>> Los Cuñados Mexican Prada | Eat the World NYC

27 June 2022

Los Cuñados Mexican Prada

Monroe Street facade

EDITOR'S NOTE: I was originally working on a piece about this market and weekend barbacoa purveyor at the end of 2019 and as the pandemic began in 2020. It was going to be a bigger project to pitch to a local outlet because of the special nature of the place and people. As things ground to a halt and I eventually moved to Los Angeles in summer of that year, it obviously fell through the cracks. The restaurant is still operating and expanding, and should be part of your plans if it has not been already.

The first and most important thing you should know about eating barbacoa in the back room of this otherwise sleepy Passaic market is that like in the most popular spots in México, you need to plan on being here by mid-morning at the latest. Any later than that and the most coveted cuts of lamb have already been purchased by families who came closer to 06:00, just after the restaurant opens on Saturdays and Sundays.

Since barbacoa made right requires cooking overnight, it is a weekend morning tradition, and groups start filling tables here as soon as the sun is up (and before in winter). Lamb and goat barbacoa makes their way onto some menus in New York City and New Jersey, but more likely than not these preparations do not involve the proper rubs, high quality meats, and long slow cooking that make for the best. And that is of course why people are not lining up at those places like they are here.

The restaurant sells both lamb barbacoa and carnitas by the pound on weekends, orders of which are served with freshly made tortillas, salsas both red and green, limes, pickled peppers and onions, and cilantro. Many people take their booty home to share with family, but you can eat here just as easily if you are coming from far away.

It would be wise to include at least one bowl of consomé to an order, made from the overnight lamb fat drippings and fortified with chickpeas and many hearty bits of meat. Dunk your extra tortillas in this oily extravagance, going back and forth between self-prepared tacos de barbacoa and the consomé seems like the business of heaven.

You can also come for prepared tacos if you desire (below), without the commitment of pounds of meat. They make big tacos on their large fluffy homemade tortillas sold individually, perfect for anyone coming alone. These are available for both barbacoa and carnitas, and again if you come early enough you can select your preferred cuts of each.

The only negative comments that seem to be spoken about the restaurant are the relatively high prices, but the quality and care seem to brush these aside almost immediately for those that know the difference. The old phrase "you get what you pay for" is quite appropriate for a good meal here.


Eat the World NYC is and always has been free. No advertisements block the content or pop over what you read. If this website has helped you explore your city and its wonderful cultures a little better and you have the means to contribute, please consider doing so. Eat the World NYC is a labor of love, but also takes a lot of money and time everyday to keep running.

You can Venmo me @JAREDCOHEE or click here to send PayPal donation, no account is necessary. Thank you!

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.