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89th And Broke

I'm a young professional living in Astoria (formerly of Williamsburg, the UES and Murray Hill - I move a lot!). I'm always looking for something fun to do or the best place to grab a drink and dinner at an affordable price around the city. Have a suggestion? Email me at Laura AT 89thandbroke DOT com.

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Paquito’s – Where the Sauces are Watery

A couple weeks ago, our friend Doug commented on our blog in regards to our post on Taco Taco:

I still cannot believe Blockheads is your ceiling for Mexican food. I think Mexican food is like pizza – the quality of it is inversely related to the price. As the price / fanciness of it goes up, the quality of it deteriorates because they try too hard and it just isn’t good.

I want my Mexican food to be a greasy mess, and less than $5. That’s the good stuff. You can get delicious nachos, guac, burritos, etc for a cheap price, so what are you trying to find at these fancy Mexican places? It is like bidding against yourself in an auction.

As a result, I headed over to Paquito’s Restaurant on Third Avenue between 16th and 17th, knowing that the restaurant was cheap and in search of “the good stuff”.

We headed into the restaurant and ordered guacamole and chips to start($5.50), followed by the Asada burrito with beef, rice, beans, cheese, sour cream and guacamole ($6.75) to share since we weren’t too hungry .  Between the chips, two Snapples and one burrito, the total came to $16.  Cheap enough for you, Doug?

When we picked up our tray of guac and salsa at the counter, it was not too appetizing.  The guac looked extremely watery, almost like a bowl of guac was in the sink and someone accidentally turned the faucet on.  I passed on the salsa since it was watery too, and I like my salsa chunky, almost like pico de gallo.  Despite the guac not looking great, it was addicting and I found myself coming back to it, even if it didn’t look the best.

We split the burrito and it was enough to fill us up.  The burrito was good, but it wasn’t memorable or anything.  However, I liked that we had a choice of black or red beans in the burrito, and the pico de gallo and lettuce on the side was a nice touch.  It was refreshing to mix the two with the burrito.  While I do not come close to eating sour cream and ours was ordered on the side, it looked really strange.  Like the salsa and guac, this too was watery and looked like liquid white out dumped into a container.  I’m not sure if they were having condiment issues or what but it definitely was strange.

Overall, I’d recommend takeout from Paquito’s because it is cheap and the food was good.  While it might not be the go-to Mexican spot, it’s definitely something to add to the takeout rotation.  My reason for suggesting takeout only is because there is absolutely no atmosphere to this place – it is a little store front so it’s somewhere you would avoid taking a group of friends, your parents when they come into town, or a first date (or the first 50 date).  But if you are looking to eat somewhere quick and cheap, Paquito’s hits the spot.

The Basics
Name: Paquito’s
Location: 175 3rd Ave (between 16th and 17th)
Who to take: Alone, Someone who won’t judge you
Price: Does not make a dent in the wallet. $.
Overall: Lacking atmosphere but decent food.  3 stars.

Paquito's Restaurant on Urbanspoon

2 comments to Paquito’s – Where the Sauces are Watery

  • Caryn

    Laura, get out of my head. I too went to a slightly sketchy and very cheap Mexican place this weekend in honor of Doug. Photos and blog post to come…

  • Doug

    Those pictures definitely look like a greasy mess – so terrific find Laura!

    Although I’m surprised you had to pay for the chips and salsa (a lot of places have it free) that burrito looks gigantic for a small price. I also love how they put all those fixens on the side, because with any Mexican dish, there is bound to be some meat and filling spillage, so then it can be mixed into the sides for a nice little side salad.

    Caryn, I’m looking forward to reading your post too – we can never have too much information on the nachos, salsa and other Mexican options in this city.

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