>> Taqueria Sinaloense | Eat the World NYC

02 June 2019

Taqueria Sinaloense

MÉXICO 🇲🇽 (SINALOA)

The tiny little neighborhood of Marble Hill is a frustrating piece of land, with a Bronx zip code and having all the geographic clues of a Bronx neighborhood, but still annoyingly part of Manhattan. To understand it, one must travel back in history over 100 years to the dredging of the Harlem River Ship Canal. Before this time, the river ran to the north of the neighborhood and Marble Hill was part of Manhattan island, but that section was too narrow and shallow for the kind of ships desired to pass and the new canal was born. For a few years after this, Marble Hill was actually an island, but eventually the north part of the river was filled in and the neighborhood is technically the only part of Manhattan that is connected to the mainland of the country.

In modern times (since 2018), Marble Hill is home to a tiny little taqueria with a name just as odd for New York City as the history of how the neighborhood is part of Manhattan. In the area's most southerly street, overlooking the tracks of Metro North and the Harlem River, a few steps down brings you into Taqueria Sinaloense, of course named for the state of Sinaloa in northwest México known for some of the most delicious cuisine in all the country.

Unfortunately for New York City and the east coast, most people from this state have remained out west. Los Angeles, as well as much of southern California and Arizona are populated with Sinaloan restaurants, where even regional differences and rivalries between the cities of Culiacán and Mazatlán can be tasted in neighboring establishments. We briefly were entertained by a restaurant in Queens of the same name that whetted the appetites of even the paper of record before closing down suddenly after less than a year.


When the new Taqueria Sinaloense (no relation to the former) opened last year, I spoke with the owner over the phone to inquire about some of the most well-known and delicious foods from Sinaloa and whether they would be offered here. At that time there were no plans for them, but with a menu that uses the state's seal and proclaims "Authentic Tacos from North of México" right on the front, somehow I knew it would be necessary to keep checking in from time to time.

After recently seeing a plate of chilorio and frijoles puercos show up online, I did not bother calling and high-tailed it back to Marble Hill. The results are decidedly mixed, but with some imagination, and the right orders, a meal here could be very good. Unfortunately the chilorio (above), a slow-simmered pork that is then fried with chilies is not part of that order, as it has the consistency, temperament, and spicing of something that recently lived in a can.


The frijoles puercos (beans cooked with pork lard) from the photo were unfortunately discontinued because they were not a big seller, and machaca (dried and shredded beef usually enjoyed for breakfast with eggs and fluffy flour tortillas) does not seem to be in the cards. This led to an order of pozole ($8, above and below), which gives no hint of its style on the menu but after inquiry was promised in estilo Sinaloa.

After somewhat of a disappointment with the rest of the order, what arrived in this bowl was pure joy. In Sinaloa the pozoles are normally red with chile pasilla or chile ancho, but they go a step further here and turn the pork hominy soup into a fiery dream with chiles de arbol, a much spicier cousin. The broth is also full of garlic and onions buried within, and worth coming for on its own.


Another specifically Sinaloan item you can find on the menu is the taco gobernador ($4, below), named for the former governor of Sinaloa who first asked for the combination. Unfortunately, this is not a taco gobernador, which should be filled not only with shrimp, tomatoes, and peppers, but also cheese before being briefly fried after filling. The resulting taco should be crisp as the cheese melts and surrounds the tortillas, maybe next time this can be specifically asked for?


The rest of the menu is extensive and reads like much like many deli groceries around town, with photos of everything posted on the front of the shop as well to entice folks to enter. There is one table that seats four, and another four can eat at the high counter along one wall, but if the shop ever had close to eight eating all at once it would probably feel a bit too intimate. Thankfully for those dining in, it seems like most people just come in for takeout.

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Taqueria Sinaloense Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

2 comments:

  1. No surprises there, it’s the same owners as the previous taqueria in the space. They’re not even from Sinaloa, but the place in Queens got a lot of press so they just took the name after it closed, hoping it would get people to go. (And it did!)

    That’s why there were no Sinaloan dishes on the menu at first. The chilorio probably was from a can.

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  2. Though there were some admitted disappointments, I am glad I went. The husband and wife who run the place are very friendly and open, and I will not automatically shun someone because of where they are born. It's a good sign that some chefs are willing to take risks outside "the norm" here in town. And everything being equal, that pozole was splendid.

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