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Mildred Deli Grocery

New York NY (East Harlem)

231 e 116th st, new york NY 10029


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Rating: 87
Price: $$

After stopping by Taco Mix for some delicious pastor tacos (and less than delicious oreja), my business associate Ben and I had a craving for some asada and headed over to Mildred's, right across the street. It's of the Zaragosa model, primarily a grocery store with a kitchen in the back for tacos and other treats. They advertised handmade tortillas on the door, and had a very comprehensive menu in the back to go with a couple tables. The staff was friendly, and though there was a slight language barrier, I ended up ordering an asada taco and a lengua taco (and a large bottle of ruby-red grapefruit Tropicana juice).

The tacos came out after a brief wait, during which we saw the cook grab a couple bags of tortillas off the shelf and bring them in the back (the optimist would assume he was getting them for comparison to his own, hand-made tortillas). Soon afterwards, our tacos came out accompanied by lime and a chunky green salsa. Don't be fooled by my experience; cilantro is typical at this place, just not received due to ordering confusion.

I started out with the lengua, another first-time experience for me after my oreja at Taco Mix. It was better than oreja - still a bit chewy for my taste, but nicely cubed and seasoned. On the whole, it lacked flavor, but was definitely worth a try. The asada was halfway between cubed and shredded and well-grilled. It had a very mild marinade, with mostly just a delicately salty flavor. While neither of these two meats stand out from the pack, they also didn't fail horribly; both were enjoyable, though nothing to write home about (my home has strict orders not to read this entry).

The tortillas were standard, and didn't seem homemade, though I've been fooled before. They were soft and warm and held everything together well, and were also significantly larger than those at Taco Mix for the same $2 price tag. The salsa was spicy but fairly lacking in vibrant flavor (similar, in many ways, to the asada). Overall, when you're trying to decide which side of the 116th St to go to, you get a better value on the north at Mildred's, but a better taco down south at Taco Mix. Win-win? Certainly.

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