Oh No! Not Another NYC Food Blog!

Yes, yes it is. Mwahaha.

Category: Mexican

El Toro Taqueria

Hipster-style Mexican fare in Fort Greene.

What We Had

20140323-085751.jpg

My DH had the Carne Asada Burrito – which was great. Flavorful meat, good rice, great toppings.

I (shocker!) had 3 tacos – Steak & Kimchee, Carnitas Pork, and Chicken Mole – all three were fantastic in their own way. The steak & Kimchee was sweet and succulent with just a hint of heat; the carnitas was juicy and satisfying; and the chicken mole was complex and a little earthy.

The rice and beans were also great. Beans with a little bite left in them, rice with actual taste instead of dryness.

In subsequent visits, I’ve had pretty much all of the tacos – and while they are all good, the chilled shrimp is my least favorite. The DH pretty much sticks with the burrito each time we visit. We have also had the chips – and while store bought, they’re good. The salsa, not so much. Too watery. My DH also always orders the Mexican Coke.

Decor

Minimal with lots of woods.

Service

Counter.

Overall Impressions

This place is good – and we find ourselves eating here often.

Rating

4 out of 5 for well thought out combos and good meat.

Advertisements

Benny’s Burritos

San Francisco style Cal Mex in the village.

What We Had

20130630-224831.jpg

I had the Chicken Chipotle Tacos – 2 pulled chicken, tomatillo salsa and black bean tacos with a salsa fresco salad – Nicely seasoned, juicy chicken and good beans – too wet to eat as a traditional taco, but very tasty all the same.

20130630-224906.jpg

My DH had the Blackened Chicken Burrito – His was really nicely seasoned – the best burrito (outside of Moe’s) we’ve had in quite a long time. It hit the Moe’s button a fair amount, too, especially since the Moe’s up here are very hit and miss quality-wise.

I also had a Virgin Mango Margarita – Frozen and delicious on a hot afternoon.

And my DH had a Dos Equis on tap.

We also ordered chips and salsa, which was good and fresh.

Decor

20130630-224940.jpg

Old bar looking interior with minimal decor and lots of sun.

Service

Not the speediest service on the block.

Overall Impressions

A great find. The menu is huge and varied, the burritos punch the Moe’s button, and the tacos weren’t bad at all.

Rating

4 out of 5 for being better than expected, despite lackluster service.

Lobo

Tex Mex in Cobble Hill boasting the best Tex Mex & margaritas in NYC.

What We Had

20130419-072053.jpg

I had The Alamo – a chicken enchilada and a beef enchilada topped with tex-mex con carne & a bean & cheese chalupa — not bad. Decent beans & rice, well-seasoned chicken and beef. Cheesy but not overly so. Wanted more chili, but the amount was actually perfect for the dish, I just had a craving.

20130419-072133.jpg

My DH had Chimichangas – beef in flour tortilla, deep fried and topped with sour cream — nicely seasoned and not too greasy.

We also had stellar table chips and salsa.

Decor

20130419-072208.jpg

Great ‘oldies’ 70s/80s rock over the sound system.

Lots of cow hide, weathered wood and deep blues. Updated cowboy decor.

Service

Friendly and personable service.

Overall Impressions

Not a bad little place. I’m not sure about ‘best in NYC’, but it was decent and hit the spot.

Rating

3.75 out of 5 for pretty great food – no real complaints.

Murphy Gonzalez

Murphy Gonzalez Pub & Cocina

This is what happens when an Irish pub and Mexican restaurant meet and have a baby. Near NYU.

What We Had

My DH had the Burger with Bacon & Swiss on an English Muffin – Overcooked but still juicy and flavorful with really good bacon. Decent fries that were a potato not long ago.

20130330-080639.jpg

I had the Steak & Eggs – Overcooked but flavorful and tender. Eggs were overcooked as well, but still tasty. Potato side was decent; surprise fruit side was great.

Decor

20130330-080846.jpg

More Irish pub than Mexican restaurant. Sports on the flat screens, open and spacious dining area.

