A hulking grey creature with four dusty, unlit letters, Paty's Tacos (no, that's not a typo) is no great beauty. The truck parks for long stretches on Lexington Avenue, just north of 86th Street and its bustling 4/5/6 stop.
Still, its customer base had me excited. I'm one of those people who (whether it's fair or not) bases my preliminary assumptions about certain food on how many people of that ethnicity are there at the time. (Of the six people who ordered either directly before me or while I was waiting for my food, only one ordered in English. Check.) The truck also boasts an extensive menu, with about as many variations on the burrito, taco, and more as any full-fledged restaurant.
The lengua on a lengua taco ($3.50) itself was pretty standard, as was the taco as a whole: cilantro, radish, and a simple salsa fresca over two fresh corn tortillas. A pile of shredded lettuce, too. Not my favorite dish, but good nonetheless.
The carne asada burrito ($7.00) felt more complete (as burritos tend to). Not that this burrito is the best I've ever had: the carne asada was not particularly moist or unusually flavorful, but still quite tasty. The construction was lacking (all the meat was at the top, with bites of only cheese dominating the bottom half) and the white beans (white beans?) got lost among much stronger flavors. The cheese was also out of place--a combination of stringy white cheese and cheddar, as opposed to the queso blanco for which I had hoped.
Finally, $10.00 will buy a huge huarache, enough for two people at least. Chorizo, queso blanco, white beans, salsa fresca, lettuce, and a few avocado slices were piled on top of a thicker, crispier version of a tortilla. The chorizo could have had a little more kick and a little less fat, but it was flavorful and delicious—the best dish I tried at Paty's.
86th Street and Lexington (map)
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