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Don Burrito Restaurant. Newkirk Plaza. Family owned, authentically Mexican. Beats Benny's Burrito's and worth the trek.

I found myself in Newkirk Plaza, as I had stopped to read the paper and get some breakfast, enroute to a destination.

It could have been Dunkin Donuts.

I opted for Don Burrito Restaurant

(5 Newkirk Plaza, Brooklyn, NY).

Once inside this very quaint and friendly family owned establishment, to check the menu, I could not vision getting my breakfast and taking to a coffee and a read, at the Donut venue just doors away.

I was subdued by the pleasant sounds of light ethnic tunes, of varying sorts, that gently were playing in the background. The family owned establishment's atmosphere was very inviting. No stand out flashy decor, or trendy display. Seating in one square room, with tables of varying sorts depending on the size of your party. Comfortable lighting enough to read, with not a problem, but dim enough to have social occations with friends.

The breakfast consisted of nachos, with cheese, and sour cream with shreds of lettuce, in the middle. I also had coffee that came in a low rimmed thick ceramic cup, classic circular looking and rather large.

The hot sauce is in-house made, and my wait staff, obviously one of the family members, stated that I was the first person she had seen finish the short cup of hot sauce they serve. This not only indicates my delight of hot pepper, but is indication of the craft in cooking that one gets from this particular family owned, independent establishment.

I was told they use cayenne pepper as the base. There is a slight creamy-ness to it, but the overriding flavor is the cayenne pepper and other spices, that inflate the flavors of other dishes one is engaged in.

The nachos were splendidly arranged, with abundant cheese, melted, just right, with a bit of brown on areas, indicating time in the oven or broiler.

The family comes from Mexico, and they cater to the large Latin American and Mexican people living in the area. Hence, Don Burrito is a better bet for a nice Mexican meal, fun with friends, etc, than say, Benny's Burrito.

Of course, the location is not as convenient as Benny's, for some. That equates with Don Burrito Restaurant being a local trusted establishment.

They have a full beer menu with Boheimia and other Mexican Beers, and the usual popular imports and domestics. 4 dollars all bottled beer/

sangria is made in -house made, and is about 4 per glass, 33 for a pitcher.

Food and beverage prices are quite good, reasonable, inexpensive.

They stay open until 11 pm Fridays and Saturdays. 10 pm all other days of the week.

Oh, for the record:

My honest appraisal of Dunkin Donuts: A breakfast at Dunkin's is limited to coffee only.

And to be honest, I rarely take to burritos, and have not been to Benny's since the 1990s. Don Burrito offers the hope that my stomach may come in contact once again with a burrito.

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  1. You're not setting the bar very high when you say this place beats Benny's. How does Don Burrito stack up against the better places in Sunset Park or along Roosevelt Ave in Queens?

    23 Replies
    1. re: squid kun

      That my friend, or fellow chowhounder, is just the question that should be asked.

      First off, sunset park's restaurants that you so make reference to, as 'better places', I do not doubt exist.

      I was mainly making a vernacular parallel due to the name of the restaurants. Benny's and Don's both use 'Burrito'.

      I don't really eat burritos, and never took to them when I was ushered to Benny's by family or friends.

      But in all honesty, the setting has made a welcome, for further explorations, as nachos were all I ate. They were excellent, and simple.

      One, like yourself, might want to venture into this discovery.

      They have a sister venue in Florida. This may be indication of extended family owned, rather than family owned.

      A question I ask of anyone familiar with the 'better places':

      What would be items (dishes) and venues (in sunset/roosevelt) that you would use as bench marks. That might be a good place to begin.

      1. re: jonkyo

        i can translate in much less words: jonkyo does not know bc he hasn't eaten at "better places in Sunset Park or along Roosevelt Ave in Queens", please tell him where to go bc he doesn't want to ask directly...wow that was so much easier

        1. re: Lau

          Can you program a bot for plainspeak translations of all his posts? (not that i dont enjoy them as stand alone performance art, but it would be helpful when they come in the midst of a discussion i was otherwise interested in)

          1. re: tex.s.toast

            yah i just hired a programmer to develop my iphone app

          2. re: Lau

            Correct that I have not taken to Mexican in the two locations thus far described, in the first comment, so of course I exclude from this discussion other venues in such locations that are not mexican.

