Tuesday, March 4, 2014


If you're looking for a hole in the wall, you can't get any more literal than the Taco Box. This spot is nothing more than an ordering window with a counter and barstools lined up outside, making it nearly impossible to visit during the coldest winter months, which, in a way, is part of the charm. Taco Box typifies the best of the New York taco, it's high end, with modern or fusion twists and prices to match. It's places like this that are teaching me New York doesn't make bad tacos (all the time), but your choices are the fancy taco or something dry and flavorless, suspiciously made along side a plate of general tso's chicken. The Taco Box is the former option, and provides a comparable list of quality meats with some modern twists like short rib and sautéed rock shrimp accompanied with fancy sauces. I tried just about everything they had to offer, here's how it breaks down:

They are as tasty as they look
Taco: 5/5 The meats are, across the board, pretty darn excellent. The ones to try especially are the Pollo, Al Pastor, and Chorizo. The pollo in particular was some of the best grilled chicken taco I've had in NY, tender, flavor, and melts in the mouth. The chorizo is wisely cut with egg in an appropriate balance of spicy, greasy, and delicious. The al pastor was crispy and sweet, with a number of distinct flavors of pineapple and smokey BBQ, definitely worth getting. Honorable mention goes to the short rib, which was tender and dripping with sauce and juice, a much better alternative to the bistec, which I found lacking flavor and a little gamey. 

A pricey taco for a place with no roof
Value: 1/5 Perhaps I should change the name of this blog to "the over priced taco blog". I get it, rent is expensive, and food prices inflate to match, but when you don't actually have a restaurant, but rather a literal hole in the wall, you'd think the cost per taco would reduce dramatically. Isn't there some sort of rule out there for the price of a taco in a place where I can get rained on?What really killed me was the $3.50 vegetarian taco, which is WAY too much for beans, veggies, and guacamole. The tacos themselves seem large, but I ate six of them, so either they are not filling, or they were super delicious and I was starving. Either way, this taco outing cost me about $20.

Sriracha I can go with, but Tabasco?
Accoutrement: 4/5 They provide two homemade salsas, a red and green, which are both quite good, and then an assortment of bottled sauces, which didn't at all match the quality of the other offerings (Tabasco? Really?). But the clincher is that each taco is provided with its own special toppings that were an excellent fit to the offered meat. Nopales, avocado-lime mayo, chili habanero, and crunchy chicharrones all show up and add an extra kick to make the taco that much better.

Forgot to take a pictures before biting in. I'm not even sorry.
Other: 3/5 I give them an extra point for the outdoor seating, but that is about all they have in terms of 'extras'. There are too few stools, and the slanted bar make it a little awkward to eat at.  Excellently panfried tortillas though. And they get one more point for their provocative name, about which I have tried to go this entire post without making an innuendo, and have now failed.

Overall: 4/5 Taco Box is definitely worth a visit, but the cost makes it prohibitive as a regular go to joint. It's too bad, since the food is actually quite good as I'd love to drop by the place every time I'm in the area, but I also don't feel like spending $15+ on my taco habit. Still, if you've got the itch, it's a good place to scratch it.