Like a month ago I missed a dinner with my fellow UN interns and I have to say… I was so glad I did it because I had the opportunity to visitthe fabulous Tacombi at Fonda Nolita in Soho, NY. I saw the recommendation in Time Out a couple of weeks before and I just wrote the address in my agenda waiting for the perfect time to visit this place. I had already been in a few taquerias in NY with disappointing results, so I had not very high expectations about the place…. what wrong I was!
The first thing I noticed was the place itself…. it looks soooo Mexican. It makes you feel as if you were in a “mercado” anywhere in Mexico. The setting is livened up by cheap tables and chairs, praying candles, “Lupita” funky coloured sodas, beer ads, and of course, the “combi”. The decoration is quite kitsch but fun, and it all adds up to create a quite relaxed and joyful ambience.
When I entered the placed I was greeted by a nice hostess who explained me how the system worked at Nolita. First, you buy as many tickets as you want at the counter: each ticket costs $4 (tax included)and you can exchange it for any food item: tacos (cochinita, tamarind chicken, tinga, picadillo, tomatillo….) and tamales (cochinita or chicken) at the “combi”, or tostadas or rice with beans at the other counter. You can also buy there a glass of aguas frescas for $3 each (tax included). It made me remembered my childhood years at the annual “kermess” in elementary school.
The first time I simply wanted to try everything: I had a taco de cochinita, a tostada de ceviche and a crispy fish taco. The taco de cochinita was delicious but a bit salty and the tostada de ceviche was quite good but nothing spectacular. Though, the fish tacos were simply AMAZING. As a revision in Foursquare rightly says, they simply blow your mind! The fish is fresh and fried to perfection: it is crispy but it doesn’t feel greasy , the tartar sauce brings out the fishy favour, and for the last touch, a bit of shredded red cabbage make this taco the BEST TACO I HAVE EVER TRIED. Yes, I lived in Mexico for 22 years, I had been in many taquerias, I had eaten in many restaurants and my grandmother used to cook delicious tacos de guisado, but these tacos are just OUT OF THIS WORLD! I also tried orchata and tamarindo flavoured watersand both were simply amazing: tasty, refreshing and for a change, not super-sweet. I feel almost sad when I finished my tacos because they are so delicious I just want to keep eating them forever.
I honestly had tried to order other items from the menu but I seem to stick only to 1 taco de cochinita and 2 fish tacos with a glass of agua de orchata. For me, that’s simply the perfect balance. Overall, I think this place is amazing: the food is excellent, the service is good, the toilets are quite clean, the prices reasonable and the environment is friendly and relaxed plus you have free wi-fi. Two thumbs up!
Tacombi @ Fonda Nolita
267 Elizabeth Street
Manhattan, New York, NY 10012