            A lot on 4th / 5th Aves, and more in Roosevelt portions of Queens.

            Well, I cannot state that I have avoided these Mexican places, it just so happens they crank out some great night life with music, and buckets are affordable.

            Le Peta is my fave and they have great nachos, in the Bronx though.

            1. re: jonkyo

              There is no restaurant in the Bronx called La Peta.

              Perhaps when you ate there you were not not "eating" there in the sense (or, indeed, since) that it was a restaurant in which one eats, but that it was a different restaurant in a different place with a different name...or one, two or even three elements of that very array.

              1. re: Jim Leff

                Correct.

                I had not located anything online regarding Lupita. The retained menu lost, since I have not visited the place in recent months.

                The Lapita Lupita. Lepita. This makes me so desire lessons in Romanic languages, specifically Spanish. One is enough to understand the uses of these vowels, or their divergence in Spanish, French, etc. But maybe this paragraph will simply highlight even more the void within regarding such areas of the lingual universe.

                From Spanish Dcit:
                Lu Pita:

                To skedaddle. -= To leave hurriedly. ∗ ∗ Salió pitado/a. (Colombia)

                Lu Pita does have a nice menu. And the inclusion of the restaurant's name in the mind of this reviewer, does highlight what many 'dining out people' encounter with ethnic - lingual diversity.

                My lapse of understanding the Spanish language, identical to those I have helped in understanding Chinese here on chowhound, I do hope is forgiven.

                Lupita Restaurant - 561 Southern Blvd Bronx, NY, 10455

                The restaurant sits near the end of Southern Blvd (south). You will find it more Mexican than high volume places on the island south of the Bronx, for the staff generally speak little, in no English. The maitre d, does speak fluent English though.

                That does not automatically make it more mexican, but does indicate the clientele being raised on maize derived items such as round corn made crispy discs (nachos, etc) and cilantro, as opposed to processed white flour based items (pop tarts) and sweeteners (high fructose corn syrup).

                Since its menu feeds primarily, or 99% Mexican and people from areas south of Mexico, one will be getting a more authentic representation of dishes, than one gets with the (overrated) high volume places on the island south of the Bronx.

                I really cannot speak too much of the food other than what I state above, for my times at Lupita are in evenings, for imbibing to the tunes of Mexico. (
                A no English songs) live dj some nights.

            2. re: Lau

              I have taken to the minority places in the area. No offense to the dominate group of the area.

            3. re: jonkyo

              I turn to the classic 油炸圈饼 glazed circular shaped fried dough with a hole in the middle when I'm really in need to pleasure my mouth. I discovered this fine family owned establishment serves just the said hole as a separate item on the menu. Some of the more adventurous people on chowhound are encouraged to try this and report back. It is a treat if you find Mr Dunkin behind the counter. He appears to have Mexicanisque heritage and told me he often gets up very early in the morning to make these treats for all ethnicities to put into stomachs.

              For the best burrito shop, go to the advertised Chipotle shop located on 8th Ave, I recommend the beer and newspaper.

              1. re: cnr.one

                Come on now, we all know Mr Dunkin is bengaladeshiese.

                1. re: cnr.one

                  油炸圈饼 oiled deep fried rounded cakes, known in the western world as donuts, are presently so far from what they were, when Henry Ford's motor creations were only for the wealthy.

                  Today, as the auto has become popularly consumed, the donut (dough-nut) is a very pale representation of what it was in the days that saw Moxie simply as one of many small inventive brands of soda drink.

                  Today Moxie is all that remains, a vestigial note to the days of past.

                  1. re: jonkyo

                    Way to tie it all together. The grand unification theory of nothing in particular.

                    1. re: jonkyo

                      so how did donuts taste in henry ford's day? did you really like them?

                      i take it you took the blue pill

                      1. re: Lau

                        I wish I could see these posts before they were google-translated from English to Chinese to Swedish Chef back to English.

                        1. re: Lau

                          I have had donuts made in the manner of the older ways, so to speak.

