Where to Find the Steak Quesadilla That Turned Chef Thiago Silva On to Mexican


Pastry Chef Thiago Silva spends his days making “Liquid Klondikes,” s’mores pizzas, and buckets of cookies that make our knees weak at EMM Group’s Catch (21 Ninth Avenue, 212-392-5978). But when a supply run to Chelsea Market introduced him to Los Tacos No. 1 (75 Ninth Avenue, 212-256-0343), he found a savory new addiction.

“Everyone at work always talks about Los Tacos No. 1, since it’s a few blocks away from Catch in Chelsea Market and we’re often running in there for last-minute supplies. The pastry department often doesn’t eat at staff meal since we’re so busy during it, and on one of those days I was running out for something and starving. I’m not crazy about a lot of Mexican food; I like it, but I’m not crazy about it. But I was blown away by the steak quesadilla there.

“The tortillas are freshly made, and the flour one I went with was seasoned and cooked perfectly. They use monterey jack cheese, which I didn’t expect. And it’s served open-faced, so you get more cheese in every bite by wrapping it around the filling and it keeps the tortilla softer. Also, the meat was perfectly cooked and seasoned with just the right amount of heat. You can put your own pico de gallo, guacamole, and various sauces on it, but I did it up just with pico de gallo and guac, and they’re both amazing. The guac has just the right amount of creaminess to it, and the pico de gallo is balanced in its heat and acidity.

“I wanna go back and get them all the time. I’ve heard they have the same thing deep-fried, so that’s going to be amazing. I’m dying to try more.”

Where do chefs go to eat on their nights off? We’re asking them — and they’re divulging the best things they’ve eaten in the last month in this weekly column. 

Most Popular