This parachuting Santa may not be as grandiose or ridic as certain other displays, but we love that it’s in the Zaragoza Deli, a shabby sliver of a bodega at 215 Avenue A (near 14th Street) that has tacos, beers from all over Latin America (and Spain!), a touch-screen jukebox playing Mexican pop and standards, and a bottle opener on the wall, next to just a few tables. And then, of course, there’s the airbrushed mural you see here. Since the meat (stewed chipotle beef, chicken, veal, roast pork, etc.) is precooked and warmed by microwave, we won’t pretend the tacos are as fresh as, say, the ones over at Mercadito Cantina. But they’re heaping, and you can buy two of them plus a flauta and a tallboy for ten bucks. Simply put, this is one of those magical places that we’re pretty sure Brian McNally probably didn’t see from his car when he dismissed Manhattan as a playground of the rich. May its owners and their black-and-white cat have una feliz navidad, un feliz año nuevo, and many more of them after that.
Photo: Daniel Maurer