                          All the icing and sugary coating, makes up for a loss of good fried nuts of dough.

                          Fresh they are great.

                          Similar to 油條 (long deep fried thick, hollowy itmes of dough) the older doughnuts were simple.

                          1. re: jonkyo

                            where exactly did you get these donuts from the past?

                              1. re: Peter Cuce

                                i thought we were talking about old fashioned (cake) donuts?

                                1. re: tex.s.toast

                                  We were talking about Don Burrito, Newkirk Plaza.

                                  There is a Dunkin Donut near by there. Actually there are many Dunkin Donuts near there, varying shapes and sizes.

                                  Don't let the variety of colors and sizes and shapes fool you. Mass produced, and you would be best to locate the nearest Mexican or Colombian bakery, instead.

                                  After your burrito, at Don Burrito, ask them where might be the Mexican alternative to Dunkin. Cheaper coffee, just as much caffeine, and baked goods from the mama san and staff.

                                  1. re: jonkyo

                                    so you didn't answer the question, where is this place where you these old fashioned donuts? you buy them at dunkin donuts?

                                    1. re: Lau

                                      They were at a county fair, in a part of New York State that is near New England, many years prior to this note.

                                      1. re: jonkyo

                                        interesting, what city exactly is this in? can i still go there to get these donuts?

                                        1. re: Lau

                                          It was near albany. It was near village of Rensselaer. I have not a clue. i was a guest visitor with a friend.

                2. In case anyone was wondering, Keen's is better than Tad's.

                  50 Replies
                  1. re: 2slices

                    Bobby Van's ?

                    Ben and Jack's Steak House lame.

                    Why such names, for steak houses: Ben Jack Bobby Tad Anthony.

                    Why not Edgar, Dalila etc.

                    It is this entire male thing from the show Ponderosa.

                    Keen's I do like their ceiling.

                    But, Don Burrito does steak too. Just because the owner's name is not one of these lumberjack names, and is not on the sign does not mean they are not in contest with these very culturally cookie cutter steak houses. You can bring your white table cloth if you like.

                    1. re: jonkyo

                      so don burrito does a nice porterhouse steak?

                      1. re: Lau

                        maybe not. I do not think such is part of Mexican cuisine. This porterhouse steak is a European derived item.

                        I was merely making reference to the presence of beef, and its use as the base of a dish preparation.

                        Depends what or how you or others would like your beef prepared. If you want particular cuts of the muscle, from particular regions of the animal, cooked in a manner that stems from Europe, somewhere there, then save a visit to Don Burrito for beef burrito, beef nachos...but they use the word steak to indicate beef on the menu:

                        Steak Nachos ; La Hacienda Quesadilla with steak; Steak Quesadilla; House Salad with steak; El Mexicano Burrito steak marinated with mexican sauce; Burrito Norteno grill steak; Fajitas Tradicionales steak .

                        and Carne Asada 8oz flank steak grill .

                        oh, there is the mouth watering Steak Campesino grilled steak coated with refried beans, chipotle, grilled onions, melted cheese on top!

                        Does flank do the job...?

                        I prefer my beef ground or minced these days.

                        If it is anything other, it must be raw totally.

                        1. re: Lau

                          But I am wrong, and thank you for your query as we have some history to learn unless one is already intimate with such history.

                          It is not Europe, but the US.

                          According to the history, Porterhouse was the name of a place to stay:

                          "The word porterhouse was used in the United States in the mid 1800's to describe a resting point for weary travelers. Typically found at railroad and stagecoach stops, these establishments often served steak and ale, including porter beer."-
                          history-of-the-porterhouse-steak/

                          mcallenranchbeef

                          1. re: jonkyo

                            wow you're really a nacho connoisseur

                            1. re: Lau

                              I recommend the follwing places that will be less expensive then the Dos Caminos, and far closer to the origins in taste:

                              El Salvador Restaurant just beyond the doors of the subway station (wyckoff myrtle). I love the place.

                              (I am vague due to this being the Outer Borough section) The other destination suggestion is on Manhattan Island, with same national origin, just south of Dunkin Dough 178 same side. (expect nice GuaGua with homemade still hot from frier chips)

                              El Salvador
                              1544 Myrtle Avenue
                              Brooklyn, NY 11237
                              (718) 628-0606

                              Nachos come from Mexico, and migrated south since their coming into existence in 1943.

