Miss this hole in the wall like a hole in my heart. Walking into Tacombi (267 Elizabeth St.) at Fonda Nolita was my idea of walking into forbidden Habana. There is no door- walk straight off the street in an open space, simply dressed in stringed lights with naked bulbs, creeky folded metal chairs and potted palm trees seated next to blindingly white tile counter tops with splashes of color from glass candy-colored soda bottles and painted on scrawl announcing agua fresca and paletas (popsicles).
Known for their tacos, uniformly white dressed cooks housed in a small, metal mobile kitchen speedily serve taco twins stuffed with chicken, dressed in corn and tamarindo sauce or crispy beer-battered shrimp smeared with chipotle mayo. El campeón– the breakfast taco made of eggs, chorizo and avocado.
The horchata sat pleasingly full and milky white in a giant glass jar on the tiled counter, like a sweating Humpty Dumpty. This lightly sweetened elixir of coconut and rice milks, cinnamon and sugar was the perfect chaser to spicy tacos.
With the bustle of foot traffic from a hot New York City day outside, lounging inside Tacombi was a pleasant ( and delicious) day dream. As our waiter said, Tacombi is “too legit to quit.”