>> Cosina de Chencha | Eat the World NYC

22 June 2020

Cosina de Chencha


[COVID-19 UPDATE: The chairs are still on top of the tables as seen below, but Cosina de Chencha is still cranking out orders for delivery and pickup daily, which has always been their main source of business.]

As reported from New Brunswick last summer: "New Brunswick, New Jersey, a growing town of about 57,000 people is most known for Rutgers University and surrounding area that firmly place it in the image of a "college town." But not far outside of the university section and the city's downtown, roads stretching south and west reveal where the growth in population is coming from, and an almost magical area containing one of the densest concentrations of Oaxacans on the east coast."

The interior is in much better shape.

During warm months, and when there is not a pandemic, you will see pastries being sold on the sidewalk. Many of these are familiar to folks who frequent panaderias, but some have names that reveal them as Oaxacan specialties and are much more rare outside of New Brunswick.

Step inside the small dining room to take a look at the menu and see more Oaxacan favorites like the gigantic tlayuda (below), which is available with or without meat. The massive wrappers, imported from Oaxaca, are folded over all the ingredients, and at least for takeout, the whole thing is chopped in half. As always, it takes a bit of skill and luck to get everything into your mouth without losing some to your jeans.

Also of note are the rare masa triangles from Oaxaca called tetelas ($2 each, above and below), antojitos that are filled with beans and cheese. These are satisfying snacks and always available.

The sad lonely tetela pictured here was a mistake, as he definitely deserves to have many friends. Purchase these by the dozen!

One of those baked goods you may find on the sidewalk when passing during better days is the empanada de lechesilla ($2.75, above and below), dusted with sugar and filled with a vanilla cream.

A set amount of these are made each day, and if lucky they will still be warm when you find them. On those days, place them directly into your mouth and enjoy.

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