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

ZARAGOZA MEXICAN DELI & GROCERY, 215 Avenue A (between East 13th and 14th Street), East VillageEvery year, I get hired by an investment firm to create a one-time food tour of a different neighborhood around Manhattan for their summer interns. For one of the stops this year, I chose Zaragoza Mexican Deli & Grocery in this East Village.

I’m so proud that I know about this hidden spot and I always love introducing people to it. It looks like any other typical New York deli (read: bodega), but the Martinez family that owns it is also serving up traditional Pueblan tacos, quesadillas, and tortas. Right there in the shop. You can sit at one of the three makeshift tables and watch the World Cup, or you can head out into the night with some of the best Mexican food in Manhattan.

The meat fillings often rotate and while I’ve enjoyed their al pastor and flor de calabaza in the past, I had never been by when they were serving goat. Well, the tour group was in luck. And that meant I had to do some grazing on the tour – something I usually don’t do as I attempt to maintain an air of professionalism.

Goat Tacos at ZARAGOZA MEXICAN DELI & GROCERY

But the goat was hard to resist and the group encouraged me to try it. The soft meat had been stewed until it practically disintegrated. Layered with fat and full of gamey spice, the meat was juicy and tender. It didn’t need the extra green hot sauce, onions, cilantro, and lime. But they certainly didn’t hurt.

And it’s because I know about hidden little gems like Zaragoza that keeps this group coming back every year. It’s got to be that and not my terribly unprofessional tour guide etiquette.

ZARAGOZA MEXICAN DELI & GROCERY
215 Avenue A (between East 13th and East 14th Street),
East Village
(212) 780-9204
facebook.com/zaragozadeli
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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.

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