                              The guy who thought this dish up, on the hurried demand of visitors and the lack of things to serve, as named Ignacio Anaya. So, the dish comes from what the locals called him, the shortened Nacho of Ignacio.

                              The location was just south of US boarder with Texas. The city or town is called Piedras Negras.

                              (history is a good story found on internet)

                              I refuse to submit to the propaganda that comes from B R Guest Hospitality (Dos Dos Caminos) and find flavor and more so authentic at the places above.

                              1. re: jonkyo

                                ah the authentic nachos...so you dont think the nachos at dos caminos are authentic? what are the typical characteristics of authentic nachos?

                                1. re: Lau

                                  "Typical characteristics of authentic nachos" First define authentic.

                                  It comes Old French, authoritative, indicating 'authority', and this derived from Latin (authenticus) and originating in the Greek word 'authentikos', genuine.

                                  Seeing that Nachos originated in Mexico's Piedras Negras where the restaurant that the creator of Nachos worked, and still uses the original recipe, that this would be the epicenter or the authenticity.

                                  My concern here, is the wider consumption of nachos extending to regions south. Nachos are based on homemade tortillas, then cheese, with items added. This concern is opposed to nachos migration to the US, which as opposed to a place such as El Salvador, the US corrupts this recipe, the way they have corrupted goulash, or deli meat (Boars Head).

                                  If one looks at the diet of the regions from Mexico and further south to Central America, one will not find nachos done up the way they are in places such as Dos Caminos or even Mama Mexico.

                                  These are American renditions of the preparations, originally that one will find in regions south of the boarder between Mexico and America.

                                  This can be verified by going to places that primarily serve to those born and even raised in places south of the boarder. These places are where the staff and the nachos recipe used, both emanate from the same location.

                                  So, "what are the typical characteristics of authentic nachos".

                                  The answer was devoured the last time I was at Restaurant Pupuseria, and El Salvador on Myrtle.

                                  Go and find out. you will not be disappointed.

                                  1. re: jonkyo

                                    both of those are el salvadorian, so el salvadorian nachos are the same as mexican nachos?

                                    1. re: jonkyo

                                      it took me almost 30 years (20 of them in california) to learn that the origin of nachos was French.

                                    2. re: Lau

                                      I have enroute stopped into San Loco or other places, late, for a beer, as the staff, Mexicans, are cleaning and taking breaks.

                                      Talking with them, they state they would never eat the food at San Loco.

                                      It is similar to the Chinese, who do not eat the take out Chinese that is ubiquitous from Bangor Maine to Long Beach.

                                      This same principle, based on reality, is why you find the food in regions of Fuzhounese Chinatown great.

                                      It is only America that limits menus to beef, pork, and chicken, forgetting the more exquisite flavors and textures of organ meat, blood, head, feet, 屁股.

                                      Thus said, we are speaking about nachos. Eat them in the destinations I have suggested, and then we can return, and confirm or deny.

                                      Pupuseria Salvadorena is in the Bronx.

                                      1. re: jonkyo

                                        right but you didn't answer the question, the places you talked about el salvadorean not mexican and you are saying that these are "authentic" as well? what would the major differences be between el salvadorean vs mexican vs american nachos?

                                        1. re: Lau

                                          el salvadorean nachos will be served in an ambiance filled with talk, soft or loud, using Spanish, with Latin American music playing.

                                          Mexican nachos come in an ambiance that is quintessence of Mexico.

                                          American nachos come in an ambiance that is filled with Elvis Costello glasses wearing people, people with large eating habits that cost the nation in health care. American popular music, Santana, Sinatra, Stevie wonder, Elton John as well as Lady Gaga, etc. playing in background

                                          1. re: Lau

                                            Now, the real factor here that will distinguish American nachos from their counter parts in Mexican...in that is...and El Salvador, is as follows.

                                            Volume and mass take precedence in American nachos, over flavor. It is similar to creating a mass that will in volume, mimic the Pentagon, for the diner table.

