Ridgewood is saturated with authentic, Mexican restaurants if you know where to look. It is actually hard to narrow it down to just one favorite in the area. I have been to New Mexico Place on Seneca Avenue several times, but today I decided to write about it.
New Mexico blends in with the rest of the old bodegas, mom and pop shops, and newly opened restaurants on this vibrant street, it’s main sign of existence being the large, hanging flag. As you step through the doors, it has a dive-y atmosphere, but it is normally not crowded in the weekdays. There is a jukebox near the door, and I imagine a scene where it would play loud music at night where it could possibly be more crowded.
No sooner do I seat myself facing the tv, one of the employees comes over and greets me with a friendly hello and a menu. I used to get the platters, but I have been keeping it simple recently. The small foods such as tacos will fill you up easily. But today I had chalupas. To be honest, I have been curious to see how a real Mexican chalupa is different than a Taco Bell chalupa. If you are unfamiliar with Mexican food beyond tacos and burritos, I would suggest you try some familiar names in order to get your feet wet.
The chalupa originates from southern Mexico. It is made out of thin masa dough and fried until crispy. As usual, I ordered steak for my chalupa, and at New Mexico Place, the red sauce is spicier than the green, so I always get that. The price was right on this one because I got four chalupas with one beer for nine dollars.
Not only does New Mexico Place serve up some of the best Mexican food in New York City, it is also friendly to your wallet. And depending on when you come, the experience is either relaxing or vibrant and fun.