Not content with being the second least atrocious $1 slice spot in the East Village, Joey Pepperoni has gotten into the taco game and is now operating a taco stand within a pizza joint named Joey Guacamole.
Don’t get it twisted: the tacos are not $1. They’re $4.99 a pair, BUT you can get them topped with mozzarella. Which is crazy exotic for a taco. (The logo on the flyer describes Joey as “Authentic Mexican” while the logo in the restaurant describes it as “Authentic N.Y. Style.” Who knows.)
It was with high hopes morbid curiosity that we hit Seamless last week and ordered a fish taco and a barbacoa burrito. Within minutes, we got a call (from Joey Guacamole? Joey Pepperoni? we’ll never know) informing us that despite the nine fillings listed on the menu, only steak, chicken and chorizo were available.
And Joey Guac wasn’t just having an off day – when we actually paid a visit to the place a week later, they had just two options. But here’s the real shocker: Joey Guacamole does not serve guacamole. (What’s listed as guacamole on the menu is really just salsa verde.) It does, however, sell stale donuts.
But whatever. Let’s talk about the tacos.
First things first, the chorizo tacos are probably the way to go here: the electric-red ground chorizo isn’t too greasy and is adorned with only cilantro and onions (no fancy stuff like the often-seen scrambled eggs or potatoes). And the splotch of melted cheddar cheese is sure to please lovers of Taco Bell (sorry, no cotija here).
Most everything else – and especially the chicken – is blander than Mumford & Sons. The torta consists of your choice of filling with limp lettuce and tomato, on a stale deli roll. And the giant burrito we ordered was packed with dry rice and beans and paltry bits of tasteless, rubbery steak.
So is this the “Best Mexican Outside Mexico!!!”, as the menu claims? Not quite. Is the logo completely offensive? We’re not going there. But we’ll say this much: the place’s tagline, “Ay-ay-ay,” is just about right.
Joey Guacamole Taco, 222 First Ave., nr. East 13th St.; (212) 466-4646