The newest Tex-Mex outpost to arrive in New York is drawing rave reviews for its excellent barbecued meats and interesting twist on traditional Tex-Mex favorites. Sharing a block with fast food vendors such as McDonald’s, and even a rival Chipotle, Tres Carnes is quickly making a name for itself with its quality food and Josh Held-designed space. While the space has a simplistic vibe, the owners have spiced things up by commissioning a Brooklyn artist to paint murals on an interior cement wall.
Working with renowned pitmaster Michael Rodriguez, formerly of The Salt Lick, Tres Carnes holds to true to its name by offering three choices of meat: smoked brisket, adobo-lime chicken, and barbecued pork shoulder, as well a vegetarian option of mixed vegetables. Each item comes with a choice of rice, either arroz verde, with cilantro, poblano chilies, green onion, and lime; or mexican yellow rice with sweet red peppers, as well as either pinto or black beans. In addition to the rice and bean options, three fillings are available for $1 or 92 cents each: “street-cart esquites,” corn with lime mayo, cilantro, cheese, and sour cream, roasted chipotle squash, and guacamole. Each filling is also available as a side dish, while a choice of mild to extra-hot salsa is included with every meat or vegetable dish.
While the three meats take center stage here, there are two noteworthy drinks: the “agua fresca,” with cucumber, apple, and lime, and a fresh agave limeade, both of which are made in-house and served on ice. Also available are a variety of Mexican beer and sodas, as well as water. For those interested in dessert, Tres Carnes also offers a churro-doughnut that is filled with a caramel cream before being coated with smoked sugar and cinnamon.
Although quite similar to the nearby Chipotle, Tres Carnes offers a much more intriguing menu at roughly the same price. Each meat is perfectly cooked, with the barbecued pork tacos and adobo chicken “El Tres Bowl” ranking amongst the most popular choices. For a quality version of Tex-Mex cuisine at a great price, Tres Carnes is the place to go.
Address: 688 6th Ave (at 22nd)
Hours of Operation: Mon-Fri 8am-10pm; Sat, Sun 11:30am to 10pm