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Bronx Mexican Legend Carnitas El Atoradero Gets the Boot After Rise to Fame

Owner Denisse Lina Chavez is considering a Smorgasburg stand.


Last fall, it seemed that every food writer from in NYC was following a mole trail to Carnitas El Atoradero, a small restaurant where Denisse Lina Chavez was cooking stellar carnitas, mole poblano, and other traditional Mexican dishes with ingredients she risked abduction for. Unfortunately, the acclaim backfired when Chavez's lease came up for renewal recently. She tells Eater that her landlord, having heard of the publicity, doubled her rent, forcing her to leave the restaurant behind last month, after two years.

Fortunately, Chavez still has two years on the lease of her bodega, El Atoradero, next door, where she started her business. She's using the time to look for a new space for the restaurant, possibly in Manhattan or Brooklyn she tells Eater. She's also applying for a booth at Smorgasburg and considering a food truck. For those who simply can't wait for the second coming of El Atoradero, Chavez is making carnitas at the bodega on some weekends for those who place special orders in advance.

As for the old space, it's now occupied by another Mexican restaurant, but still sports the sign for Carnitas El Atoradero — though Chavez says the sign should be coming down soon.

El Atoradera

800 E 149th St, Bronx, NY 10455 (718) 292-7949