                                            The volume that the dish exists in is quite massive compared to our other examples of nachos. This engrosses the person held captive to the American diet. Sight of such is so pleasing. Piled high with chicken or beef, guacamole, the American nachos would feed a family of four from Eastern Europe to China, and South America.

                                            El Salvadorean and Mexican nachos have the idea of taste as its primary goal, in the creation process.

                                            The above is the reason why I am promoting the idea that for good Mexican food, go to where the Mexican and Latin Americans go to eat. Don't buy into large industry captivity.

                                            I have met the owners of many of these places. They, some, do the cooking sometimes, they serve sometimes. I am happy parting with my money, in these places, due to the quality one gets from independently owned places, that hover below the larger restaurant industry.

                                            Another factor is that these smaller places go to markets, as opposed to having some quesi-monopoly food supplier deliver the basics that they deliver to other restaurants.

                                        2. re: Lau

                                          The nachos at El Salvador 1544 Myrtle are quite good.

                                          The nachos at Don Burrito are simpler, or more basic (you can have things added just tell the wait staff and pay extra I am sure they'd do anything, on hand).

                                          For Don Burrito, it is the in house hot sauce that is the key to the Don Burrito experience, as well as what I state above.

                                          When I first went to the Myrtle venue, it was as if they rarely they get anyone outside of the Latin America population as customers. A Friendly guatemalan with beer in hand approached our party, and insisted on buying us beer, and stated "I love you white people". The exchange was good. Our waitress was from Dominican Republic.

                                          Music played in the background that contained the meal of nachos in a Mexican atmosphere, for it was mostly Mexican, but I threw some dollars in and played Caramelo Caliente (Ecuador) and Elvis Crespo's 'suavemente' (American and Puerto Rican ).

                                          Don Burrito offers less of a drinking atmosphere, as does Honduran El Progreso 5303 Fort Hamilton Pkwy , so you can pick and choose.

                                          Nachos go better with Vicente Fernández than Elton John http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zwgMjk...

                                          1. re: jonkyo

                                            Nachos are the ultimate gringo food. They are not cuisine. Just an assembled pile of stuff. Doesn't matter what music you are listening to. At the moment you are eating nachos in these restaurants, you are in fact THE lowest common denominator patron that those owners figured might enter their establishment.

                                            1. re: Silverjay

                                              "Doesn't matter what music you are listening to. "

                                              the extreme of this statement would be a scene from Clockwork Orange.

                                              I am just wondering if Anthony Burgess was excluded from eating nachos, as I do not know if they are represented so widely in UK as here.

                                              And "ou are in fact THE lowest common denominator patron that those owners figured might enter their establishment."

                                              This is interesting. Does the other items such as beverage bill, factor in to this, or the other items that may populate the table.

                                              1. re: jonkyo

                                                From your nacho experience at Don Burrito which was more "transporting" for you- the lettuce or the sour cream?

                                                1. re: jonkyo

                                                  how did you acquire your vast knowledge of the nacho game? was it through extensive travels in central america?

                                                2. re: Silverjay

                                                  cuisine vs. pile of stuff, well this can be saved for cable tv wars or reality slots.

                                                  Thank you for responding.

                                                  I do stand firm in my argument that you can gather from my text here, and hope people check some of these places out.

                                                  as for "transporting", it was the coffee cup...to answer your question. That ushered me back to a cup I remember drinking from, long ago, while sitting at a table that had neither lettuce nor sour cream. Just toast.

                                                  1. re: Silverjay

                                                    Not to aspire to be a lowest common denominator patron, but sometimes nachos are really delicious.

                                                    1. re: Pookipichu

                                                      I have never found that my experiences eating nachos were ever manifested as "lowest common denominator patron".

                                                      For dining purposes, I will say that I have been denigrated to a "lowest common denominator patron" for ordering beer and an app at a restaurant. The degrading was not wait staff, but some host who seemed to run the register, and seemed nothing more than an employed staff as opposed to one who may have returns on his investment.

                                                      That has never happened at a Latin American place. These places are some of the most friendly establishments in the Outer Boroughs.

