Viva el Cinco de Mayo! You don’t need an excuse to eat Mexican food, but May 5th is a good day as any to eat it. Near work, I’m partial to Tehuitzingo. The food is tasty and cheap, the condiments — as long as you serve yourself — are free for the taking (unlike the deli next door that charges an extra $1 for salsa), and the menu is extensive. Extensive meaning they have your typical items like chicken tacos, but they also have tacos filled with barbacoa (goat), tripa (pork intestine), and oreja (beef ear). And if you prefer sopes over tacos, like I do, they have that as well. My personal favorite is the sope con tripa (sope with intestine).
I came upon this combination on my second try last week. On my first visit, I ordered one sope con carne (sope with meat; $2.75), with barbacoa (goat; pictured above) as the meat, and one tripa taco ($2.75). In addition to meat, the sope was topped with pinto beans, cream, and grated white cheese. The barbacoa was, as last time, a bit dry, but I really liked the sope, which was crispy at the edges. And in my opinion, thick, fried disks of cornmeal beat out wimpy tortillas any day.
As for the tripa taco, it was an unexpected surprise because I hadn’t expected small intestine. As it turns out, tripe in Spanish and Portuguese speaking countries often refers to small intestine and not stomach. If I had known, I would have been eating tripe at Tehuitzingo this whole time. I love intestines, and in the taco it was wonderfully rich and creamy tasting, not too gamy. Chopped small, it incorporated well with the diced onions and cilantro, and additionally, made it easier to eat. The last thing you need after taking a bite of a taco is a long intestine hanging out of your mouth. Sorry if that grosses you out, but that’s a fact.
The next day, I decided I had to combine the best parts of the previous lunch, a sope with tripa. It was as delicious as expected; a match made in offal heaven
Just to try something else, I also got a flor de calabaza quesadilla (pumpkin flower quesadilla; $2.75).
The quesadilla, filled with pumpkin flowers and topped with shredded lettuce, cream, and grated white cheese, was decent. I would have preferred, however, if the cheese was on the inside and melted. As for the pumpkin flowers, they had an interesting pickled flavor, but overall didn’t wow me. I could have had another sope instead.
Lunch is over, but Tehuitzingo is open until 11:30pm today. Great sopes await you. Have a great Cinco de Mayo!
695 10th Avenue (b/n 47th & 48th St; map)
New York, NY 10036