Taco time! Empellon Al Pastor opens; Cafe el Presidente hosts taco tour

While most of us associate tacos with summer, they are actually having a serious moment in New York City right now.

Alex Stupak just opened this weekend his long-awaited and highly publicized taqueria, Empellon Al Pastor (132 St. Mark’s Place, empellon.com). In a casual setting, the chef known for holding Mexican cuisine to a higher art form than is normally afforded to it, is serving mostly al pastor tacos and variations on the Michelada.

And at the recently opened Cafe el Presidente (30 W. 24th St., cafeelpresidente.com), the Tacombi-run spot is, starting today, hosting a two week taco tour, in collaboration with the publishing of “Mexico: the Cookbook.” Each day from Oct. 20 – Nov. 2, a different taco from a different state in Mexico will be featured. Menu highlights include: Papas en Pipian Verde (Distrito Federal/ Mexico City), Pescado al Pastor (Oaxaca) and Barbacoa de Puerco (Puebla).

At Empellon, guest chef’s created a couple of the Micheladas. Stupak’s former employer Wyle Dufresne (WD-50, Alder) create the Michelote, made with corn powder, malta goya, ponzu and Negra Modelo and Andy Ricker (Pok Pok) created the Green Beer “Bia Sii Khiaw,” with tomatillo juice, naam jiim, nori salt and Tecate.

It’s getting cold outside, but things are heating up in the taco scene. See you there!