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For the past 12 years, the tiny New York Bakery at 51 W 29th St. in NoMad has been serving up some of the best Mexican street food in Manhattan -- a somewhat unusual specialty for Korean-born operators Jwa Hoon Kim (aka “Harrison”) and his wife, Young Shin Han Kim, who handles the cooking. The couple started making Mexican fare, in addition to Korean dishes, to better cater to the large segment of Latinos who work in the neighborhood. Nowadays, everyone who works in the neighborhood comes in for tacos (especially the fish) and other daily specials, including the chicken mole (Thursdays and Fridays) and super-hot salsa de arbol (Tuesdays). But perhaps the best option on any given day is the chicken enchiladas verdes -- a generous helping of three tortillas stuffed with tender meat bathed in fiery green sauce, topped with avocado, lettuce, and tomato, and sprinkled with cotija cheese. Newbies may be shocked by the spice level, which far exceeds that of the typical Mexican fare in NYC and leaves your whole mouth tingling for the next half-hour. (Kim says it’s just jalapeño, but it must be a lot of jalapeño.)
Now for the bad news: Kim’s lease expired back in May, and he’s been operating on a month-to-month basis ever since, while developers seek permits to demolish the building and put up condos. And he has no immediate plan to open elsewhere. Last call could come as soon as next month.
In other words: If you're looking to try some of the city's spiciest, cheapest, and most satisfying enchiladas, you'd better act fast.
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Though its name would suggest otherwise, New York Bakery specializes in Mexican street food. Owned and operated by a Korean couple, this Flatiron hole-in-the-wall opened in 2004 to bring affordable Mexican lunch food to Latinos who work in the neighborhood. Now almost everyone who works in the surrounding area takes advantage of the supremely cheap and satisfying tacos, quesadillas, and tortas, as well as regular specials like chicken mole and salsa de arbol. The fish tacos, which come three per order and are topped with fresh slices of avocado, are a must-order, as are the kimchi bulgogi tacos. Whatever you do, order a side of salsa verde -- the fiery green sauce is loaded with enough jalapeños to make your eyes water (in the best way possible).