Carnitas El Atoradero
The wonderful Mott Haven bodega & "carnitaria" (is that a legit word?) El Atoradero has expended into a full on restaurant right next door. You might recognize the name from a post by J. Fores (http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/8914... / http://www.chow.com/food-news/135252/...), my own writing on Serious Eats, Real Cheap Eats, and from, originally, Dave Cook.
Anyways, if you've had the carnitas you know they're the most legit in town: cooked in a deep vat with beer, lemon, lime, tequila, oregano, etc, etc. The restaurant next door is everything New Yorkers have been waiting for in a Mexican restaurant: a move beyond the stale taqueria format, genuine Pueblan home cooking that is delicious and lovingly prepared.
The owner, Denise Lina Navarro, is very passionate about her food: you'll see this in simple dishes like her beans, in the albondingas stuffed with qual egg, and her eyes when a Mexican customer asks for mozzarella on their chalupa. The carnitas are always worth ordering, but dishes like costillas en salsa verde, papitas de puerco en vinagre, and flautas de papas y queso should be ordered whenever available. In my unofficial opinion, it's the most delicious and original Pueblan cooking you'll find in a dive anywhere in the five boroughs.
Expect 4-5 different specials daily. It's a small space, with seating for roughly ten, so plan accordingly. But get over here, ASAP.
Here's my full review: http://newyork.seriouseats.com/2014/0...