SF's La Taqueria and La Cumbre in NYC?
Okay, I know the boards can be debating forums, but I'm not looking for that - I'm going to say that the tacos at La Taqueria, on the corner of Mission and 25th in San Francisco, and the burritos at La Cumbre, on Valencia near 16th St., are the best Cal-Mex offerings on the planet.
Now I live in New York and, so far, nothing comes close.
Again, without wanting a debate, I'll say the taco truck on Broadway and 96th is sheer crap - the meat is horrible. Other suggested places serve lettuce - LETTUCE! - on their abominable tacos.
I'll say there's a decent Mexican restaurant, El Paso, on E. 97th, that's not bad - they have decent (if small) tacos on the menu.
But I want a storefront place that will make me smile, dream, and do backflips. A place whose tacos and burritos make me lick my arm to get the juices that ran.
If you have eaten at La Taqueria and/or La Cumbre in SF at least a dozen times, if you know how good those places are, please, for all that is sacred and good on God's green (chili) earth, please hit me up on a similar place in NYC. If your place is chosen, I will reward you with a burrito or a few tacos, on me.
I'm an SF native--though I should say that burrito-wise I'm partial to El Farolito on Mission and 24th--who has lived here for many years. You just ain't gonna get an SF burrito in New York, but the Mexican food situation (as opposed to the Cal-Mex food situation) has improved considerably since I got here. You can get a pretty good carnitas burrito at El Mariachi on Broadway in the 30s in Astoria, but you can get amazing tacos a few blocks down Broadway near Crescent. Best al pastor tacos I've had outside Mexico City. Very authentic.
had some great eating moments in the mission, and I had a very similar post when I returned from SF a few years ago: (http://www.chow.com/topics/270608) but since then, I've found a few consistent tacos. In Manhattan, go to Hell's Kitchen's Tehuitzingo, I believe its on 10th ave and 47th street. really great tacos, fresh fillings and toppings, and total storefront.
and in jackson heights, its a toss-up between El Poblano and Coatzingo, but I will say that I've had great tongue tacos at El Poblano, and an excellent tripe taco at Coatzingo. The other offerings at both places are excellent (carnitas, al pastor, etc.)
and if you really want to lick your arm, try eating one of the overstuffed quesadillas available at the fine vendors at the Red Hook soccer ballfields (I prefer the one located on the left side when you come in). not exactly cal-mex, but at least, very mex to me, and one of the more authentic eating experiences I've had, crowds aside.
not a lot of cal-mex in nueva york. but the tacos rock. you might have to leave the isle of manhattan. in brooklyn, try tacos matamoros, 5th avenue and 46th street in sunset park. in queens, quite a few good places along and near roosevelt avenue, esp. in the 90s in corona. staten island has a good spot just up the hill from the ferry terminal.