Remember when Pinche Taqueria owner Jeffrey Chartier told us his was the “first real authentic taqueria in New York City”? We're always wary of such hyperbole so imagine our surprise when we saw that the plaudit made its way onto Pinche’s takeout menu attributed to us instead of the owner! Shame on you, Pinche: This is the worst case of fraud since Panchitos said its margaritas were named the best in the city by New York Magazine.
Not long ago, the owner of newcomer Pinche taqueria accused La Esquina of having less-than-authentic tacos. We were interested to hear the thoughts of Helena Elko, a server at La Esquina since its buzzy opening about two years ago (“It’s the only place where we can sell you a bottle of $700 tequila and then we’ll dance in front of you and tell jokes”). But Pinche’s got nothing on La Esquina, according to Elko. “Of course you’re going to start a war to get attention if you talk shit on La Esquina,” she says, “because everybody goes there.” And just why does everyone go there? We asked the waitress.
Earlier we brought your attention to Pinche, the new taco joint that placed neighbor La Esquina on notice for its inauthentic tacos. Now comes a stunning development on the eastern front: in about two weeks a taco truck will be parking on (get ready for it) North 7th Street and Bedford Avenue in Williamsburg. It will be manned by comedian (and front man of the Jewish) Jeffrey Jensen and Bad Wizard singer Curtis Brown, who conducted research at the trucks on Roosevelt Avenue.
We consider Jeffrey Chartier, a partner in Soho Films, a brave man for opening Pinche taqueria a stone’s throw from La Esquina, but he is convinced the authenticity of his product will carry him (and hopes it’ll be the first in a chain). “This is the first real authentic taqueria in New York City,” he boasts, and make no mistake, that includes his neighbor. “La Esquina is nowhere near authentic as far as I’m concerned.” So how is Pinche different?