Manero

Mexican Food Done Right

By: Marcelo Báez

So you’re a taco fanatic? A connoisseur, even? Then we don’t have to explain to you why, besides tacos de rajas and a few others, tacos in Mexico are commonly served with cilantro, not cheddar. And not only cilantro, of course, but also tomatillo-based salsas and handmade tortillas.

Well, then: we’re on the same page. But now we have some good news and some bad news. The good: your discerning taco snobbery can now be sated at Sembrado en Nueva York, a new restaurant in the East Village. The bad: eating there is going to make your snobbery even more insufferable, and your friend at the end of the bar told us you’re already kind of jerk. (Just kidding. He said you always pay for the first round—like a real gentleman.)

But back to the food: this small restaurant specializes in serving hormone-free tacos “al carbon” (grilled), and fine agave-based spirits. And Sembrado en Nueva York doesn't disappoint: their al pastor meat is marinated to perfection; their tortillas are served warm and fluffy; and the salsas are tangy, strong, and potent. Oh, and vegetarians need not feel left out because their nopal and mushroom tacos are some of the best items on the menu. Also, if you’ve never had it before, the chicharrón de queso (a crisp cylinder of golden-grilled edam cheese) is phenomenal and fun to eat.

Too spicy? Wash it down with their delicious chia-infused limemonade (yes, made with limes, not lemons). Not spicy enough? Test your mettle with their hot tamarind-infused Lost Acapulco cocktail or a michelada Cubana.

One last suggestion: if it’s not too noisy, pay attention to the music: Sembrado’s playlists have been carefully culled from many independent Latin American labels.

Which is perfectly fitting, because these tacos are music to our taste buds.

Marcelo Baéz is a writer, DJ, and musician based in NYC. When he's not producing "Rico Suave" parties, he releases music under P3CULIAR.