One of my nearest and dearest friends was in town for the afternoon, so we decided to grab brunch at Mercadito in the East Village neighborhood of New York. My friend and I go way back, and I’m pretty sure it’s our love of food that has kept us so close for so long. We ate our way through Europe and the way we remember places is literally by what we ate and where we ate it. Nedless to say, the food came first when we were picking a place to eat.

Mercadito may become my new go-to lunch place, as it’s small and charming and the food is absolutely knock out. I got the burrito pastor, which was a flour tortilla filled with black bean hash, nappa cabbage, rice, pico de gallo, chihuahua and oaxaca cheeses, and a filling of chile ancho rubbed pork, grilled pineapple, and chile de arbol salsa. It was literally heavenly — although burritos are usually pretty heavy and intense, this one was light but filling, with a medley of flavors that was robust and zingy, but again without becoming cumbersome. The burrito was also served with a bit of salad topped with a chipolte-balsamic vinaigrette that hit all the right notes. The burrito was $9.50, and when paired with a $6 margarita, you know, I think we just might be on to something.

Like I said, the space is super small, so this might be better for a small group or a one-on-one type situation. It was a gorgeous summer day when we ate there, so the front windows were all open, and we enjoyed al fresco dining.

The lunch menu is super affordable, and has a nice selection. But don’t worry, dinner is reasonably priced as well.

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