La Mesita (1513 Myrtle Avenue, Brooklyn; 718-366-8700), a perpetually empty Mexican restaurant that opened in Bushwick last year, seems to be suffering from similar pains that plagued the space’s former occupant, a Latin American rotisserie chicken joint called El Asadero: It’s overshadowed by other excellent options in the area.
It doesn’t help that a meal at La Mesita starts with sweet, cold salsa that tastes like aluminum; it is not worth eating even though it is free. Most of the business the place does seems to be to-go Grubhub and Seamless orders for desperation guacamole and burritos.
The restaurant does, however, serve a nice pambazo ($6), a Mexican sandwich that has been gaining popularity in our city for the past couple of years, popping up on taqueria menus and bodega counters; we almost expect it to creep onto the Boar’s Head sandwich boards between the No. 21 Roast Beef with Swiss and the Tuna Melt at your local deli, sometime soon.
A pambazo is a delightful hash of potato and chorizo piled onto a torta roll that has been dipped in guajillo chile sauce. At La Mesita, the potato is cooked until soft, a loose mash that binds with crumbled, oily chorizo into a sloppy joe-esque mass, stitched with spice. The mixture is spooned onto the chile-dyed roll and topped with cheese, crema, sliced white onion, and lettuce, thoughtfully swaddled in paper for easier eating.
Scarlett Lindeman is a Brooklyn-based writer, covering the city’s best taquerias, fondas, and cantinas. She writes the ¡Oye! Comida column for Fork in the Road.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on July 23, 2014