Wookiee Hut Cuisine presents:
The Original Fresco Tortillas
536 Ninth Avenue, New York, NY

Review by SuSu, MaceVindaloo

At one time, 9th Avenue in midtown was called Hell's Kitchen, a name derived from the smokestacks in the brickyards of yore. During New York City's clean-up of Manhattan neighborhoods, the name of this neighborhood was changed to Clinton, but really, isn't Hell's Kitchen more fun a name?

We came here in search of Mexican food, simply because our usual preferred places in Alphabet City were too inaccessible for us on this particular day, so we decided to look for a place closer to our midtown locale. We remember a time when this sketchy neighborhood under the Port Authority overpasses housed the people who worked in Manhattan's restaurant kitchens, which meant workers from Mexico, and the places they went to before and after their shifts were located here.

But Hell's Kitchen is becoming swankier and new apartment highrises occupied by young professionals who don't want to live in Battery Park downtown. Would they patronize a Mexican grocery that sells huitlachotche quesadillas in the back? Or authentic Oaxacan burritos that are not like the ones made famous in San Francisco (a common complaint by those who have lived out west)? What did we find? A "fresh tortilla" take-out place, run by Chinese, similar to Happy Fresh Tortilla Grill where tortillas are pressed and grilled to order. Notice the jade-colored pot shaped like an elephant and housing a bamboo plant in the corner!

There are featured items on the display menu above the counter, with pictures of the food. However, there is a laminated menu for you to look over with many more items and prices.

We were in a hurry, so opted to get only the tortillas carbone — steak, topped with guacamole. They were $2.25 each, so they were certainly cheap enough. Like the Cantonese at the other place, they cooked the meat better so it wasn't dry, though the tortilla reminded us more of mooshu pancakes than tortillas. They were good nonetheless, and cheap enough.

Alas, they were cheap enough for panhandlers to come in and try to cadge some cash to buy a meal here, too. We ignored them and left.

Disclaimer: The opinions and observations noted are the property of the author. Neither Wookieehut nor any associates makes any claims or lucre from the posting of this report or review. This webpage is presented by Wookieehut.com. Enjoy!