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Jan 13, 2009 04:49 PM

El Atazcon - new taqueria in the EV

Has anyone else been to El Atazcon on 1st Avenue just south of Saint Mark's?. Apparently they have been open for two weeks, but I only noticed the place a couple of days ago. They are calling themselves a taqueria, and they serve a few other things as well. The tacos cost around $3, and are fairly delicate servings (two taco-sized tortillas with 3 pieces of catfish, for instance). The Alambre taco was my favorite: chorizo, beef, chilies, and onions. I was unfamiliar with an "alambre" taco, but they told me it's a specialty of central Mexico. Salty, varied, quite delicious. The Carne (grilled beef) was a close second: flavorful beef, carefully cooked, not chewy or overdone. We also had a catfish taco, chicken taco (simple sliced grilled chicken breast, sounded like a gringo special but also very tasty), al pastor taco (marinated pork), tortilla soup (tomato base, rich and spicy, with avocado, cheese, and fried tortilla strips). Their grilled corn is worth getting too. The room is very pleasant, painted orange and candlelit, with pictures of wrestlers on the wall. The waiter, who I assume is also the owner, was nice, friendly, and eager to please. We wound up spending $30 with tax and tip for a delicious but fairly light dinner for two. They are throwing in a free sangria with 3 tacos. As far as tacos go, it's not the cheapest place, but the food was all good and it was very pleasant. It's more expensive than a taco truck, but it is a much cheaper (and in some cases more pleasant) alternative to many of the overpriced Mexican restaurants in the East Village. I would definitely go back. They are planning on expanding their menu, but there's plenty of good stuff to eat there already and I look forward to trying more.

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  1. Thanks for the report. This is just blocks from my apartment. I don't know how I've missed it.

    1. Wow, thanks for this...I'm always looking for new Mexican restaurants.

      1. We went last week. They were pretty tiny tacos but tasty. We really enjoyed the fish taco and the chorizo, but the standout was the poblano with cheese. Really delicious. While I think we'll stick to Downtown Bakery for our regular Mexican since it's a bit cheaper for the amount of food, this was a pretty place to sit down and the food was good. Bring a sweater, though—it's cold when the door opens!

        7 Replies
        1. re: maggiej

          They were pushing the raja tacos, I guess they knew what was good! I agree that the portions are small, but I think the quality is higher than Downtown Bakery. I hope El Atazcon can stay in business - maybe the portion size is just one kink they have to work out since the place is so new. On the bright side, it did mean that we could try lots of different tacos and we still didn't break the bank. It's still quite a bit cheaper than some of the other Mexican places in town.

            1. re: kathryn

              I've never been to Pinche, too many bad reports. The owners of El Atazcon are from Jalisco, I think, and seem to care very much about their new place.

              1. re: hungrycomposer

                I've had exactly one fish taco at Pinche, and it was quite good - fresh, good guac, two nice side sauces. It was also pretty small. I know fish tacos aren't supposed to be huge, but I thought I'd be getting a cheap meal, and what I had was a light snack for $3.95. If you have "Cheap Eats" on the front of your menu, you have no business charging $12 for 2 tacos with rice & beans. Which is not what I had. I'm just sayin'.

                1. re: small h

                  I like the fish tacos at Mole. You get a huge shareable plate of them for $17 with plenty of tortillas to split the tacos down to eatable sizes. I actually think this is a pretty decent deal.

                  The tacos at El Atazcon are truly dainty, it would take quite a few of them to fill up.

                  1. re: small h

                    Oh man tell me about it!!! I realize things in NY are more expensive than anywhere else in the country and you have to pay even more for things that are not really from here. i.e. delicious fish tacos (god i miss socal).

                    I think Pinche was delicious but seriously...we got 4 tacos, chips and gauc, yuca fries and 2 beers and it was $36. urm for a hole in a wall, i felt ROBBED! $4 for a fish taco is just not ok.

                    Will have to give Atazcon a try...

                    1. re: kelea

                      I just signed on to chowhound to see if people were talking about this place. (no place for reviews yet on menupages... oh well). I've been to Atazcon twice this week... I'm somewhat addicted, though it's not entirely cheap as people say above (downtown bakery still takes the award for cost/value). I've had the shrimp tacos twice (yummy, though too much garlic the 2nd time), tortilla soup (good), as well as the hot coco and the guacamole (both are delish and well worth the $4-$6). My boyfriend gave the al pastor tacos a thumbs up.

                      Since it's been snowy and no one is leaving their apartments to try new things I've had the chance to talk with one of the owners about the restaurant both visits-- we spoke about portions and quality (two topics brought up here). He told me his theory was that he wanted lots of small plates, like in mexico, so that people can eat a variety of different things in one sitting and promised me that he chose top quality meats and that they were cooked fresh for each order-- hence the $3 tiny tacos.

                      like most people in NY I'm squeezing by these days and would love to spend less than $15/day total on food... I think Atazcon will be a weekly indulgence for a while... as a girl I can eat two tacos and a soup and be good for the night... good eating and let me know what you guys think!

          1. The original comment has been removed
            1. I walked by tonight and saw on their newly posted menu that they also started selling tortas and burritos. I was surprised to see burritos on the menu since they originated in the U.S., but I'll be happy to try them.