Now, while much of this blog has focused on eating out in the District, this particular ES-er recently graduated from D.C. and moved back to New York, so expect to see some reviews of NYC destinations as well.
The neighborhood I grew up in, Hell’s Kitchen, was once the domain of streetwalkers, porn palaces and seedy strip clubs, but is now mostly home to yuppie restaurants, fancy bars, and upscale strip clubs. Fortunately, there are still a few ethnic hole-in-the-walls remaining, like Mexican joint Tulcingo Del Valle. (full review after the jump)
A tiny space with four tables, a counter and a TV always blaring soccer, Del Valle aces staples like steak fajitas and pork tacos, but really kicks it up a notch with chicken enchiladas covered in spicy chocolate mole sauce. They used to sell the mole sauce in take-out containers – which made any home-cooked Mexican meal 1,000 times more impressive – but unfortunately have grown too busy to cook enough mole for sale.
Equally mouth-watering are the Chile Rellenos – oversized poblano peppers breaded and stuffed with queso blanco and smothered in red salsa. (I’ve decided I want to try making these – any tips, readers?)
If you’re feeling really adventurous, the most intimidating dish is a giant bowl of seafood soup – piled to the brim with squid, crab legs, shrimp, mussels, and a few other unidentifiable but delicious sea objects. Chipotle this is not, but for some genuine Mexican, maybe the best you can do North of the border.
Tulcingo Del Valle – 665 Tenth Avenue (at 47th Street) – 212.262.5510 – way too cool for a website.