>> Cholulita Bella Deli | Eat the World NYC

15 January 2010

Cholulita Bella Deli


[UPDATE 16 AUGUST 2015: Due to the gentrification of Bushwick, prices here are laughable for a Mexican antojitos deli. Downgraded from original 2.5 stars to 1.5. I ordered a plate of three picaditas and was shocked to have a bill of over $13.]

I have a theory about all those "you can't find good Mexican in NY" type people. Actually it is a two-part theory, of which one of them applies to most of them. They either (1) are addicted to fresh, delicious avocado, of the type not constantly on offer in this fair city, or (2) are lazy idiots who use "Tex-Mex" as a slur. So yeah, #1 is acceptable, people like avocado. Hell, I know I do. But #2, not acceptable. Get on the subway you big jerks! Mexican restaurants in Manhattan (and many other places, unfortunately) are not catered to anything but north of the border tastes, for the most part. You're going to have to deal with that.

Another example: Cholula Bella Deli on the Bedstuy-Bushwick border, under the JMZ line. I happened in one early afternoon during a bike ride from South Williamsburg to Bushwick, instantly knowing it was right up my alley. The menu is all-encompassing, and very, very economical. And like many places in the boroughs, the antojitos here are top rate.

On this visit, tostadas ($2, above) [UPDATE: now $7.50 for 3] grabbed my fancy and I ordered one with carnitas (roasted pork) and the other with cecina (salted/dried beef). After ordering, I grabbed one of about 20 seats available in the back near the refrigerator cases and enjoyed the comfortable lime green surroundings. As most Mexican establishments are, this place equally carried on its pride for the home country, on the walls, tablecloths, and decorations.

Later that night I was dining at home on the cemita ($5, not pictured) [UPDATE: now $7] I took for take out. The sandwich, which I had prepared with chorizo, was possibly the best "leftovers" I have ever had, making me wonder how something so simple could be so beautiful. The hours in between meals gave the chipotle ample time to meander through the other ingredients and sesame bun.


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