There are better Mexican places in New York than Mercadito Grove. But for inexpensive, crowd-pleasing Mexican grub, you don’t need to look any further. Even better, right now they have a “Taco Tuesdays” special: two tacos for $5. It seemed like a good way to prepare for Cinco de Mayo, so we headed over last week to investigate.
There are a lot of tacos on the menu, so you may want to tide yourself over with some guacamole during the decision process. Mercadito Grove’s has big chunks of avocado in the mix and comes with freshly made, light and crispy tortilla chips.
The house margaritas ($10) have the telltale sugary sweetness and citric acid bite of margaritas made with a mix, but they’re potent. No need to add fruit or smoke for an extra charge of $2 or $3, however: they don’t add much except to the bill.
We proceeded to eat a lot of tacos, which I will sum up this way: Yeah or Meh.
Chorizo tacos: Yeah. Juicy, mixed with spicy arbol chili salsa and sprinkled with sharp manchego cheese, these were some of our favorite tacos at Mercadito.
Chicken mole tacos: Meh.
Estilo Baja tacos: Yeah. The beer battered, fried mahi mahi was topped with Mexican coleslaw, and the soft tortilla brushed with chipotle aioli sauce. These may look mild, but don’t be deceived: they’re eye-wateringly spicy.
Pastor tacos: Yeah. The cubes of sweet, citrusy pineapple perfectly balance out the fat and spice in ancho chili-rubbed pork and chipotle aioli.
Carne tacos, made with skirt steak: Meh.
Thirty dollars later, D. and I were absolutely stuffed with tacos. You can get these tacos on any other night as well, when they’re $14.50 for four.
The atmosphere here is casual but charming. With a Diego Rivera print, a display of tequila bottles that catches the light pouring in the windows and music reminiscent of a vacation in Cabo, Mercadito Grove qualifies as a good casual date spot. Sidewalk seating is already set and ready for warmer weather to arrive, when it does, there won’t be many better places in the city for outdoor margs and plentiful tacos.
100 Seventh Avenue South at Grove Street
New York, NY
Menus available online.