                                                      1. re: jonkyo

                                                        My comment wasn't directed at you, it was simply a statement of my opinion that sometimes nachos are delicious.

                                                        1. re: Pookipichu

                                                          People have taken food, and did what biology did to the living world. That is make genius.....or do what entomologists do to the insect world.

                                                          It is taxonomy, basically. It comes from projection, the psychological term. Unlike the so called condition of projection, this is aggrandize, of something, by projecting the quality of another, to it.

                                                          The biological world to food.

                                                          I for myself would be ....and have been fine, living without such, in rural agrarian settings.

                                                          Be it nachos or filet mignon. They are both food to eat.

                                                          Elevating one over another, is for me, inconsequential.

                                                          But, considering processed foods, industrial produced foods, in a same reference to nachos, or filet of mignon, would necessitate value of one over the other, for taste, and health.

                                                          One comes from cultivating, the other from revenue increase at lowest cost to producer.

                                                  2. re: jonkyo

                                                    From your experience in Central America, how do you find the use of lettuce and sour cream to differ across cultures?

                                                    1. re: Silverjay

                                                      (this answer does go off topic a bit, and it should be gathered from my text, that knowledge of the thread' topic's' comes from visiting area venues. I plug those venues)

                                                      Oh, yes, the center of america, I do recall consisted of conurbations, stretches of rural areas, suburbs, and a famous river. Difficult to be mobile in such a place unless one is feeding the greenhouse gasses with a single owned utility for transportation that houses a combustible engine. This I am sure does not make lettuce happy.

                                                      I am going to conclude that transportation in Central America, as well as the built community environments and cities, are easily navigable for human's mobility than the center of America is.

                                                      "lettuce and sour cream " fixations I can refer you to a number of specialists, schooled in psychoanalysis.

                                                      I do prefer romaine and other variants that exist in the natural and agricultural world, than iceberg lettuce.

                                                      1. re: jonkyo

                                                        I just came back from South America where I traveled with a friend who spent much time in Central America. I can assure you that human's mobility is much easier in the center of America...and smog pollution from combustible engines is much worse down there as well. But nice try faking your way through.

                                                        Other than portion volumes, you've never explained the differences in nachos across these cultures.

                                                        1. re: Silverjay

                                                          Actually a good friend of mine traveled to central america and i am friends with more then several people from there.

                                                          In travel and actually modern amenities according to someone I know from Belize in her village, and country, is similar to what I encountered in some parts of Africa, with limited electricity or none, and travel the likes I found in Africa.

                                                          Easier mobility:

                                                          Well, I will just say, when I traveled from Passe to Foundiougne in Senegal, riding a mule drawn carrying cart, it was easier than riding within a metal framed box on the highways, of say, Indiana. The difference being for this topic, was the absence of nachos in my mule riding location as opposed to, my friends home village just east of Guatemala.

                                                          So, depends on ones definition of easier.

                                                          This brings me to an important inclusion in our nacho explorations of brooklyn. another source of authentic latin american food is here: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/915052 (guantemala, where is it? La Chapincita is a tienda guatemalteca

                                                          )

                                                          "Other than portion volumes, you've never explained the differences in nachos across these cultures."

                                                          i think i referred to taste, preparations that are distinguished with sources that the restaurant uses to stock its fridges and shelves.

                                                          i wrote

                                                          "Another factor is that these smaller places go to markets, as opposed to having some quesi-monopoly food supplier deliver the basics that they deliver to other restaurants."

                                                          so, check them out and then we discuss. the entire idea of my posting any of this is to offer my findings to others who are interested in food dining, and what might or might not work for them.

                                                          1. re: jonkyo

                                                            I traveled through Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras and Nicaragua a few years back eating and traveling locally. Never encountered nachos or tortilla chips for that matter. I didn't think to look however so maybe I missed them.

                                                            Traveling locally via the reconfigured Old US school buses was an experience that I definitely enjoyed. In no way was it comfortable. I've also traveled in ox carts in obscure Balkan regions and felt the same. My guess is that 90+% of my fellow passengers would have preferred an air conditioned SUV. I suppose a romantic liberal American idealism might lead one to think differently.

