For amigos in New York, now that the weather is getting warmer


A few years ago, an old friend, Jorge Loaeza, a Mexican living in New York, got together with me alongside his son, Jordi, who was about to finish high school. He was interested in talking to me as an example of a person who had never studied at university and didn't go on to make an absolute mess of his life. (I always tell people I took a year off between high school and college -- and am still on it.)

I told both Loaezas that I considered myself lucky because at certain key junctures I encountered people who were willing to take a chance on me. They were more interested in my ability to do a job than in any educational credentials. While I don't recommend my path to anyone else, the fact was that Jordi wanted to become a chef. And for the life of me I can't see the point of school for a chef. It may sound good in a feature article in the food section of the newspaper that a chef studied at the Culinary Institute of America. But in the real world, that diploma and $2.50 will get you on the subway. For a chef, the only school is working in the kitchen of a restaurant. There is no way to learn but the hard way.

When he finished high school Jordi went to work at Tom Colicchio's restaurant Riverpark. But his ambition was to open his own business, which he did with Jorge. It's a food truck called México Blvd. that purports to bring some of the flavors of Mexico City to various New York neighborhoods at the lunch and dinner hours.

I seldom eat Mexican food when I travel because I'm surrounded by it at home. But on a swing through New York last autumn, I stopped by México Blvd. on the day of the week they are downtown in the financial district. I had a taco al pastor and a taco in adobo. I told Jorge and Jordi something I can seldom say when I eat Mexican food in other countries -- it was like comiendo en casa.

In addition to various pork, beef and chicken options, for the benighted North American palate, México Blvd. also offers vegetarian and gluten-free choices. The bean and potato flautas were a great relief to the friend who accompanied me, who has recently sworn off meat. Here's a link to the menu.

And click here for Mexico Blvd.'s weekly schedule.