In Mexico, there are jalapeño, salsa inglesa, and habanero chip flavors that, sadly, we never see in the United States. But if you’re missing the flavors found only within the borders of our southern neighbor, there is a green chorizo taco at Cafe el Presidente (30 West 24th Street, 212-242-3491) that can curb your disappointment. Savory crumbles of pork sausage on homemade corn tortillas with a sprinkling of cilantro and onion are an amplification of garlic and lard, layers of chiles, and vibrating herbs — they’re like a mainline to Mexico City.
The chorizo gets its green from roasted poblanos, serranos, and jalapeños, a bit of cilantro, and ground green pumpkin seeds. It’s marinated and roasted, the fat rendered then re-incorporated, so it is moist; it’s further gilded with a dab of mole verde. It is just one of the special, regional two-week “taco tour” dishes that Cafe el Presidente is running until Sunday in celebration of the new Mexico: The Cookbook that debuted this month.
The restaurant has been releasing one new taco a day. The green chorizo is representing Toluca, a town in the capital state known for its sausage. Monday brought a braised beef in the style of Zacatecas, and later this week, chef Jason DeBriere says bacalao will make an appearance. “But there’s so much crossover,” DeBriere said of the regional taco styles. “The good ones tend to spread.” Even this far north.
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.