Tacos and Tequila on a Tuesday has a nice right to it right? I met up with my friend Ashton this week and headed straight for Pulqueria, a Mexican inspired speakeasy hidden away in the bottom floor basement of Chinatown. You may be familiar with this area as it is next door to legendary cocktail bar Apotheke (same owners) and the fact that back in the early 1900s it was known as the “Bloody Angle” for the numerous gang shootings that happened in the crick of the street.
Ashton had a hard time finding the place and it’s easy to see why. With nothing more than a white door frame and steps leading down to it, Pulqueria is kept hidden. Upon entering you can either go to the left (to the bar) or to the right (to the restaurant) but I suggest heading left as I don’t ever see myself eating or drinking in the restaurant side as the bar is just too much fun!
The cocktails are pricey (cocktails start at $14 with no happy hour but pitchers that make it more affordable) but my jalapeno and cucumber margarita was so fantastic I got two! The food is inspired by the vibrant markets of Mexico City with ceviches, tostadas, tacos, quesadillas and snacks. Now I’ve only spent a few hours in Mexico City (on a layover to Cabo San Lucas) so I don’t know if this is authentic or not but the decor and music made it seem like I was in the Zona Rosa neighborhood of MC.
We ordered the queso fundido with chorizo, pescado tacos and carnitas tacos to share. The portions were small but the flavors were outstanding. I loved the sheer simplicity of each dish…..like the carnitas that was garnished with only fresh-cut onion and cilantro, the pescado that was topped with fennel and tomato crema, and the queso fundido that came with a mound of chorizo topped with melted house-made queso oaxca and queso chihahua.
I’ll definitely be back with a bigger group so we can take advantage of their cocktail pitchers and share some more food. Pulqueria is a fun little spot that serves great Mexican food in, of all places, Chinatown!
11 Doyers Street (between Bowery and Pell Streets)