We’ve asserted numerous times that New York’s multi-ethnic food scene is entirely unparalleled — and that’s in no way limited to restaurants. There are countless grocery stores around the city that make internationally inspired cooking a breeze; think Middle Eastern goods at Kalustyan, Spanish fare at Despaña, Italian items at Eataly, and Chinese ingredients at, well, every other shop in Chinatown & Bath Beach, Brooklyn. And while there’s certainly no shortage of places to find chiles and masa harina, Miscelanea is a welcome, Mexican addition to the East Village, a specialty food and concept store carrying everything from jarred huitlachoche (savory corn fungus) to candles made of Mexican tobacco and copies of “Revista HojaSanta” — a high-end culinary magazine.
So while the name directly translates to “deli,” Miscelanea has way more in common with boutique retailers, like Dean & DeLuca and Bklyn Larder than it does your corner bodega. And that’s because owner Guillaume Guevara has made a concerted effort to represent authentic, contemporary Mexico. In contrast to the hyper-colored, nacho and margarita-serving cantinas bedecked with oversized sombreros, carnival masks, and painted bull skulls, still so prevalent in New York.
Instead of dented cans of black beans and hominy, expect to find sundries such as Casa Posta plum marmalade, Beepure avocado honey, and Xilli mole; a $14 jar of pounded chiles, nuts, spices and chocolate. And instead of a makeshift counter peddling neon-tinted Jarritos and floppy tacos (not that there’s anything wrong with that), Miscelanea also functions as a refined cafe and coffee bar, with beans imported from Chiapas and roasted in Red Hook, creamy Horchatas, housemade watermelon-basil, pineapple-cilantro, and hibiscus-clove Agua Frescas, and a variety of sandwiches, salads and snacks. Think puffy rolls piled with Carnitas and pickled vegetables, Esquites spiked with lime and studded with queso fresco, and refreshing paletas, courtesy of La Newyorkina.
So as you can see, it’s definitely not just our eateries that offer a trip around the world on a plate, but also New York’s growing number of fantastic, global markets — providing a true taste of far-flung places, expressed through the contents of a grocery bag.