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Reviews + Photos from nymag.com
Posted by Native Texan on 12/10/2004
We had lunch here on 6 Dec 2004 and were pleasantly surprised. Tejano music wafted from the kitchen in this small Mexican restaurant -- only six or eight tables lined the walls. The portions were huge, the ingredients were fresh and the flavors were authentic. We ordered bean soup and two tacos -- carnitas and chicken, and everything was delicious. You can't beat the prices: $2.50 for the tacos, and we had some left over to take out. This place is highly recommended.
Posted by Yet another columbia student on 11/14/2004
Having read the page of reviews, I felt compelled to add my two cents. There are hundreds, maybe thousands, of better, cheaper taquerias in california. Now, to address Taqueria y Fonda. I love the place--it's one of my mainstays, but having lived in California, it's only a worthy substitute given that we're in NYC and it's 5 minutes away from where I live. The burritos are good, but they are so huge that they can't even wrap them all the way around, thereby forfeiting the title burrito. That said, I order the burrito also every time. The tamales, chips and salsa are excellent, as is the service. Definitely a great place, but it doesn't compare to Mexican food in some other places, possibly as close as Washington heights or the outer burroughs.
Posted by ryan on 10/28/2004
This place is without a doubt the best mexican food in New York. In fact it is the best Mexican food I've had in the United States (and I've been living in California for the last three months). Trapped here in on the West Coast, in a Tex/Cal Mex abyss, I long every day for the authentic Poblano style food at the Taqueria y Fonda la Mexicana. The tacos are supurb. The corn tortillas (not flour), the Mexican cheese, and the lime on the side make for a great taco. The tamales are also great. I recommend the chicken and cheese. The staff and owner are friendly and make you feel at home when you are there. I especially like the little touches, uncommon for such an inexpensive restaurant, like the free freshly fried tortilla chips, three kinds of salsa. I highly recommend this restaurant. Do yourself a favor and take a trip to 108th Street to savor the best Mexican food in New York. If you've had authentic Mexican cuisine and are used to Tex/Cal Mex, expect something eye opening and very different. Keep an open mind and enjoy the wonders of Southwestern Mexican cusine.
Posted by Jen on 10/27/2004
For all you California Mex or Tex Mex lovers - you have it all wrong. this is the real Mexican food. No processed cheeses (where else can you find a restaurant that uses real Panela!??). No "iceberg" lettuce. Come here for the real deal. If their burritos aren't the best you've ever had (though I think they are) blame it on the fact that, well, burritos are a texas concoction anyway, and the restaurant's just trying to please all you gringos out there. For the best, and only, tamales in town, this is the place. Not to mention the tortas (sandwiches). And the prices cannot possibly be beat - $2.50 tacos??? I also recently discovered the fresh squeezed juices - also unbelievably good. And super- vegetarian friendly to boot. I never run out of food options. Bottom line, if you want real Mexican food, fresh, with taste that's out of this world - this is your place.
Posted by Gourmand on 10/20/2004
To be honest, I don't know what "authentic" Mexican food is. For the longest time I had only been exposed to the American-Mexican food that most of us know: Taco Bell, or American- Mexican restaurants, with really orange cheddar cheese, refried beans, you know . . . I don't know if Taqueria is authentic. I can tell you the that trhe first time I went, I ordered pork and chicken tamales. They were not good. But after reading the reviews on Taqueria's front window, I tried their beef burritos, and their Chicken Pipian. I thoroughly enjoyed both dishes. The beef in the burrito was really fresh, and plentiful, as were the rice and beans. So filling and yummy. As for the "great cheese debate" that seems to be developing: it seems that Taqueria uses not cheddar, but something akin to fresh mozzarella. I really like it. The chicken pipian is delicious: covered in a ground pumpkin seed sauce that is flavorful and wonderful over their rice. Lastly, a couple of days ago, a friend gave me a sandwich that his Mexican wife made: a chicken sandwich. It was one of the best things I have eaten in my life: shredded, tendered chicken, seasoned and a little spicy, perfectly ripe avocado, with the bread spread with refried beans. Enthused with my new discovery, today I bought Taqueria's version of the chicken torta. It was very good. Not as good as my friend's wife's concoction, but still wonderfully satisying. Seasoned grilled chicken, avocado, lettuce, tomato, onion, refried beans on a soft but substantial Mexican roll. Great to have with a cafe conleche or two. (They only have instant, but you can buy excellent cafe con leche across the street, at Caridad). The Taqueria torta clinched the deal for me. I am now a confirmed regular.
Posted by another columbia student on 10/15/2004
Taqueria is mediocre. The value is great, but the food just isn't very satisfying. The cheese is strange, not tasty, and very rubbery. They also put weird lettuce in the burritos, I think they use romaine instead of iceberg, which is just weird.
Posted by Columbia Undergrad on 10/13/2004
If you're a Columbia student you have 4 nearby options for Mexican food: 1. Wien food court (in the Res Halls), which has Taco-Bell like food 2. West End, where you could get a mediocre burrito or taco for a hefty price 3. Nacho's Kitchen, where you can get whatever you order covered in lots of processed cheese, and where you'll be sorry you went to 3 hours later - OR - 4. Taqueria - Though a little further from the ResHalls at Columbia, this place hits the spot - and they offer free delivery. The burritos are huge and amazing and though $6.75 may seem like a lot for all the displaced Californians, when you see the size of them you'll see the value. It feeds me for an entire day. The stringy cheese has more presence than that nasty Monterey-Chedder mix at most places, the salsa is great... hell, everything's great about their food. The only drawback of the place is that they make only one type of bean each day, so every other day is Black beans and every other day Pinto (Red) beans. Being a Pinto supremecist I have to ask them beforehand which beans they're serving and sometimes just wait a day to get their delicious food. Other than that, its the best place for great Mexican food that will fill you up without making you sick in the Morningside Heights area.