Dining

Tehuitzingo Deli in Hell's Kitchen, New York City and Cheap Tacos

Our favorite secret taco stand lives on
Tasting Table

A few blocks from Toloache's soaring ceilings and haute Mexican food, you'll find Tehuitzingo, a little deli with a big secret: some of Manhattan's most authentic (and cheapest) tacos.

Head to the back--past the cases of wrinkly jalapeños and the shelves of canned chipotles--to the little window that looks into a cramped kitchen, where two women tend to a few pots and a griddle to a sporadic soundtrack of norteno music and telenovelas.

The food they turn out is magnificent: quesadillas filled with squash flowers ($2.50), specials like shrimp simmered in salsa verde ($3), and pudgy tortas ($5) overflowing with avocado, lettuce, mayo and toppings like salty chorizo and golden chunks of potato.

Most people, though, come for the tacos ($2 to $3), because all the components show such careful execution. The corn tortillas are cooked enough to banish the grittiness that ruins so many tacos. The meat--especially the carnitas, cecina (chewy bits of salted beef) and crunchy, hacked-up pig's ear--is invariably tasty. And the self-serve salsas offer the right amount of tangy, spicy pop.

A recent dispute with the landlord nearly spoiled the fun, but now everything's cool and the secret lives on.

Tehuitzingo Deli & Grocery, 695 10th Ave. (between 47th and 48th sts.); 212-397-5956

Tehuitzingo Deli & Grocery 695 10th Ave. New York NY 10036 212-397-5956

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