Located just south of the chaos of Union Square, Tortaria is nestled amongst a plethora bars & restaurants built for the NYU kids. I had actually been to Tortaria several times before. I have spent several late nights, way less than sober, eating their tacos at 1am. Much like Artichoke Pizza & Crif Dogs, it's one of drunk Rayna's favorite foods. I decided to go back and test if sober me would still love the restaurant.
You can choose your adventure here- grab n go from their wide selection of items, or sit inside the space which is built to mimic a roadside bodega in Mexico City. The walls are stacked high with Mexican pantry staples, and the floor is lined with brightly colored mosaic tiles. The bar is stocked with small batch tequila and Mexican beers on tap. Have a few margaritas in the space surrounded by bright orange & turquoise colors when suddenly you forget that it's actually 30 degrees and snowing outside.
The food is quick & cheap – my favorite kind of thrills. As the name suggests, the menu has every kind of glorious Mexican sandwich, known as a torta, to suite your fancy. Pulled pork, braised short ribs, crispy eggplant, and panko crusted chicken are among the bunch. Not feeling a sandwich? They have a laundry list of taquitos, apps, sides, and made-to-order guacamole. I did my best to ploy through everything. The plantains were sweet and sticky, and I drowned them in the spicy chipotle mayo. I inhaled the French fries dusted with a smokey lime-pepper seasoning as though I’d never see another french fry again. I capped off my Mexican binge-fest with sweet and crunchy churros dipped in chocolate. Overall, sober me loves this place as much as drunk me. Here’s what we had:
Tortas: Milanesa de Pollo panko-crusted chicken cutlet cooked until golden brown and served with spicy black beans, melted Oaxaca cheese, avocado, pickled red onion and jalapeño, chipotle mayo and cilantro sprigs Pulled Pork slow-roasted and served with spicy pinto/chorizo beans, melted Chihuahua cheese, avocado, fresh Papalo leaves, roasted chipotle peppers and pickled red onion Braised Short Ribs braised steak short ribs cooked until tender and served with spicy black beans, avocado, pickled red onion and jalapeños with fresh cilantro Crispy Eggplant panko-crusted fried eggplant cutlets, Chihuahua cheese, avocado, fresh Piloncillo tomatoes, pickled jalapeño, fresh cilantro and our chipotle BBQ Sauce
Corn Esquites- Mexican char-grilled corn on the cob slathered with Queso Fresco, chipotle mayo and finished with chili powder and a squeeze of fresh lime
Mahi Lime Tacos Grilled or crispy topped with a jicama corn relish, romaine lettuce and a lemon/lime jalapeño romoulade in flour tortillas Carne Asada grilled skirt steak topped with frizzled Onion strings, fresh cilantro and tomatillo salsa Pollo Asado con Chicharrones grilled chicken breast topped with chicken chicharrones, fresh cilantro and tomatillo salsa Al Pastor Pork shoulder marinated in a sweet and sour chile pineapple salsa and cooked on the flat grill
Address: 94 University Pl, New York, NY 10003