Taco time.

In keeping with my recent Mexican binge, I’ve lately gone to Pio Maya twice.  Located on W. 8th Street between 6th and MacDougal, Pio Maya was enthusiastically recommended to me in a comment by Abe B some time ago.  Previous to this week, I had been there once before, but for a quick “on the go” burrito that I took to Washington Square Park and was disappointed by.

I can safely say I was NOT disappointed this time around, but there is some maddening variation in quality.  For instance, on Monday, I went and ordered four tacos – two with pork, and two with chorizo.  Given that the joint was a little busy at the time, and someone in front of me had ordered some kind of nachos with chorizo topping, the cook piled a huge heap of raw-looking chorizo on the grill.  While cooking, a period of time which felt like forever, the smell of the sausage permeated the entire restaurant and put my already-high hunger into overdrive.

When they finally were done, the chorizo tacos (in two corn tortillas, wrapped at one end to look kind of like a schwarma, and topped with pico de gallo, lettuce, and a not-so-spicy tomatillo salsa) were amazing, the meat being both flavorful and juicy and making me wish I had ordered about ten of them (though, to be honest, four tacos was one or two too many).  The pork was also excellent, not dry but retaining a bit of crunch and a bit of fat – it was up against some stiff competition, though.

Tuesday I went back again, and ordered two more chorizo tacos, as well as one featuring grilled beef (I was going to order a chicken one out of a sense of fairness, but my craving of the chorizo was too intense to ignore).  The beef, as you might have expected, was okay but not great.  Decent flavor, not too dry, but ultimately not that interesting.  The chorizo, sadly, wasn’t nearly as good as the first time.  My expectations of another pile of sausage being loaded on the grill were unfulfilled – the tacos came from the invisible back kitchen, with the meat being quite a bit crustier and a bit less flavorful than was ideal.  Still a good deal at $2.25 apiece, but not nearly the transcendent experience of the previous day.

My verdict?  Go get your chorizo tacos at a peak lunch hour, and be prepared to wait for them to make it fresh.  Or try demanding that they do so, even if you’re not there at a busy time (note that I have no idea if they’ll acquiesce).  Made fresh, they’re one of the most delicious bargain lunches in the entire West Village.


Filed under NYC

4 responses to “Taco time.

  1. Anonymous

    are you male/female? height/weight?

  2. Anonymous

    why can’t you tell me if you’re male/female and your height/weight?

  3. Jody

    $2.25 is a lot for a taco — that’s a sign that it’s pretty big. I’ve had problems finishing two $2 tacos.

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