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Oct 3, 2012 07:09 AM

NYC Mexican from long ago. Looking for a name.

It's kind of hard to believe the influx of Mexican Restaraunts in the past 30 years or so. Mexican food used to be a novelty in this area. There was Anita's Chili Parlor on The Upper West Side, El Parador on 34th St., Fonda La Paloma on 49th, Bonampak on E. 53rd and Fonda Los Milagros on E. 55th and later E. 53rd. Add in Panchito's, and that was basically it. There was also a very small place on 1st Ave. probably between 50th and 51st. West side of the avenue and owned by a woman and her husband. It was mid block and probably three steps up. Anyone remember the name? They briefly opened a larger place on 49th and 1st, but lost that and the original due, I've heard, to an unscrupulous 'manager.'

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    1. re: LBNJNY

      ...I was going to say the same thing.

      1. re: LeahBaila

        I was also thinking Zarela, but wasn't her restaurant on 2nd?

    2. Zarela came later and was/is on 2nd Ave. the place I'm asking about probably only had about a dozen tables. However, it too may have begun with a 'Z.'

      10 Replies
      1. re: DrewEck

        What was the time frame for this place? I worked in the area in the early 2000s, maybe I can do a little research and help you out.

          1. re: DrewEck

            Sounds like Mañana though it was in the east 60s on 1st Ave.

            1. re: peter j

              I loved the Chile Rellenos at Manana filled with Cream cheese. I've never seen them made that way elsewhere.

            2. re: DrewEck

              Well I come up with nothing... that was a little too early for me. I asked one of my friends and she wasn't sure either. Best she could come up with was Blockheads but I'm sure that wan't the place at all. Sorry :(

              1. re: iluvcookies

                Not Mañana, not Blockheads. I worked at Madison and 49th and would walk over. Between 50th and 52nd, west side of the street. Maybe a dozen tables. Mexican woman owner was smallish, thin and wore her hair pulled back. Her daughter also worked there as a waitress, though not often.

                1. re: DrewEck

                  The description sounds like Ah Chihuaua, but that's on 53rd between 2nd & 1st.

                  1. re: Jerzeegirl

                    I hope not, but seemingly lost forever. Anyone remember Bonampak? That was on 53rd between 2nd and 3rd. Downstairs. My first mex place where I was a 'regular.'

                    1. re: DrewEck

                      I vaguely remember that because I work on 53rd & Lex. Anyone remember Tokyo Joe's Mexican joint? It was also on 53rd between 3rd & 2nd, downstairs.

                  2. re: DrewEck

                    Hi Drew,

                    In the mid-80s, I worked on Park and 53rd. Several times, a friend and I would go to Zapata's on the east side. Tiny place... kinda dark. Could this be what you're thinking of?