A New Stop on the Taco Trail: Patty’s Tacos at 86th and Lex

A promising  taco truck has recently set up shop on the northwest side of 86th Street and Lexington Avenue, and the neighborhood food scene will never be the same.  Patty’s (or Paty’s as the menus and truck read)* Tacos is delivering a taco revolution to a neighborhood so bereft of good  Mexican as to lack for even a Taco Bell. 

Yes, The Burger One is a step in the right direction for portable bargain bites of the Mexican variety, but other than its modest offerings, Lex Mex is an oxymoron until the upper nineties.  Crossing the economic border from the UES into Yorkville, foodies and those willing to talk to them have only the good willed but moderately bland Cinco de Mayo, the seriously bland Taco Taco, and the Zocalo priced ripoff shack–and Michelin favorite–Maz Mezcal to choose from.  It’s bad enough that there’s so much white brick over here.  It’s even worse when the food is as bland as the architecture.  None of these local restaurants merits the sweaty walk from the subway, so save your money and time and stick to The Burger One and Paty’s.

So on to the food.  The selection of meats for the tacos, burritos, sopes and tostadas is notably broad–chicken, beef, chorizo, pork al pastor and enchilado, tongue, cecina and shrimp are not just promised but delivered.  The salsa selection for now is limited to an avocado based number familiar to fans of Peruvian chicken fave Pio Pio, but perhaps more will be available as business picks up.   Crema and queso mexicano are as authentic as anything in Queens or Hamilton Heights and don’t need any embellishing.

N.B. Be ready to order and eat on Mexican time.  Everything is made to order, and everything takes a while to put together, from glasses of horchata, sorrel water and bottles of Mexican sodas, to the the sopes, huaraches, burritos, tacos and soups.  Be patient with the order but don’t wait too long to eat it once the food is ready.  This food has the shelf life of McDonald’s fries.  A trip to Best Cellars or Mr. Wright and on to Carl Schurz or Ruppert Park would make for quite a picnic!

This is just a preliminary post, so I’ll put up more info soon. I intend to keep on digging into the remainder of the menu this week on both the food and beverage ends.  I’m particularly keen to try the tostadas with fatty cow feet–“patas”–which I’m told will be back tomorrow.  “Habrá patas mañana, señor.”   Sweeter words have rarely been spoken atop the subway grate on Lexington.   

A final suggestion.  Avoid the canker-sore inducing Horchata.  It’s way past saccharine.  Get a Jarritos tamarind soda instead and toast the best news on the UES food front in quite a while.

*There’s no double tt in Spanish.  Of course, nor is there an apostrophe.


8 Responses to “A New Stop on the Taco Trail: Patty’s Tacos at 86th and Lex”

  1. tigerdog Says:

    Taco trucks usually move with the winds–like Mary Poppins–but I’m betting this one is here to stay at least until they run out of the gross or so of menus I saw stacked behind the counter. In short, this isn’t a Chowhound get there before it goes bad situation, but there’s no reason to dither either.

  2. Anonymous Says:

    How do they compare to the Pámpano tacos in the Crystal pavilion?

  3. Anonymous Says:

    ¡Viva la revolución taquera!

  4. FaHFS Says:

    Just stopped by for some early evening delight, namely a round of Paty’s hot and spicy tongue tacos. Unfortunately, my favorite trucker girl announced that she would not be serving any more customers until after dark due to a huge phone order. Oh well, time for a cold shower and then some cold Szechuan noodles.

  5. aau AUU Says:

    tacos pattys are deliciousss!! i love it!! the great tacos on the US 4 sure!! u gottaa believeeme or better go and check it 4 ur self! aau aau!! mmm delicious

  6. Jennifer Says:

    Pattýs Tacos have the best mexican food, i love the semita, are delicious. And Patty is a beautiful person. La comida que vende Patty es deliciosa, es autenticamente mexicana, bien preparada, con buena carne, con buenos ingredientes, ella tiene los permisos para vender, sus empleados tambien; además tiene los mejores precios, por ello Pattys tacos es el mejor lugar en todo New York para comer ¡¡¡como si estuvieras en México!!!, pruebala, verás que no te arrepentirás. Phone numbers: 3472169362 and 3472169358.

  7. Michael Says:

    this TACOS are the most DELICIOUS tacos i ever taste,(i guess only in Mexico could be better), im from L.A. and WOW i was surprise,..Hell yeah!, and all food,… jesus!! was great!!…water,patas,burritos, huaraches,…oh god!..all of it!!….NY is Lucky!!, u will be lucky if u eat there!

  8. M-dash Says:

    Tongue taco last night did the trick. I have to say it’s more fun to eat it right there than to walk home. I agree with you about the taco taste asymptote and also the McDonald’s fries effect. The quality is up at the asymptote, but these guys are best enjoyed when still hella hot.

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