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New York, NY 10010
Tres Carnes is Chipotle's darker, tattooed, handlebar-mustachioed little brother. The scent of smoldering hard wood is what you’ll notice first. Then, the cement walls inked with Day of the Dead–ish images. At the counter, you’ll go through the fast-casual drill: Pick your vehicle (burrito, bowl, or pair of tacos); load it up with rice, beans, and the meat of your choosing; and then unleash an avalanche of toppings. Proceed to your reclaimed wood table and chow down. The difference at the aptly named Tres Carnes is in the choices of meat, all of which are smoked Texas style. Barbecue brisket, adobo chicken, and pork shoulder each have solid smoky flavor, but can come off the steam table dry, cold, or both. Not to worry: For $1, you can pile on fresh guacamole and cooked corn, but skip the oily muck labeled chipotle squash. Ask the friendly staffers behind the counter to pour on the salsas, all four of which are delightful, but one of which, the Tres Fuegos Diablo, may singe your esophagus. Wash the whole mess down with a Michelada. And if you can take in one more bite, you may as well taste the churro-style, dulce de leche–stuffed doughnut procured from La Newyorkina. — Edna Ishayik
Smoked brisket in any format, $9.50
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