Food & Drink

Empellón Al Pastor brings micheladas and giant spits of meat to St. Mark's

Published On 10/22/2014 Published On 10/22/2014

With two hit restaurants already under their belts, Alex Stupak and company are trying to make it three with brand-new Empellón Al Pastor, a taco spot that focuses on their favorite food from a bunch of trips to Mexico City: al pastor (or, for the uninitiated, pork cooked on a vertical spit topped with pineapples!).

Andrew Zimmer

This is it: the juicy, spiced center of your taco universe for this weekend.

Andrew Zimmer

Pineapple, onions, and cilantro will all cozy up next to your tortilla-wrapped pork, which you can also replace (WHY WOULD YOU DO THIS???) with chicken w/ chipotle peppers, steak w/ caramelized onions, or mushrooms w/ pasilla chile (OH, OK, NEVER MIND).

Andrew Zimmer

Oh, and about that thing with the bone in it -- it's the short rib barbacoa, and it gets served with six tortillas that you fill with the meat, slaw, hot sauce, and then dip in the Mexican-style consommé, kind of like a French dip.

Andrew Zimmer

The space is super casual, with a ton of bar space and this pretty amazing ceiling mural.

Andrew Zimmer

And the bar has some seriously good craft beer options, like Avery "Ellie's" brown ale, to go along with Tecates and Pacificos, as well as top-notch cocktails that include FIVE different margaritas, highballs like the mezcal & tonic, and a series of micheladas -- several of which are designed by chefs like Andy Ricker of Pok Pok and Andrew Zimmern, who did this El Chambovaca (chipotle-spiked tomato juice, beef broth, Dulce Vida 100 Reposado, and Tecate).

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Andrew Zimmer is Thrillist's NY Editor. He is not Andrew Zimmern, although he met him once and thinks he's a pretty good dude. Also, shoutout to Andrew Zimmerman in Chicago. Follow Andrew Zimmer on Twitter and Instagram.

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1. Empellón Al Pastor 132 Saint Marks Pl, New York, NY 10009 (East Village)

Alex Stupak’s East Village Mexican is all the proof you need that New York knows its tacos. Across the street from Tompkins Square Park, the counter-order spot is more laid-back that Stupak's other Empellon ventures thanks to its simple focus on tacos, margaritas, and Micheladas. The menu keeps things simple: there are tacos (the eponymous al pastor is a must), chicken wings, nachos, and guacamole. The crowd is cool and casual, especially on Friday and Saturday nights when Empellon is open until 2am -- consider your late-night taco cravings fulfilled.

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