Sunday, July 3, 2011

Tacombi at Fonda Nolita

After my pilates class yesterday Alex and I were wandering around Soho trying to figure out what to eat for lunch.  Generally when I do pilates downtown on Saturdays we head down to Chinatown afterwards for dim sum.  But as I mentioned in last night's post on Pork Souvlaki, Alex didn't think that dim sum was appropriate hot weather food.  He either wanted something cold, or just something on the lighter end of the food spectrum.  First I suggested Cocoron for some cold soba, but then I remembered that there was a taco place nearby I had been meaning to try.  Alex agreed that tacos were appropriate hot weather food (his logic was along the lines that Mexico is hot, therefore the food they serve there is hot weather food).  So I busted out my phone and started Googling for tacos in Soho.  I love Google.  And to be honest, I have no idea how I survived before I had a smartphone.  The ability to Google on the go, or do a Yelp search for nearby restaurants is totally key when Alex and I are wandering around NYC trying to decide where to eat.  And then the maps are key once we figure out where we want to go, but don't know exactly how to get there.  Anyway, after about 15 seconds on Google I found what I was looking for - Tacombi @ Fonda Nolita.  As you can see in the picture above, Tacombi @ Fonda Nolita features an old school VW van parked inside what looks like a former garage.  According to NY Mag the space actually used to be a clothing store, but that is beside the point.  The idea with Tacombi was to replicate the feeling of a taco truck at the beach in Mexico (the original Tacombi, launched by the owner of Tacombi @ Fonda Nolita, was actually parked in Playa del Carmen).  The idea is really interesting and I'm of the opinion that it is totally successful.  When you walk in the first thing you notice is the VW van, but then you start noticing the rest of the decor.  It easily could come off as cheesy, but I think it really works to make the place low key and fun.  After a brief primer on how to order and pay (you buy tickets at the counter and then take the tickets to one of two windows for your food - the VW van has all of the meat and vegetarian options, the window in the back has the breakfast tacos and fish tacos), we picked out 6 tacos (3 from each window) and sat down to eat.

Pictures and our favorite taco after the jump!

We started off with the cochinita pibil and taco al pastor, along with an aguacate tostada (all pictured above).  All three of those tacos came from the little VW bus (pictured below).  We also tried the chorizo and egg breakfast taco (pictured below), the seared fish pineapple taco, and the crispy fish taco.  Alex and I just couldn't decide on which tacos we liked best.  His ranking from best to least was the cochinita, seared pineapple fish, the al pastor, the crispy fish (which he admitted was probably the best crispy fish taco he has ever had), the egg and chorizo taco and then the aguacate tostada.  I would probably rank the cochinita first as well and then I get a little more muddled.  I agree that the egg and chorizo taco and the tostada are at the bottom in that order.  I thought that the al pastor and the two fish tacos were all so good that it's hard for me to rank them.  I would rank the crispy fish above the seared pineapple fish.  But I might rank the al pastor above both?  But maybe not.  I'm rarely this indecisive, but I just can't seem to choose.  So if someone held a gun to my head, I would say cochinita, al pastor tied with the crispy fish (which had this awesome chipotle crema that I loved), then the seared pineapple fish, the egg taco and the tostada.

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