[yiddish] To eat like an animal, i.e., quickly, noisily, and in great quantity.

Monday, June 8, 2009

There's another Mexican-deli-thats-also-a-taqueria in town: meet La Rosita

After picking up some baked goods at the Sullivan St bakery, we wanted a cold beverage and went across the street to a deli called La Rosita to pick one up. To my most delighted surprise in the back of this nondescript deli was a window selling Mexican food, a la Tehuitzingo.

The menu includes breakfast items, tacos, burritos, fajitas, quesadillas, tortas, and some main dish meat/chicken/fish platters. Prices are what you would expect to see in Jackson Heights; this was the first time I had seen a taco in Manhattan for exactly $2. (Over at Tehuitzingo a few blocks over tacos run from $2.50- $2.75)

I ordered a chorizo taco to assess the quality of their tiny kitchen. It was the double tortilla savory taco that you would hope to receive, with ample meat, fresh radish, cilantro, onion, with a lime and hot sauce on the side. And they did not skimp on the meat.

I had to return the next day to feel out the rest of the food there.

For $3 the breakfast burrito is an excellent option in the morning, though they serve it all day.

It comes with cheese, egg, onion, and your choice of meat- the sausage was a few steps up from the typical breakfast sausage patty found at most delis and I bet they would substitute any of the other non-breakfast meats on their menu.

Their sope might be the best deal of the house. A huge crispy tortilla is piled with meat (I chose shredded chicken, which aside from a few pieces of fat was delectable), lettuce, onion, radish, and topped with cotija cheese. I could not finish it all in one sitting. At $2.50 that is as cheap as it gets.

Another chicken dish was also quite successful. The chicken fajita was expertly stuffed with oozy cheese, onion, and tomato. The chicken was blackened to perfection.

Though not on the menu, I ordered a taco al pastor, and it was good but not as good as the chorizo taco and did not include any pineapple.

The one big fail was the chicharron con salsa verde taco. I was expected crispy skin but it felt more like warm raw pig skin. I threw the meat out and just ate the taco with the rice and fixings.

I also got a side order of freshly made guacamole. It was a full coffee cup and well worth the $3.00 (though listed on the menu as $1.50)

They offer occasional specials of tamales, pancita de res, and pozole.

La Rosita sells the expected Mexican deli fare: avocado, cheese, eggs, canned chipotle peppers, candy, beans, spicy chips, Goya
seasonings, juices, beer, etc. I was particularly intrigued by the 32 oz Blue Moon, I haven't seen that anywhere else.
I also bought a bag of Kranky on a whim, which ended up being awesome- chocolate malt covered rice krispies, a perfect snack or ice cream topping.

While you wait for the food (it can take a while) you can page through the People en Espanol magazines located under one of the potato chip displays.

The deli has been offering food for over 10 years. They have a generous delivery area (basically 33rd st to 60th st between 5th ave and 12th) and no minimum delivery amount.

526 W 47th St

212 -397 -1137
718- 578- 5811
718- 578 -5679


  1. Thanks for the post! What a great find.

  2. what is the phone # for la rosita im hungry for tacos y tacos

  3. Good call, I just posted the phone numbers listed on the menu

  4. nice job J. Looks great, loved the rice krispy's

  5. What a great tip. I'm very excited to try it. Is there a picture of the al pastor? In my opinion the lack of pineapple isn't a "fail," but a... succeed? Pass? Whatever the opposite of fail is.

    I hold Mexican chicharonnes up as an example that authentic isn't always better. I'm not a huge fan either. Thanks for this!

  6. We truly need more posts like this. Thank you for exposing this hidden taqueria. I get frustrated at the lack of good cheap tacos in Midtown. When will the masses realize it's so much better than Halal.

    Anyway, enough ranting... I posted this on my daily blurb today

    BTW... not sure if you know but I found you on NYTIMES... Good going! Keep up the good work.

  7. Thanks so much for your post! We just ordered everything you discussed and LOVED the chorizo taco and guacamole. Great salsas too. The chicken fajita for us was unfortunately not so tantalizing, as it included processed yellow cheese (with consitency/taste of Velveeta)... maybe this was a one-off and not the usual. We also ordered a carne asada taco, and the meat was pretty chewy. Overall however, I think La Rosita is a great deal, with lots of tasty bites to choose from. Thanks for the new discovery!

  8. that place is nice! I visit Guatemala three year ago. I ate in "EL CHINO MEXICANO", this is a great place, with a combination of culture and food, chinese and mexican!

  9. Why don't they have a menu online?

  10. why is the number always disconnected?

  11. This place is incredible!! They are actually now called Guelaguetza -- same great food, same great chef, same great prices. The chef bought the guy out that owned the deli called "La Rosita". Their phone number is 212.265.2626