It all began with a heartfelt, stomach-led desire, and a simple (yet brilliant) idea.
Fernando Ruiz, who grew up eating tacos in the open markets of the Port of Veracruz, Mexico, wanted to change the popular notion that “you can’t find good Mexican food in New York City.”
After an intense brainstorming session with his cousin in Mexico, Ruiz concluded that what Mexican restaurants in New York City lacked was very simple: GOOD TORTILLAS.
An entrepreneur by nature, Ruiz decided that it was time for New York City to have an authentic tortilleria. And not just any tortillería, but one using real corn instead of processed corn flour. He proposed the idea to his girlfriend Shauna, who accepted it enthusiastically. And so started the journey that led to the birth of Tortilleria Nixtamal.
We ascribe to the philosophy that the purpose of the tortilla, as well as the masa used for tamales and other products, is to enhance the flavor of the food, not to merely hold the food together.
Our Food Philosophy.
Tortilleria Nixtamal believes in preserving the healthiness of all-natural foods. We do this by hand-making our cuisine, as we do our tortillas, using only the most natural and nutritious ingredients, while also maintaining simplicity in our dishes so not to overwhelm the natural flavors with unnecessary toppings and sides.
As a result, the healthy nixtamal products are complemented by appropriately portioned fillings (e.g. one order of 3 taco tends to yield about 300 calories), and toppings that dress the fillings in the manner you would find in Mexico.
As a result of these intentions, we adhere to the following:
♦ We use 100% corn that is non-genetically modified and non-transgenic.
♦ Our white corn comes from a family run farm, Rovey Seed Farm Company, located in Illinois who applies sustainable kosher-certified practices along with an unprecedent process for selecting the best quality corn for nixtamal production.
♦ Our produce comes direct from Mexico via a locally-owned distributor – Abarrotera Central and Reyes Produce Corporation- to ensure we are using the most authentic tastes of Mexico (we are also looking to partner with local growers where it makes sense)
♦ Our meat is purchased daily from our local butcher – Franco’s Restaurant and Butcher shop Queens, NY- who carefully prepares our meats to provide the best quality and healthy cuts.
♦ Our fish bought fresh and direct from Blue Ribbon Fish Co. in the Fulton Fish Market.
♦ Our cheese is purchased from a local producer of Mexican cheeses – Quesos Azteca Linda.
♦ We make our own salsas from fresh vegetables and natural seasonings (no canned foods or packaged herbs that contain unnatural preservatives and sodium).
♦ It is common for Mexican cooking to use lard to flavor their foods. As such, Tortilleria Nixtamal uses only naturally rendered lard versus the highly-processes lard (the white and less expensive stuff) as the former naturally breaks down as it is used by the body.
♦ We use natural corn-oil with no hydrogenated fats.
♦ We do not over-stuff your tortillas; this way your mouth experiences a balanced burst of true authentic flavor in every bite.
♦ We flavor our meats and use simple toppings such as cilantro, onions and salsas allowing you to taste the meat, rather than the toppings.
♦ Most importantly, we prepare every dish with love and passion for the nutrition and satisfaction it will bring to each of our customers.