Choza Taqueria
66 Madison Ave
New York, NY 10016

{Google Maps | Website}

Choza Taqueria‘s Madison Avenue location is a spin-off, of sorts from its original location in the new Open Air Cafe – a family of restaurants located at 1 Centre Street in Foley Square (within feet of the Brooklyn Bridge and the Municipal Building), offering classic American (Lucky Buns), Italian (Sauced), Mexican (Choza) and specialty delights (The Pantry) with a gourmet twist.

I think open air, and I think warm weather. Moving into the cooler months, I’m happy that I will be able to continue to get the classic, authentic Mexican food served at Choza Taqueria, but indoors. Choza offers classic Mexican favorites like tacos, and salads with burritos on hand for a little Americanization. The menu, and the way it works is similar to the Chipotle model, but with better food – MUCH better food.

They offer the same meats – chicken, pork, and steak (or veggie) in the same mediums – taco, burrito, bowl, or salad, but also have daily specials including a daily tamale, and the toppings are much more creative. Last week, I tried one of each taco – chicken, steak, pork, & veggie, plus their special chicken taco of the day, grilled corn, Mexican style (with mayo, cheese, and hot pepper), a tamale, and chips with some of their homemade guacamole. Never before have I had sliced carrots in salsa fresca, but on my chicken taco it worked – wonderfully. The tortillas are made fresh, the cilantro chopped fresh. The biggest difference between Choza and a place like Chipotle was the freshness. I always feel dirty and a bad fullness after eating Chipotle. But after my meal at Choza I felt fine – satisfied, and full in a good way…a very good way.

For more information about Choza and the rest of the Open Air Cafe, visit www.openaircafenyc.com.

And for more photos, click the slide show below. Expand for full captions.
http://www.flickr.com/apps/slideshow/show.swf?v=71649

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