiladas with green sauce. The chicken was nice and flavorful (despite being mostly white meat) and very tender. The sauce was good, too. One possible downside: the cheese filling they use is of the variety that gets kind of rubbery when it melts. I like it for some reason, but my girlfriend doesn't. Word to the wise.

                                As for the peripherals: the horchata was nice, the rice and beans were quite good, and the restaurant has an attached full bar with a pool table.

                                All in all a very nice experience; we'll definitely be going back, and soon.

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: jmat

                                  Oaxacan string cheese most likely... she'll get used to it if she's a keeper.

                                2. Viva El Mariachi on Broadway between 33rd and 34th is my favorite Mexican in Astoria, heck probably in NYC, these days. Really authentic, great chips and salsa - quite spicy too. The enchiladas are all great dishes, though they bring out too much food (a full plate of rice and beans - thanks, but enough already!). Great tacos as well, not as good as the old El Compita on 34th Avenue, but very close.

                                  1. I think the best Mexican place in Astoria is El Jarochito. For what it is, it's one of my favorite Mexican places in the city, along with Tortilleria Nixtamal in Corona and Mexicana Mama ( I haven't been in a while, is it still good? ) in the West Village. It's on 29th Street just off of 30th Ave (btw. 30th Ave and 30th Rd). Beyond having great tacos, you can actually purchase tons of Mexican ingredients there. I guess it's not very well known yet, and they just changed their name (I think). It can be particularly nice in the summer because you can eat at the window counter. I don't know if they do delivery.