I always keep my head up, searching for tacos in the Bronx that can put the borough in the same league as the street scene in Queens and the deli grocery heavens of Brooklyn. Mexicocina seems to have aspirations to become an empire of its own in the Bronx, and deserves some of the good press it has been getting. Each location is casual and welcoming, and the food is pretty good.
At the location furthest east on 149th Street, next to the gem El Atoradero, walk into the deep red room, past large jugs of homemade jamaica and horchata, and grab a little spot at one of the counters if you are eating here.
With each order, everyone gets a nice mountain of of chips served in a large bucket, good for munching on while watching whatever is on the small TV and waiting for your order to come out. My sampler for this evening was two tacos ($2.50 each, below), one with tripe and the other of tinga, a type of spiced chicken.
The tinga, on the left in both photos, was more finely shredded than I usually find in tacos, and had a heavily smoked taste which was quite pleasant. It needed the salsa for some heat, but otherwise was very good. The tripe pieces seemed extra crispy, having been left on the grill for a good long time and losing their marinades.
The onion served on the tray is unfortunately not cooked that much and cannot add much to the meal like at other places. The other locations look about the same and have the same informal system. As far as empires go, the Bronx could do worse.