Supposedly NYC is going through a Mexican food renaissance lately, but I ain’t buyin’ it. Lucky thing for me, I stumbled upon 1776 Tacos at the Hester Street Fair for their inaugural weekend. I heard the girl at the counter saying something about how she knows Su-chin Pak, but I swear I stopped by for the food. I ordered, and then she asked me where I’m from and if I was a fish taco aficionado. I told her I’m originally from Queens, and no, I’m definitely not an aficionado, but I know what I like and don’t like, and it’s hard to find a decent fish taco on the East Coast, period.
I love their crazy-short menu. Fish taco, carnitas taco, watermelon agua fresca, and that’s it. For me, a simple menu is a good sign. Get the basics right first. About the food, if you’re gonna bring a date to the Hester Street Fair on a hot and sunny day, you’ve probably already worked passed the I-feel-awkward-eating-in-front-of-you stage. That would be a good thing because:
1. The tacos are a mess of yumminess — that’s a good thing — topped with a fruity salsa and lime crema.
2. You might be salivating/drooling after a few bites, just thinking about how good that was.
3. You will definitely be going back to order another one (or two) for an impromptu taco fest because these things rock.
There were mumblings about seeing how the stand goes first and the possibility of eventually opening a permanent shop. Fingers crossed…
Of course I had to stop by and check out the latest offerings at La Newyorkina, and they did not disappoint. This bit of heaven on a stick is tamarind flavored. As another customer commented after tasting it, the first lick/bite is a little bit intense if you’re not sure what to expect. Then you become one with the pop. I challenge you not to fall in love with this thing.
Last stop — I suggest you walk straight west on Hester Street towards Chinatown. Just before you get to Bowery, you’ll find Teado on your right. This is a bubble tea shop for people in the know. Yes, I’m aware that bubble tea shops are nothing new and way too common in Chinatown, but Teado is doing something special. Don’t ask me what it is… I’m not a bubble tea aficionado either, and I order mine without the bubbles. But there is a freshness here that tops every other place I’ve tried. I opted for the honey and lemon green tea — very refreshing.