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.