Taco War Is On: ‘Authentic’ Newcomer Pinche Calls Out La Esquina

A new front in the Taco War.
A new front in the Taco War.haha Photo: Melissa Hom

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?

At his spot, Chartier says, abuelitas make fresh tortillas, and the meat is butchered on premises (the meat is chopped with a machete on an avocado-tree trunk), broiled with red chiles, fresh herbs, and vinegar for hours, and then basted in a custom-built, hand-cranked brick rotisserie “al pastor” machine. The salsa, he says, is strictly organic, with habanero and tomato sauces prepared every day. Chartier, who worked at a taqueria in Mexico and now owns a few there, will also serve tortas, grilled corn, and guacamole, plus beer and wine when he gets his license about a week from now. Best of all, he’ll soon be delivering between Houston and Canal and between West Broadway and Allen. No need to walk to La Esquina for takeout.

Pinche, 227 Mott St., nr. Spring St.

Taco War Is On: ‘Authentic’ Newcomer Pinche Calls Out La Esquina