Service

Friendly service – appropriately attentive for Sunday brunch.

Overall Impressions

An interesting mix prepared with enough skill that its all not just drunk food.

Rating

3.75 out of 5 for good standard food with enough promise that we may come back for Mexican fare.

El Pollito Mexicano

Standard Mexican fare.

What We Had

20130317-085415.jpg

I had 3 Tacos al Pastor D.F. Style with pork, pineapple & onions – Great taste, lots of pineapple. A little chewy, but the taste was good. Great guacamole.

20130317-085502.jpg

My DH had the Beef Burrito with rice, beans, guacamole, sour cream, pico de gallo, cheese & lettuce – Decent taste; not a lot of spice but pretty good seasoning.

20130317-085545.jpg

Side of Black Beans – Great taste with a hit of coffee.

The chips & salsa were ok. Not salted.

Decor

20130317-085633.jpg

Lively and colorful decor with upbeat Christmas music when we visited.

Service

Standard Mexican restaurant service.

Overall Impressions

Not bad. This place has a varied menu with Mexican classics & American Mexican style favorites with a little bit for everyone.

Rating

3.75 out of 5 for solid food in a lively atmosphere.

Taqueria de Los Muertos

Taqueria de Los Muertos

Tacos just off Prospect Park.

What We Had

20121103-080852.jpg

I had 3 tacos: turkey with mole, tongue with tomatillo and pork with spices.

Great turkey – really nice spice. Good tongue – tender and well seasoned with a bare hint of wild and orange.
Decent pork – a little sweet but tons of spice.

These tacos were huge; 2 was more than enough.

My DH ordered the burrito with chicken, but received a burrito with steak. he wasn’t came out as steak, but it was really flavorful. Huge.

20121103-080938.jpg

We also ordered chips & salsa. The chips were fresh and unsalted; the salsa was chunky and bright. We both drowned everything in heaps of salt, lime and Chaula.

Decor

20121103-081019.jpg

Cute decor – very open for a tiny space, cafe feel, lots of sugar skulls.

Service

Not bad for such a casual eatery.

Overall Impressions

This is a great little find. Solid tacos, huge burritos, and a pleasant walk from the park.

Rating

4 out of 5 for an easy, relaxed time with surprisingly good food.

Mexicali

Standard Mexican fare in Cobble Hill.

What We Had

20120929-093503.jpg

I had the Steak & Shrimp Fajitas – Everything was seasoned properly and the dish wasn’t too greasy. The shrimp was overcooked, but strangely, I kind of welcome rubber shrimp in dishes like this.

20120929-093546.jpg

My DH had the 2 tacos & 1 burrito combo – He got beef and chicken and everything was well seasoned.

Decor

20120929-093632.jpg

Minimal with an adobe mildly upper class vibe.

Service

Not bad.

Overall Impressions

Not the best, not the worst. Certainly edible and most likely repeatable.

Rating

3 out of 5 for decent “regular” Mexican food.

Fonda

Gourmet Mexican with a laid-back vibe in Park Slope.

What We Had

20120908-093430.jpg

My DH had the Enchiladas de Mole Negro Oaxaqueno – Corn tortillas filled with braised chicken and topped with black mole, onions, cream, queso fresco, cilantro & sesame seeds.

20120908-093520.jpg

I had the Pollo Norteno – Achiote marinated chicken tossed with chihuahua cheese and topped with Serrano chiles and pickled red onions. Served with tortillas.

Both dishes had tons of flavor and really well balanced fat to salt to savory to spice ratios. Both were deep, complex, and kept us going back for more even after we were full.

The Mole was the mole you never get in non-gourmet Mexican restaurants – it was deep, complex, rich and totally bonkers. A must-get on any visit.

The black charro beans and Mexican rice sides were amazeballs. Crazy amounts of flavor in both. I could happily down half a pint of each and call it dinner. Really something special.

