Tio PepeArrrriba! Sorry, I have to start all my horrendous Spanish/Mexican reviews with some trite Spanish cliché. It’s a problem, and I’ll work on it (look for my toned-down, culturally-neutral Chili’s review in the next couple months.) Tio Pepe certainly deserves its own Spanish exclamation, but we’re not sure if that would be a Mexican exclamation (Chingate tu madre, cabron!) or more of a European Spanish exclamation (Hazme una cubana!) Either way we enjoyed the mixed menu of burritos and paella. Speaking of paella, I ordered it, and it was pretty rockin’. There was so much of it, I ended up almost asking for a doggy bag, but I figured a bunch of mussels, clams and Spanish rice in a bag on subway might be somewhat disturbing for both the other patrons and our little rodent friends. The decor inside is like Mexico meets the inquisition, complete with hanging lanterns, iron weapons lining the walls and heavy oak furniture. It’s actually quite unexpected given the fast food looking sign outside (see the pretty yellow thing in the picture?) Throw in a couple Negra Modelos and good company and this place is quite a pleasant surprise. [MF]

168 W 4th St.