                                                            1. re: MVNYC

                                                              I could not find a restaurant in Warsaw that served keibassa, until I wandered into a very working class place.

                                                              Places I go I never have aims for items to eat, unless it be a travel within a place where I also reside.

                                                              Interesting travel notes on mobility. I was only making reference to the built environment of much of the US, being inhospitable to those with no private luxury of a car.

                                                              The point here is not mobility, but what happens to the built environment when it is based around the automobile as a majority used utility.

                                                              A case in point is NYC, being in opposition, for the most part, to such.

                                                              You are perhaps correct in your un-polled figure, of fellow passengers.

                                                              I knew an Englishman in China, who was so happy when Lays potato chips where finally marketed there. I do not know how he felt with the use of chips over crisps though.

                                                              Industrialized food market would usher in the cheap snack of bagged nachos, to the region. I will stick to the homemade deep fried ones.

                                                              found on web "Delicious Nachos at LacaLaca - Review of Lacalaca, San Salvador" tourist place or urban place perhaps.

                                                              1. re: MVNYC

                                                                It's not liberal American idealism. It's jaded expat English teachers (not just Americans) who develop a philosophical self-hate for their own culture and nurture a sort of romanticism for the poverty of the developing world. You meet them backpacking in Asia a lot....Try riding on the back of a mule cart on the way to a hospital in an emergency or even just sharing the cart with containers of gasoline for generators back to a village or just carrying food that spoils easily.

                                                                BTW, the Menupages listing says Don Burritos' nachos are made with mozzarella cheese. Most of the menu are burritos and fajitas- other classic Tex-Mex favs. I'm not knocking them for that. But the Americanized menu is certainly more comparable to Benny's Burrito's than the places in Sunset Park and Jackson Heights. Guess I should have just looked at the menu in the first place...

                                                                1. re: Silverjay

                                                                  The classic Tex-Mex nachos are chips, cheddar, and jalapenos. Burritos are not classic Tex-Mex, Cal-Mex maybe. I'm 57 living in Texas all my life and never saw burritos until relatively recently and had my first one two years ago and hated it. Much of what the rest of the country thinks of as classic Tex-Mex is not at all, certainly never a chimichanga.

                                                                  1. re: Silverjay

                                                                    "expat English teachers (not just Americans)"

                                                                    I developed my critical understanding of America, more than ten years before I embarked on my study of Chinese language while supporting myself with teaching English.

                                                                    There is no hate, it is just the understanding that comes from what John Berger calls 'ways of seeing'.

                                                                    I distinguish a culture that transcends ethnicity, and has to do with modernity and post modernity, and is tangible it manifestations all over.

                                                                    To hell with the gentry and long live the peasants.

                                                                    I take my beer and nachos at places one of my friends can't stand, due to "the people don't speak engish and the music is all the same and loud.

                                                                    I venture into the cookie cutter places here, and some are nice. But, they exist in this world, where, devoid of continuity with a past, or a people, one could be in Lake Tahoe, and have the same experience, same contrived decor and same menu.....with the void.

                                                                    1. re: Silverjay

                                                                      "But the Americanized menu"

                                                                      And yes, this is why I recommend some of the other places, but be forewarned that ethnicity intercedes. Cookie cutter places are nice, but so unreal. Its as if we're all on stage for one another, in many of them, unless its late, and alcohol has been teeming for a bit, and people, myself included, forget the shells they are in.

                                                                      This is why ethnically exclusive places, are shielded to some extent, from this homogeneity of modernity ......post modernity ...however one wants to define this manifestation I am referring to...... You could call it glump. It is the point I make that is important, and how that impinges on food preparations....decor....fun.....music....nachos....and birth rates....food distribution....mules...ambulances.

                                                                      1. re: Silverjay

                                                                        "Benny's Burrito's than the places in Sunset Park and Jackson Heights."

                                                                        This is about Newkerk Plaza venue. Lets be fair.

                                                                        I know what Sunset Park and 4th ave offer.

                                                                        Just the same there are a few places called Oaxaca. I will venture to say the one most popular down around Union on 4th, is not the destination one wants, if one is looking for authenticity, the likes Mexicans who have barely assimilated, aside from earning a wage, go.

