>> AK Laundromat/Pancho's Bagels To Go | Eat the World NYC

05 June 2017

AK Laundromat/Pancho's Bagels To Go

MÉXICO 🇲🇽

In Sunset Park, Brooklyn, the sight of a woman selling elotes and esquites in front of a neighborhood laundromat is not all that surprising. It took a while to try her treats though, as the favorite esquites is a few storefronts down on the corner. What actually drew enough attention to warrant a stop was the handwritten sign behind her for quesadillas. This made the important promise of homemade tortillas, essential to any respectable quesadilla vendor.

Upon further investigation, this location has shifted parts for quite a few years now. 10 years back the space was occupied by a record store called Musica Latina, but around five years ago the "AK" franchise moved in and created a bodega with grill service, a place like so many others in New York City. By the end of 2013, they decided to install laundry machines and reduce the amount of "store."

The grill has since been taken over by a husband and wife team that seems to be completely separate from the laundromat in the back. For good measure, there is also an independent lottery stand to cure the boredom of the spin cycle. Up front, the only leftover from the bodega days is a case of drinks.


The wife spends most of her time outside running the aforementioned stand, which has a constant stream of passing customers grabbing snacks. A small cup of esquites (above) is $2.50, and can be loaded up with crema, queso, and a dusting of spicy pepper powder.

She comes in to help her husband when more than one customer is ordering from the grill. The menu inside offers bagels and breakfast, and if you look hard enough the name of the place is found to be Pancho's Bagels To Go. Without seating except small stools in the back for laundry customers, "to go" is unfortunately the only way food can be ordered, but the benches of Sunset Park are just a few steps away and provide tremendous views.

Quesadilla de chorizo

Stick to the quesadillas ($6 each with meat, $5 without, above and below), which come with either a standard flour tortilla or wheat version. They have very limited space and stick to just three meat options: chicken, beef, and chorizo. The latter, spicy cubes of Mexican sausage, is probably the best.

Each order is a good deal and comes with sliced avocado and pico de gallo on the side. Also an array of sauces create a Mexican tri-color flag of flavors. Eating the whole preparation alone is guaranteed to fill you up completely.


An order does not take long, but hanging out while waiting is quite enjoyable regardless. The laundromat has a boisterous atmosphere and people are dragging their giant bags of clothes in and out constantly. Not interested in the lottery apparently, I saw one man buy a beer and pour it into a coffee cup before returning to his machine.


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