Friday, May 2, 2008

Yo Quiero Pompano

In the past I have expressed my disdain for the Mexican food (especially burritos) in New York. But, thanks to a suggestion from a friend and fellow blogger, I have found a place that may have completely changed my opinion for good. Pompano Taqueria is the off-shoot of Pompano, a high-end Mexican restaurant run by Chef Richard Sandoval. This taco is truly a hidden gem, unless you are fortunate enough to work in the building in which it is located.

Pompano Taqueria has a small, but impressive, menu that features flavor combinations that are available on tacos, quesadillas, tortas, or burritos. I had to go with the namesake items and ordered two tacos: one Alambre with grilled chicken and one Pescado. I also made it a combo, which, for $2.50 more, gives you rice and beans, a soda, and a bag of homemade tortilla chips. But, here’s a Miss Menu tip: If you order two tacos (or more), it automatically comes with chips.

But, back to the heavenly tacos. The Alambre consisted of perfectly grilled chicken with poblano rajas (grilled peppers) and melted manchego cheese served in a flour tortilla. I have only recently begun to truly appreciate the goodness that is manchego cheese. And now that I have seen the light, I can’t get enough of it. This may have easily been the best taco I’ve ever had, and without a doubt the best one I’ve ever had in NYC. I seriously didn’t want to finish the last bite!

The Pescado featured sautéed king fish with napa cabbage and a chipotle sauce in a flour tortilla. The king fish was really tender and not fishy at all. The cabbage gave it a great crunch, but I wasn’t the biggest fan of the chipotle sauce. I know chipotle is suppose to be smoky, but this was a little too much. If you are a chipotle flavor fan, then I’m sure you’ll love this taco though.

Now, for the extras. The authentic chips were fantastic and not greasy at all. They definitely were good enough to eat on their own, but tasted even better with the salsas. There was a salsa/toppings bar next to the cash register that features 3 salsas, a pica de gallo, chopped red onions, and cilantro. I tried the roasted tomato and the tomatillo salsas, both of which were very flavorful. I didn’t even want to put them on the tacos because the flavors were so good on their own. The rice and beans were pretty disappointing. The rice was on the bland side and the beans tasted straight out of the can. I ended up pouring some of the roasted tomato salsa on them to give it a boost. It helped a little, but I would have rather had another taco than fill up on the rice and beans.

Another Miss Menu tip: If you call ahead, you can skip the line and walk right up to the front to pick up your order. If you work in Midtown West, this makes it even more reason to make the trek to 3rd Avenue during your lunch hour! The line to order doesn’t take long, but there can be a decent wait to pick up your food. I waited about 10 minutes. At least you can be sure that the tacos aren’t pre-made and sitting under a heat lamp!

All in all, this was one of the best Midtown lunches I’ve had, without a doubt. The food was delicious, and you could taste how fresh the quality ingredients were. Pompano Taqueria is seriously unlike anything else available in the area and a true culinary treat. I’m already planning my next taco outing!

Pompano Taqueria
Pavillion Food Court - Lower Level
805 Third avenue
b/t 49th & 50th Street
website

1 comment:

Smith said...

Thanks for the shout out. Glad you enjoyed.