Oaxaca Taqueria captures the essence of Mexico's street vendors with authentic Mexican food made fresh daily with local and environmentally sustainable ingredients. Their devotion to all-natural meats and crisp garden-grown veggies hasn't gone unnoticed. The New York Times, Time Out New York, and New York Magazine lavished praise upon the food at Oaxaca's four locations, causing the food to become as full of itself as the patrons who frequent the eatery. Known for their light tacos and enchiladas, Oaxaca's chefs stuff carne asada, stewed chicken, and frijoles onto or into corn tortillas for entrees. They grill their Mexican sandwiches, known as tortas, on talera bread, and they serve heaps of their three entrees with rice and beans when catering. Each location boasts a daily lunch special featuring one of their three mainstays, which guests can with one of their traditional beverages such as jarritos or horchata.
Live music and the fragrance of baking pizza fill the warmly lit interior of CU 29 Copper. Whether nestled into a plush, old-fashioned sofa or sitting outside under burrito-shaped constellations on the patio, guests tuck into brunch, lunch, and dinner dishes that combine Mexican, Italian, and American cuisine. The brick oven's flames toss light onto gold, sponge-painted walls that pop with painted murals and brick archways. Bottomless mimosas, bellinis, and bloody marys prep brunch-time gullets for omelets, tacos, and desserts, and shrimp ceviche swims into the mouths of lunch and dinner diners. Forks can sink tines into organic quinoa salad, free-range chicken, or spoon rivals as they tour CU 29’s globetrotting dishes.
The red-brick exterior of Los Hermanos seems rather quiet, with its garage-door entry and painted block-letter sign. But inside, there is a flurry of activity. On one side of a Plexiglass wall, crew members bake fresh corn tortillas; on the other side, diners sit in a cantina, watching the process. Though some of the tortillas are packaged for retail distribution, others are used in the cantina for tacos and tostadas stuffed with veggies or one of six meats, including chorizo or spicy pork. As New York Magazine noted, “the delicately cooked fillings hardly need additional dressing”, but diners can scan the cooler for containers of homemade salsas.
Though it’s the brainchild of a pair of first-time restaurant owners, El Toro Taqueria’s à la carte menu—described by Brooklyn Exposed as “economical” and “no-frills”—dazzles taste buds with wrapped Mexican morsels. Tacos, burritos, and enchiladas encase one of eight tender proteins, from carnitas to chorizo. Wrapped delicacies round out plates beside sides such as elote—corn on the cob layered in cotija cheese, chipotle mayo, and chili powder—which can be used to challenge fellow diners to a duel for their last taco.
Monsignor?s has a fondness for crafting quality Italian entrees such as sausage and peppers over pasta and eggplant stuffed with ricotta. However, the menu also saves room for Spanish-inspired meals: flour tortillas envelop quesadillas, and saut?ed meats bulk up burritos. Diners can take their meals inside the bistro-style cafe, or head out to a garden decked with grape and fig trees and birdbaths that bubble over with vinaigrette for robins with sophisticated palates.
Press the menu against your forehead to summon a yet-to-be unearthed layer of deliciousness beneath the dull, boring surface of any day. Try the queso fundido (melted jack cheese blended with spicy Mexican sausage, $8) to fire up the stomach furnace, and then keep it fueled with the fajitas de camarón, made from eight marinated jumbo shrimp willingly grilled in a bed of onions and mixed peppers ($18). Other plates of mouth magic include the specialty langosta al ajillo (lobster tails in a garlic, wine, and butter sauce, $22) and the more traditional enchiladas del norte (three corn tortillas filled with chicken and topped with mole sauce and melted cheese, $14).