                                                                        I am saddened that Viva Zapata closed. They were on Roosevelp Ave. Velp me I fallen, I can't get up.

                                                                        Taquería Mexicana Viva Zapata - Jackson Heights

                                                                        1. re: jonkyo

                                                                          Do you know what "chilaquiles" are? If you like nachos, you might want to try these and perhaps do a quick gauge of a place with this dish. They are more of a prepared dish than something rather assembled like nachos- dare I say more authentic.

                                                                          1. re: Silverjay

                                                                            This is something I can do.

                                                                            Thanks.

                                                                            I had not taken to Mex in a very long time. Only recently in the past year.

                                                                            nachos are good, as I primarily am in the venue for beer, except for that morning in Don B. Then just wanted light snack for b-fast.

                                                                        2. re: Silverjay

                                                                          "You meet them backpacking in Asia a lot.." Never backpacked in Asia.

                                                                          "romanticism for the poverty of the developing world."

                                                                          No, that is not true, in regards to me, if that is what you are referring to. It has much more do with value, ethics, tradition, and the health of an individuals in society.

                                                                          A case in point, and very attuned to this topic, is food distribution, diet, in sustainable living habits of people in rural areas yet to undergo 'development' from 'market forces', and the likes of the diet here in the US.

                                                                          Taiwan could be a case study changing from 1980s to the mid to late 1990s. By 2000, major papers were reporting obesity epidemic among urban children.

                                                  3. re: jonkyo

                                                    You know there is a Ponderosa Steakhouse, right (Bonanza, too, appartently)?

                                                    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ponderos...

                                                    1. re: tex.s.toast

                                                      but do *they* put cheese on their steak like don burrito does (according to their online menu, that is)?

                                                      1. re: debinqueens

                                                        I have no idea what I'm reading, but I am enjoying this thread immensely.

                                                      2. re: tex.s.toast

                                                        I did not know about Bonanza steak house. Do you recommend it over Lugar's Steakhouse?

                                                        1. re: jonkyo

                                                          okay, now I know it's performance art.

                                                          keeping an eye out for the book proposal.

                                                          1. re: debinqueens

                                                            I have never proposed to a book, but I have thought at times to the other gender.

                                                            1. re: jonkyo

                                                              Do the women you proposed to have some other NYC recommendations for nachos with lettuce and sour cream? Perhaps they can offer more insight than you. Seems like you are conceding ignorance.

                                                              1. re: jonkyo

                                                                Which part of your book proposal would be more appealing to publishers you think- nachos with lettuce and sour cream and hot coffee or your unique take on Thai cuisine?

                                                                1. re: Silverjay

                                                                  Actually, my next endeavor is to find, delicious Thai pile of stuff, as opposed to cuisine, after which, I shall record my findings for others to read.

                                                                  1. re: jonkyo

                                                                    is it possible that jonkyo is just a spam bot?

                                                                    1. re: jon

                                                                      I think it's more likely that he's Frank Bruni, William Grimes or Sam Sifton using an internet pseudonym.

                                                                      1. re: jon

                                                                        I read in the NYT yesterday, this Hawaii restaurant that is independently owned, and opened this year, in Williamsburg, and that they serve spam.

                                                                        Span in Hawaii is like Bagels to Brooklyn, or something similar to this, was written in the article.

                                                                        "Why Do Hawaiians Love Spam So Much?" huffington article.

                                                      3. The original nachos served by Nacho Anaya were just fried tostadas, cheddar cheese and jalapenos. You must realize while Piedras Negras is a Mexican city, it is a border town and shares much with the US/Mexico culture, meaning it's not the real Mexico and those nachos were invented for US citizens and they migrated north to the current abomination that most of the country thinks of with a bunch of ingredients piled on some chips. Nachos are not served in most of Mexico, except the border. I prefer the original, chips, cheese, jalapenos, and maybe chorizo or fresh lump crab.

                                                        1 Reply
                                                        1. re: James Cristinian

                                                          This is all inconsequential to the fact that I enjoyed the nachos at Don Burritos, but found that this venue's atmosphere and level of family owned friendly-ness, makes it a good place to tell others.

                                                        2. The original comment has been removed