As winter stretches on, Gothamist continues to explore indoor take-out food options. A favorite of ours is Pampano Taqueria, located on the ground floor of a midtown east office building that bears the far-too-grand name of Crystal Pavilion. Yes, it’s a food court—all too similar to the culinary wastelands you find in suburbia. But the tacos here are unlike anything you’d get in a mall. This outpost of the restaurant Pampano (on East 49th Street) was opened by chef Richard Sandoval, who wanted to create his own version of an authentic Mexican taco stand.

The tastiest offerings are the chicken and flank steak tacos. Served on corn or flour tortillas, and seasoned with your choice of salsas (mild, medium or spicy), they're a bargain at $2.50 each, or 3 for $8.95 (including rice, beans and a soda). Also don’t miss the chips, which are homemade of course and hit just the right balance of crunchy and greasy. Pampano Taqueria is open only from 11 to 3, Monday through Friday. The atmosphere is lacking--why do all food courts have fluorescent lighting and an industrial feel? But it’s no worse than your office cube and a nice lunch option in midtown.

Pampano Taqueria
Crystal Pavilion Food Court
850 Third Avenue
Between 49th and 50th
Tel: 212-751-5257