El Mariachi – Queens, NY

The last meal I had during my recent trip to NYC was at a little place called El Mariachi in Queens, NY. To my knowledge, they have no affiliation with the El Mariachi restaurants in Albany.

El Mariachi is located at 3311 Broadway in Astoria, and satisfied all needs for authentic fare that I’ve been having.

I was actually surprisingly hungry, and the prices were very reasonable, so I ordered quite a few things.

They brought some house fried chips and homemade salsa for us to snack on while we thought about what to get.

They had a hot sauce I had never tried before.

Valentina Salsa Picante

It was really good, and I’ve now noticed it’s available at a handful of markets near me. Who knew!?

My buddy, Jeff, who lives near this place, raved about their chorizo tacos. I had to have one. I also saw a lengua (beef tongue) taco there, and I wanted to try that.

Chorizo Taco
Lengua (Beef Tongue) Taco

At $2.50 a piece, these were well worth the price. The chorizo taco was perfect. It was wrapped in two lightly toasted corn tortillas, and the pork was flavorful and aromatic. The beef taco was a little tough to finish because it wasn’t prepared properly. The skin wasn’t removed before it was slowly braised (you can see that from the hunk of meat on the left). The texture of another animal’s taste buds against mine is not something I’m particularly keen on. But, picking around the slices of the tongue from the exterior, the texture wasn’t bad. The guacamole on top of both was great, and the onions were nice and pungent and added some crunch.

For my main course, I had enchiladas con mole Poblano ($14), my all time favorite Mexican dish.

Enchiladas con mole Poblano

The enchiladas were stuffed with chicken and beef, but those were just a medium to enjoy the mole. Mole Poblano is a thick sauce that has sometimes upwards of 30 different ingredients including chiles, tomatoes, spices, and even chocolate. Their mole was a bit on the course and gritty side, but it was deep and flavorful. The enchiladas were double wrapped. This was a really hearty dish. The queso blanco on top was a great little touch; I left the onions out of my bites.

As if that weren’t enough, the dish came with a hefty portion of Mexican rice and refried beans. I took a few bites of these, but had more than enough with my other dishes (I also had a 3 hour bus ride, if you catch my drift).

There service was a little sub-standard, and we had to wait a long time after eating for someone to come over to even offer a check. Barring that, for $20, I ate good that day.


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