Dish no. 12: Mole poblano from El Atoradero (800 East 149th Street, Bronx)
We’ve trumpeted this Bronx taqueria for its carnitas, a weekend-only special of slow-simmered pork, served with warm corn tortillas, salsas, and cilantro and onion, if you want it. But the shop’s expansion earlier this year means that the place turns out a number additional specialties, some of which are revelatory. Start with a tamale; owner Lina Chavez’s kitchen team puts together fine packets of fluffed masa packed with chicken and salsa verde or chilies. Then move into the mole poblano, a rich, dark, and deeply complex stew of chocolate, cinnamon, and chilies. El Atoradero’s version is silken and earthy, subtle and compelling. It coats tender legs of slow-cooked chicken and comes sided with simmered beans and airy Mexican rice, which you’ll want to use to sop up any dregs of sauce.
In advance of our 2014 Best of NYC issue, we’re traipsing through the boroughs and divulging our favorite dishes of the year. They’re presented here as a countdown, but we’re listing them in no particular order. Consider this a guide to what’s good to eat in this town right this very second.
More:100 Favorite Dishes