The only dish misstep was a tiny piece of bone left in my chicken. Whomever chopped the chicken that day must have gotten a little carried away with the cleaver. Not a huge deal, just a small caution.

Decor

20120908-093618.jpg

Tasteful and streamlined.

Service

Decent. Friendly.

Overall Impressions

This is a great place to go if you’re craving Mexican but not tacos (though mine was basically tacos). The only minus was no auto table chips, so no house salsa. I had habanero salsa geared up in my mind (our favorite gourmet Mexican spot in Miami had the best habanero salsa ever) and my mouth was sad I didn’t get any. My stomach, not so much. We ate more than enough as it was.

Rating

4 out of 5 for outstanding flavors in a grown-up atmosphere.

Elora’s

Mexican eatery a few blocks off of Prospect Park (near the F stop)

What We Had

20120818-101205.jpg

I had the carnitas. This pork was crazy good – and a huge portion. It was so good, being too full to finish was depressing.

20120818-101342.jpg

My DH had the Chimichanga w pork. His dish was huge as well, with really good flavors – not quite the orgy of yumminess mine was, but still faboo.

Fresh beans, even good rice.

Nice fresh, bright table salsa with homemade chips.

Décor

Minimal decor

Service

Friendly service

Overall Impressions

This is a great little place. Nothing fancy, but good. Next time, we will either consider splitting the pork or make sure it’s our last stop so we don’t have to schlep leftovers all over the city.

Rating

A solid 4 for great (huge) food in a welcoming atmosphere.

Lucy’s Cantina Royale

One part cool architecture (if you like sleek & modern), one part cantina bar bordering Madison Square Garden near Penn Station.

What We Had

20120623-071916.jpg

My DH had the Roast Pork Burrito with garlic-cilantro marinade, refried beans, mexican rice, lettuce, pico, jack cheese, sour cream, and guacamole. The meat was nicely seasoned and tender and the dish had a nice balance.

Not his all time favorite (Moe’s), but a decent substitute. His burrito also came with a really nice salsa verde. It wasn’t the green crack Moe’s serves, but it was good enough to stave off the proverbial shakes.

20120623-072348.jpg

I had the Skirt Steak Tacos with chipotle-tomato marinade, pico and lettuce. My meat was also seasoned nicely and my tacos were good. Refreshingly cheese-free, as well.

20120623-072447.jpg

We split an order of Paper Bag Tortilla Chips with Tequila-laced Salsa (our dishes did not come with chips). The tortillas had salt! And they weren’t greasy!

The salsa was really nice – smoky, spicy, bright, really deep — the tequila was very understated and blended well enough that my tequila-adverse self didn’t ick out.

I also had Tropical Tea! I was so excited the tea came out tropical-flavored. I adore this type of tea and had resigned myself to having left it behind in South Florida after the move.

Décor

20120623-072540.jpg

The downstairs eating area is bright and beachy with a fresh Baja vibe.

Be forewarned: if you are planning on imbibing some of this bars’ selection of tequila; the bathroom is down 3 narrow flights of stairs you share with kitchen staff. It’s doable, but might be dicey if drunk in heels.

20120623-072606.jpg

Service

Not the best, but not totally horrible. I would imagine it might be next to non-existent at night, but that is purely speculation. Our particular server wasn’t the most attentive I’ve ever seen during a lunch service.

Overall Impressions

We were first attracted by the rooftop bar – it is really eyecatching and looks like a nice place to lounge in the shade on a sunny afternoon. Apparently they have ‘top of the hour’ tequila shots & fishbowls up there, and it’s open year-round. I have a strong feeling my opinion of this place would change dramatically after 4 pm.

Rating

A cautious 4 out of 5 on food alone with a strong possibility of unbridled douchebaggery at happy hour and beyond.

EDIT: We revisited recently (May 2013), and the food is not at all what it once was. The salsa was ok but ketchupy, the tacos were bland, and the burritos were tasteless. The service has also gotten worse. 2.75. Still edible, but not anything special.