There’s a new joint in town that’s right up my alley. I went in to try the food at Tres Carnes, and loved it.
If you’ve seen any of my food writing, you may have noticed that as The Improvising Chef, my goal – yes, my tagline – is “Making Healthy Food Tasty.”
Trés Carnes, a new place on the southeast corner of 22nd st and 6th Ave in NYC, does exactly that.
Although Trés Carnes appears similar to the Chipotle Restaurant chain in concept – both are customer-driven steam-table operations – the difference is that Trés Carnes’ smoked meat is totally amazing. Crazy tasty!
Like Chipotle, the options include burritos, wraps and bowls as delivery modes. The principal sides are also rice and beans, uniquely and distinctively seasoned with a Trés Carnes identity. The decor is Nuevo Southwest hip, with windows that open to counter height bringing an al fresco ambience to the decor, with southwestern wrought-iron and Western lettering. There are some items of Mexican street vendor variety available as fillings:
- Street-cart Esquites
- Smoky lime mayo,
- cilantro, cotija, crema
- Roasted chipotle Squash (v)
- Roasted with red onions, honey & garlic
- SMASHED & SMOKY GUAC
As a chronically veggie-maximizing foodhist wacko, my preference is always to see more vegetables of greater variety on any menu. If there were smoked eggplant, or some kind of habanero mango coleslaw, or stuffed jalapenos, I’d add em in a heartbeat. It would be nice to see piles of shredded lettuce, jicama with lime, or shredded raw cabbage available to increase the micronutrient composition, fiber and water content of the wrap, burrito or bowl… maybe co-owner Sasha Shor (who I had the pleasure to meet when I was there) will hear my plea and add some more veggies to the offerings…:)
To those who want to eat healthy, but don’t want to abandon great taste, Trés Carnes is a fantastic option. There’s something primal and satisfying about the taste of slow smoke cooking… and their smoker is on premises, right in view as you order. Satisfying the craving for genuine barbecue (which is smoke cooking - not backyard grilling) in New York usually means a trip to Daisy May’s, Virgil’s, Brother Jimmy’s, Hill Country, Smoke, Sylvia’s, Dinosaur or some other favorite location and a commitment to fifteen hundred calories of hog fat, brown sugar and molasses. At Trés Carnes, the aficionado can have that experience in the context of a healthy, relatively light meal.
More veggies please! But gimme that hog! The brisket is killing too.
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