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Tortilleria Nixtamal

Queens NY (Corona)

104-05 47th ave, corona, queens, NY 11368
mon-weds 11am-6pm, thurs-sun 11am-9pm

Tortilleria Nixtamal

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Rating: 93
Price: $$$

My business associate Allie (famous, of course, for her previous recommendation of Oaxaca) tipped me off to the presence of a tortilla factory featuring a small taqueria as part of the operation. Tortilleria Nixtamal is way out in Queens, but it's the sort of place that everybody loves. According to the Village Voice, they're the first place in New York to make their own nixtamal, and they've got a totally cool tortilla press sitting right out front in the dining room. Thus inspired, I took a trip out there on a recent saturday with Allie, as well as additional business associates Sarah and Chris.

En route we saw some dancing kids decked out in Adidas on the 7 train, which seemed like a good sign at the time. After getting of at 103rd, we headed out past a delicious smelling pizza restaurant and soon came to Nixtamal. I love bright, colorful lights more than just about anything on earth, so I was really pleased by Nixtamal's sign. Inside the dining room is just as colorful, with fun tables and benches and a couple televisions showing the NFL playoffs. We sat down and, after much discussion and chart making, the four of us decided to share 2 tamales - 1 chipotle pork-chicken, and 1 chicken mole - and 12 tacos - 3 steak, 3 bean and avocado, 2 al pastor (marinated pork), 2 carnitas (shredded pork), and 2 barbacoa (lamb).

First things we received were the tamales. I've recently become a more vocal proponent of the tamale lifestyle, and consider them one of the best and most reasonable foods (but fear not, I will never neglect my taco duties to start - I think that's Allie's responsibility). The chipotle tamale was delicious and quite spicy with a really, really good corn dough. The chicken mole was milder and, after eating the chipotle, frankly didn't stand out. Both were delicious, though, and left us wanting a lot more Mexican food.

The tacos came out all at once - really, an overwhelming sight. We attacked them piecewise, sharing each taco so that everyone got to try all varieties. I won't waste your time describing my feelings of joy for every taco I bit into, but be assured that they were all super delicious. The al pastor had an awesome, almost bready (in a great way) taste; the bean and avocado was mild and delicious and went down so smooth I felt like I could eat 100 of them; overall, the tacos were each superb. Favorites amongst my business associates and I were quite varied, but three of the four of us voted al pastor as the best taco. You can see the full results in Chris' taco chart in the photos section.

Fairly full, we ended the night with a couple flans to share. They were creamy and delicious, with a really mild caramel topping. Overall, Tortilleria Nixtamal was a phenomenal experience, and I would currently (as of 17.Jan.2011) rate them the best tacos I've had in NYC, and a strong competitor for the West Coast legends like Lily's or Taqueria la Raza. We decided to cruise back to Manhattan when a pack of 20-some high schoolers came on (though they were remarkably well-behaved). The only downside to the evening? By the time we finished, Nixtamal had sold out of tortillas, so we couldn't bring any home with us!

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