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INEXPENSIVE Mexican in NYC?

I am looking for an inexpensive (Less than $30 pp with one drink, tax and tip) Mexican Restaurant in NYC, prefer UES, but will tarvel if it gets lots of ohhhs and ahhhs from the foodies.
TIA

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  1. if you want to travel downtown, try mexican radio.
    i also reccomend rocking horse in chelsea.

    1. The UES is just south of Spanish Harlem when you can get great Mexican food. I have good memories of dinners at El Paso that were affordable even on my student budget.

      4 Replies
      1. re: JungMann

        Totally agree: El Paso Tacqueria is a very safe bet for very good, authentic Mexican. Two locations, one on 97th (UES) and one on 104th St. (Spanish Harlem).

            1. re: City Kid

              El Paso's newest location is 116th between 2nd & 3rd and it's good too!

          1. El Paso is good, but we never get out of there under $80 when we have 2 entree's and 2 drinks.

            1 Reply
            1. re: gcwells

              With the most expensive entree well under $20, an entree with a drink for under $30 -- as per the OP's request -- is highly doable.

            2. Puebla in the East Village is under $10 per person, It's a genuine hole in the wall, and I'm not even sure if they serve beer. But if you're looking for a genuine Mexican restaurant and not a Mexican hip scene, then this is the place. I'm guessing at $30 per, you're looking for a place to kick back and have a margarita.

              5 Replies
              1. re: douglas525

                douglas525, how do you compare Puebla to Downtown Bakery, a restaurant from which I order delivery biweekly?

                1. re: Jorel

                  I went to Downtown Bakery once, because another poster asked the same question on a previous thread, and I never went back. But then, he went to Puebla once and decided not to go back, if I remember the banter properly. I specifically remember liking Puebla's rice and beans better.

                  1. re: douglas525

                    OK...I just found the threads. And by the way, I totally made up the part about the other guy trying Puebla...sorry...memory burp. Anyway, this one is probably more to the point of Stuart's original topic:

                    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/534078

                    And this, ...OH SNAP...I just looked at your name, Jorel, and we've had this conversation before:

                    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/536683 --...

                    I think that might have been me a few days ago as well. I asked if anybody has been to both so that they could compare. I'll agree to go try Puebla if you try Downtown Bakery!

                    I especially recommend the Carne Asada Burrito and the Adovo de Puerco. The tacos are good, too, but seem similar in quality to some of the newer, albeit slightly more expensive taco stands sprouting up around town. More than anything, this isthe best burrito I've had in Manhattan, similar to what you can find in really good CA joints.

                    Permalink | Report | Reply

                    Jorel Jul 09, 2008 11:46AM
                    re: Jorel

                    Actually I'm a step ahead of you...lol. I just had the chicken tacos and pernil enchiladas, and both were quite tasty. The rice and beans were fine, but they were a little too dressed up for my taste. To be honest, though, I haven't been to Puebla in a while, so I'll have to go back to make a qualified comparison.

                    1. re: douglas525

                      That is so weird. I remember this now. It was only a year ago.

                      Anyway, I do think Downtown Bakery has gone a little downhill. The meat isn't as well cooked as before and they now put waaaay to much rice in their burritos (which, i realize, shouldn't be in a burrito in the first place). Maybe I'll order from Puebla next time. Thanks for your report, doaglas525!

                  2. re: Jorel

                    It's funny, I was walking through the EV this weekend and grabbed both menus, which look almost identical. I'm assuming they're not related?
                    Comparing what I read on both, Puebla has the slight edge over DB. Looking forward to checking both out.

                    www.thelunchbelle.com

                2. If you're in the EV and on a budget, go to Zaragoza. It's a Mexican deli on Ave. A just below 14th st. I love to bring home the tamales, but they serve tacos and enchiladas as well and have tables in the back. They even have beer. You'll only spend $30 if you spring for a meal for everyone there. I think it's much better than either Downtown Bakery or Puebla, and you certainly won't feel like you're paying for phony ambience.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: hungrycomposer

                    Zaragoza gets a 'oh hell yeah' from me too... i've lived right around the corner for 8 years and literally just discovered this gold mine in the last year. The tacos are great and you get two nice sized soft tacos for $5. They've got your choice of Chicken, Goat, Beef, Pork and some other random animals that will sometimes raise your eyebrows. It's good though.

                    Also, Pinche Taqueria just opened another spot on Lafayette and Houston - cheap and good stuff but another one downtown.

                    www.immaculateinfatuation.com

                  2. Noche Mexicana on Amsterdam near 103. Very fresh, very cheap no frills Mexican food.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: qwertyu

                      Absolutely agree. It hs been almost a year though since I last went. I do hope they are still great. Pozole, huaraches, tacos. Food of Puebla.

                    2. Toloache in Times Square is one of the best Mexican eateries in the city, and reasonably priced. Check out this NY Times article from last year. I've been to all these place and they are good.

                      http://events.nytimes.com/2008/10/01/...

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: missbuilding

                        And then there's the truly authentic one on 10th and 47th, cheap, delicious and they serve beer.

                        1. re: fbsdg

                          You mean Tehuitzingo and/or Tulcingo del Valle.

                      2. Look for the trucks, one near union sq. Or keep you eyes peeled for one of the ubiquitous Tex-Mex operations run by the Chinese. They are fast and good, oh yeah and really affordable. I recommend the 1

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: ChefPeter

                          Do you mean the El Idolo truck at 8th Ave + 14th Street? I love them... Or is there a truck closer to Union Square?