MIDTOWN EAST — Tres Carnes is bringing its "Texican" barbecue-stuffed burritos, tacos and bowls to Midtown East and the Financial District.
The barbecue spot — which offers smoked brisket, pork shoulder, chicken and a rotation of other specialty smoked meats — became a runaway hit with the lunch crowd after it opened last April on Sixth Avenue in Chelsea.
"Barbecue has been pretty huge as of late — it's had a big resurgence and there's an upbeat momentum behind it," said Tres Carnes executive chef Sasha Shor. "People have been craving that kind of food for a long time."
The 1,400-square-foot Financial District location at 101 Maiden Lane will open in mid-January, a spokeswoman said. In March, a 1,200-square-foot spot will open to serve the Midtown East lunch crowd at 954 Third Ave.
With lines out the door daily, Tres Carnes specializes in quick, hearty lunches made from fresh, homemade ingredients. Each of the dry-rubbed meats is smoked in-house, low and slow at 180 degrees. Every salsa, sauce and roasted vegetable is made on-site.
While Tres Carnes focuses on its three meats, its rotating weekly special has helped draw attention to lesser-known cuts and meats that are popular in Texas, including beef cheeks, bison, venison and goat. They even served smoked portobello mushrooms for one not-so-meaty week.
"We want to keep things interesting, and people will try different things when they're smoked — it makes it more accessible in the flavor profile," said Shor, who was influenced by Texas Hill Country barbecue joints like The Salt Lick and Black's.
Along with the meats, the spot specializes in micheladas, Mexican beers on the rocks with chipotle puree, along with sweet churro doughnuts for desert.
Shor, who is also one of the owners, said she chose the neighborhoods of the two new locations in an attempt to bring what she called "accessible authenticity" to places where a lot of the options for lunch are chain restaurants.
"It's the same places over and over and over — we're trying to focus on these areas so people can get an awesome lunch," she said.
The burgeoning Texican empire has not yet ruled out expanding to other neighborhoods as well.
"You don't have a lot of access to outdoor areas and outdoor grills around here," she said. "So to be able to run in quickly and get something traditionally smoked, like a 16-hour brisket, is awesome."