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Apr 5, 2007 04:03 PM

Upper East Side Spanish

I was reading somewhere recently (Chowhound maybe?) about a small hole in the wall Latino restaurant on the Upper East Side -- somehow I recalled the East 80s. Does anyone out there know the name of the place and the exact location? They said it was quite good.


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  1. Are you talking about Mustang Grill? It's southwestern, though. On 85th St. There's also Taco Taco in the 80s, El Paso Taqueria further up on 102 or 103, and Canyon Road in the 70s near 1st Ave.

    5 Replies
    1. re: cimui

      El Paso Taqueria is on is pretty small. Mustang Grill and Canyon Road are, I think, too big to be considered hole-in-the-wall type joints. If you figure out the mystery, I'd love to know!!

      1. re: PetiteSyrah

        Taco Taco is on 2nd between 89 and 90. The soft tacos are OUTSTANDING. They also have great guac and spicy Michelada's and great margaritas. Don't know if that is what you meant, but I go there all the time. It's tiny and cheap, but really good. (Mustang Grill is disgusting- don't even try it) Sabor a Mexico is also good, on 1st in the 90's, I think. I always order-in from their and the food is not too expensive and above par!!

        1. re: hungry329

          Taco Taco and Sabor are the only ones of the bunch I *haven't* tried--and unfortunately, it sounds like they're the only one I ought to've. (I concur: Mustang is pretty darn terrible.)

        2. re: PetiteSyrah

          Hmm, did El Paso recently move? Their website ( says it's at 1642 Lexington Avenue (near 103).

          1. re: cimui

            El Paso has two locations - one at 103rd and Lex, and the other at 97th between...Park and Madison, I think. Pretty reliable Mexican.

      2. Are you sure the OP doesn't mean Pio Pio? Peruvian chicken? Pretty hole in the wall in terms of size and price and on East 90th and 1st.

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            1. Thanks, dudes for the helpful suggestions. But NO, this is probably Latino but NOT Mexican. I recall it being a mom and pop operation, perhaps a few stools or even a bodega with eat-in food, and in the East 80's. I ate once at Taco Taco and it wasn't that good that night, but perhaps it was what I ordered. I'll give it another try. El Paso Taqueria is on 103 and Lex and also 97th and Park and are both good. Sabor is awful these days. Haven't tried Pio Pio but their menu seems very limited. No, I'm looking for a VERY small place and I'm hoping someone out there knows what I mean. I heard it was great and very atypical. HELP!

              3 Replies
              1. re: gerryvisco

                Ok, found it:
                Abuela's Cocina Cuchifrito
                1758 First Ave at 91st St.
                Upper East Side
                New York, NY 10128
                tel: 917-492-1790
                Bread Pudding
                Fresh empanadas

                Anyone ever go there? How was it?

                1. re: gerryvisco

                  We live a couple of blocks away and have passed by it millions of times. At a cursory glance, it appears to be simply a small, brightly-lit take-away counter with steam table - no sit-down. Not very inviting-looking, but we've never actually even opened the door to see what they have to offer. Would love to hear if anyone has anything good to say about it.

                  1. re: gerryvisco

                    Yes I have been there a couple of times. It's a weird place. I always wonder if it's a front for something. Sometimes that I have gone in they are basically out of food - odd for a food establishment. THey also close very early, sometimes by 7pm. So it's not a dinner place by any means but it's not like there's lunch business up there... the food is OK, not as good as home cooked Dominican food could be. I had carne guisada and yellow rice I think. I love batidas de pina (pineapple shakes) but I don't think they have them, or they said they were getting them.