Mexican empire

When Antonio Vilchis opened Mexicocina in a tiny spot on E. 149th St. in 2008, his goal was just to make a living, he says. But the blend of brightly colored decor and south-central Mexican food proved to be so successful, that Vilchis and his business partner Ismael Gonzales now run two restaurants in the South Bronx, both bigger than the now-shuttered original.
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A Mexican Feast in the
    South Bronx

FROM the outside it looks like an ordinary meatball, swarthy and sizzling. In the ground beef are the faint crunch of rice, a strafing of mint, ghost trails of cumin and oregano. Then, surprise: a secret chamber filled with the yolk of a hard-boiled egg, bright yellow and just starting to deliquesce. It is the gangster movie cliché, a big lug with a heart of gold.
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