New York: Mission Cantina

I was lucky enough to be in NY last week for a conference and even luckier to be able to stay with Nana the entire time.  Nana planned out what we were going to do each day before I even got to NY.

I flew in Wednesday evening and hopped on a bus headed straight for Nana's apartment from the airport.  It took me a bit longer than I anticipated to get there thanks to traffic.  When I finally arrived, I had just enough time to say hi and put down my luggage and then it was off to Mission Cantina for dinner:


The wait was 45 minutes, which actually worked out for us since we needed to find an ATM (the credit card machine at Mission Cantina was broken that night).  We were already on our way back from the nearest Bank of America when Nana got the call saying that our table was ready.

The atmosphere was young and fun:


At first glance, I thought the restaurant was double the size than it actually was.  Tricky mirror placement.  Nice.

Nana ordered the dirty horchata and let me have a sip:


It wasn't bad, but I could taste the alcohol, so I declined a second taste.

A lot of things sounded really interesting on the menu, which apparently changes pretty often.  We started with the chicken liver tostada ($10):


It came topped with crunchy salmon skin and pickled chili morita.  I really liked the chicken liver, but the bitterness from the red leafy veggie on top was a tad off-putting.  We ended up just pushing it aside.  Nana was not a fan of the salmon skin, but I rather liked it.

The octopus and potato tostada ($12.50) was unexpectedly spicy:


It came with celery, olives, and chorizo vinaigrette.  It was so spicy that I couldn't handle it.  Nana didn't even seem to notice.

The lengua tacos ($6.50) were pretty darn good:


The addition of the fried peanuts was pretty genius.  Not sure if I tasted the beer salsa though.

The double decker alambres ($8.50) was the best thing that night:


The steak and jowl bacon was good, but the fried cheese lying on top was what made the taco.  Just wow.

If you like your tacos traditional, this is not the place for you.  But if you like to experiment and try new flavor combinations, Mission Cantina is the place to be.  While not everything was a hit with us, I appreciated their inventiveness.


Mission Cantina
172 Orchard St
New York, NY 10002
(212) 254-2233
http://www.missioncantinany.com/

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