Every week, I document another dish that impressed and satiated me during my food adventures around New York City

EMPELLÓN COCINA, 105 First Avenue (between East 5th and East 6th Street), East Village

On the website for his upscale Mexican restaurant Empellón Cocina, Chef Alex Stupak claims his food is “informed by authenticity, but not limited by it.” The former pastry chef grew up in Massachusetts, worked at Wd-50, and spent lots of quality time eating in Mexico. And while his flavors at the two Emepllón restaurants are no doubt Mexican (he even brings the heat in an epic seven salsa tasting), I’m sure Stupak couldn’t help but be influenced by the flavors around him in NYC.

Case in point: pastrami. The word is more associated with Jewish delis than Oaxacan cocinas. But Stupak manages to fuse the two flavors into a brand new Mexican-Jewish taco sensation.

Shortrib Pastrami Tacos at EMPELLÓN COCINA

The pastrami in question is made from the fatty, tender short ribs. Luscious meat shreds are topped on a bed of pickled cabbage, layered with chopped onions, and a tangy mustard seed salsa. Smoky, peppery, garlicky notes intermingle with the spicy complex salsa which literally bursts with flavor. It was revelatory and delicious!

Stupak stays true to Mexican food, but is influenced by his creative ideas and diverse surroundings. Who knew Jewish Mexican food could taste so good? Somebody needs to take a nod from Stupak and fuse these two flavors more often. How about a gefilte fish ceviche? Anyone? Anyone?

EMPELLÓN COCINA
105 First Avenue (between East 5th and East 6th Street),
East Village
(212) 780-0999
empellon.com
If you enjoyed this post, make sure you subscribe to my RSS feed!

About the Author

Brian Hoffman is a classically trained actor who is now a full-time tour guide, blogger, and food obsessive. He leads food and drink tours around New York City, which not only introduce tour-goers to delicious food, but gives them a historical context. He also writes food articles for Gothamist and Midtown Lunch in addition to overseeing this blog and a few food video series, including Eat This, Locals Know, and Around the World in One City.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Connect with me

Link to our Youtube Page
Link to our Facebook Page
Link to our Rss Page
Link to our Twitter Page

WATCH

AROUND THE WORLD IN ONE CITY: IRAN AROUND THE WORLD IN ONE CITY: PERU AROUND THE WORLD IN ONE CITY: GREECE
LOCALS KNOW: TENEMENTS TALES AND TASTES TOUR in NEW YORK CITY
EMPIRE PLATES OF MINE A DAY IN THE LIFE
EAT THIS BOSTON: IN THE SOUP SOMETHING BORROWED, SOMETHING BREWED


DREAM A LITTLE CREAM CHEESE


BIG TROUBLE IN LITTLE CHINATOWN


ICE CREAM


KOSHER MEAT MARKET


PIZZA DAY


Instagram Feed