Park Row at Barclay St (City Hall Park)
City: New York, NY
Site: Visit the restaurant site
Area: City Hall
If the Aztecs had tasted the delicious tacos and tostadas from Tortilleria Nixtamal, they probably would have abandoned ritual sacrificing because they would have been too busy eating. New York City’s years-long wait for authentic, flavorful and fresh Mexican is finally sated with the arrival of Tortilleria Nixtamal, a clever little outpost of the Queens restaurant located in City Hall Park near the entrance to the Brooklyn Bridge.
Reasonable pricing, fresh, handmade family recipes, and friendly service makes this spot the perfect place for a quick lunch, dinner, or anytime snack, but there is more here than meets the eye. First, Tortilleria Nixtamal is dishing out a healthful version of traditional Mexican, not some mystery meat laden in overly spicy sauces. Nixtamal is actually an Aztec word that describes corn that has been partially cooked and treated with calcium hydroxide, also called cal or lime, in a process that increases its protein and vitamin content. That same age-old process, called nixtamalization, actually reduces mycotoxins and helps purify the body, a discovery made by Mesoamericans since before the fall of Tenochtitlan in 1521. Tortilleria Nixtamal employs these same processes to prepare its homemade, natural tortillas, giving them a nutritious edge over the competition and an unbelievably fresh taste that you won’t find anywhere else.
What had started as a venture to deliver an authentic, healthy version of the tacos he so adorned in the open-air markets of Puerto Vera Cruz, Mexico, Fernando Ruiz has since succeeded in serving up the best Mexican in New York City. Head downtown for this south-of-the-border treat that is all at once healthy, original, and a refreshing value while enjoying classic views of City Hall Park and the Brooklyn Bridge.
Review By: Joann Jovinelly