I love Mexican food. I love all kinds, from Tex-Mex to Bay Area burritos to SoCal tacos straight off the truck. (Actually, I pretty much enjoy the experience of eating most foods from a truck–it’s living on the edge, man. You never know when it will be good eats or a terrible idea.)

When I first spent a summer in NYC in 1997, the shortage of good Mexican restaurants in the city struck me nearly immediately. I encountered a lot of fairly expensive, mediocre “Bay”-style burritos; numerous “Tex-Mex” style places heavy on bland, sticky, flavorless refried beans, Dorito-style chips, and obviously jarred salsas; and almost no grill that could call itself “Superior” (as one of my favorite home-town Baton Rouge joints is called).

Much has changed in the past ten years, mostly due to the explosion of the Mexican immigrant population in New York (this has meant a lot for New Orleans post-Katrina, too, where taco trucks now dot the landscape and provide lunch for day laborers). There are now taco trucks, fabulous taquerias behind Mexican delis, and much better ingredients in even the more upscale, “fusion” restaurants.

When I met Agent Taco, we discovered a mutual love for Mexican food. In this blog, you will probably notice a few differences between us: As a lover of heat, tomatoes, roasted peppers, and cilantro, I am much more likely to fixate on salsas than Agent Taco, who likes his chips (and is more particular about them). My standard menu item by which I judge a place will change depending upon offerings: enchiladas in a sit-down joint; burritos in a burrito joint; beef tacos in a taqueria or from an elusive taco truck. Agent Taco loves his tacos, and is much more adventurous than I in his choice of fillings.

In our quest, we hope to find the best (and the worst!) of New York’s Mexican food. This task will not be that easy: this town is rife with mediocrity in addition to the many, many fine Mexican places that we have already discovered. I hope you will join us in our taco travels, our salsa search, our queso quest.
Elizabeth

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