E-double’s posts about eating in Mexico inspired me to write a little more about eating in little mexico, a.k.a. Manhattan.
Hell’s Kitchen’s Leon Bakery is a tiny neighborhood secret – an increasingly rare statement in a town over-saturated with hyperactive restaurant bloggers constantly reporting news of venues that are rumored to be applying for liquor licenses in 2012.
Leon Bakery displays an impressive array of genuine Mexican cookies and pastries, but the real finds are towards the back – tasty lunch offerings that beat the hell out of Chipotle. Their fresh and fluffy corn tamales are unquestionably the finest you can get North of the Rio Grande, while my fav are the crispy sopes (above) – thick corn tortillas with raised edges, filled with refried beans, queso blanco and a paste made from spicy green chiles.
There’s always a bit of a mystery as the heat of the chiles varies day-to-day and at times the spiciness can kick your ass. The prices also seem to vary day-to-day, at least for gringo customers – but at either a buck or a buck and a half each, you won’t find a better deal without heading to Oaxaca.
695 Ninth Ave, 212.489.6677