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  • 10/18-10/20: Austin
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Mexican feast at Burger One

  • Cuisine: Mexican
  • Atmosphere: counter-service and/or take-away, small
  • Attire: casual
  • Ideal for: cheap eats, quick bites, authentic Mexican offerings
  • Must try: Tacos
  • Price: I had 2 tacos, rice and beans for $7.50
  • Reservations: n/a
  • Phone: (212) 737-0095
  • Location: 1150 Lexington Avenue, (between 79th & 80th Streets
It was only 6pm and my committee meeting didn't start for another hour.  Out of shear boredom, I plowed through a devilishly delicious sugar cone filled with a scoop of caramel ice cream from La Maison du Chocolat (which successfully killed about 10 minutes).  At approximately 6:10, I found myself one block away from my destination thinking, "what the hell am I going to do with myself for another forty minutes?"  And then poof!  There it was, the infamous "Burger One," known for its namesake sandwich…and taqueria menu. 
The restaurant (if you can even call it that…I think the word "counter" is much more suitable) is on the tiny side and only offers stool seating.  I quickly browsed the menu, inhaled a large whiff of the grease-laden air, and made eye contact with the waitress/cashier/woman-who-answers the phone.  "I'll take two beef tacos with rice and beans to-go, please," I said upon being prompted to place my order.  For a mere $7.50, not only did I get to watch my meal be prepared before my very eyes, I received enough food to easily feed two people.  I nearly gasped as the cook filled my tin takeaway container with heaping spoonful after spoonful of rice and beans. 
After grabbing some extra green salsa, I made my way over to the meeting venue.  6:30pm, at last!  I was looking forward to peacefully enjoying my Mexican feast in the minutes leading up to 7pm (the beauty of arriving to a meeting half an hour early).  The tin container that my meal was served in did a beautiful job of keeping its contents warm.  I was pleased by the site of whole pinto beans, as opposed to the typical slop of refried.  Unfortunately, the frijoles had a sour, almost metallic aftertaste, bringing me to the conclusion that they came from a can.  The long grain, flavorless rice was another disappointment.  It was obvious that a dash of tasteless, stale saffron was the only spice used…for coloring purposes only.  Luckily, not all of my meal was gnarly.  My beef tacos consisted of small strips of beef that were enveloped by not one, but two fresh corn tortillas.  Each taco was topped with chopped white onion, cilantro, and a green salsa that brought tears my eyes.  Aside from a few pieces of gristly meat and a hotter-than-shit salsa, I found the tacos to be pretty tasty and authentic.  Trust me, for $7.50, you definitely get your money's worth at Burger One.

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