Tuesday, September 8, 2015

NY Mag’s Grub Street - Best Tacos in NYC

NY Mag’s Grub Street has a good article on the best tacos in NYC: http://www.grubstreet.com/2015/09/best-new-york-tacos.html. I agree with this list, especially Los Tacos No. 1 and Tacos Matamoros. I am eager to try others on the list I have yet to try!

Saturday, August 8, 2015

El Paso Taqueria

El Barrio (East Harlem), Manhattan

Ate: Frozen Margarita, Milanesa Torta (breaded steak)

Art’s Rating: 3.5 / 4 jalapeños

I'm originally from El Paso, Texas - so I had to try this spot! In the summer, I have Fridays off from work and have been taking advantage of NYC's numerous cultural establishments. I went to El Museo del Barrio and was hungry afterwards, so decided to eat somewhere local and found this gem. 

Located in "El Barrio" - this was place was good and packed at lunchtime (good sign). I ordered a frozen margarita to cool off from the hot summer day and decided to eat the Milanesa Torta, which was delicious! The bread was super fresh and the steak was breaded perfectly. That along with fresh avocado, jalapeños, and Mexican cheese - this a torta I will remember.

I highly recommend this place and eager to try other items on their menu. I also walked by plenty of other Mexican restaurants that I need to try - need to head up to El Barrio more often! Let me know your favorite restaurants in El Barrio.

Monday, July 27, 2015


Chelsea, Manhattan

Ate: Tacos – (1) Carne Asada and (2) Nopal [grilled cactus]; Horchata

Art’s Rating: 4 / 4 jalapeños

A-mah-zing. Truly one of the best – if not the best­ – tacos I’ve had in NYC.

This place is located in Chelsea Market – a heaven for foodies. I got inline (or “online” as they say here in NYC) and ordered the carne asada and nopal tacos. Note, many people do not like nopales [grilled cactus]. It is an acquired taste and some people have described them as slimy (similar to okra). However, I LOVE nopales. When I visit my family in San Antonio, we always go to this breakfast taco restaurant where I always order the egg and nopal breakfast tacos (in a fresh flour tortilla). This nopal taco was just as amazing. 

The carne asada taco was perfection, too. I ordered it “with everything” – which includes guacamole. They also have various salsas ranging from mild to spicy and also have limes to squeeze over your tacos. There is no place to sit – just a counter to eat your tacos quickly. And that’s exactly how it’s done in Mexico. You can also choose corn or flour tortillas. Being from Texas, I ordered the flour tortillas. 

All of this amazing food along with a cool Horchata on a hot summer day – this was a perfect meal. I cannot wait to come back and try more of their menu.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

El Original TX MX

Hell’s Kitchen, Manhattan

Ate: Iced Tea, Chile con Queso, and Beef Enchilada (shredded beef, topped with chile gravy, sweet onions, cheddar and Monterey Jack cheese) 

Art’s Rating: 3.75 / 4 jalapeños 

I finally made it here! A fellow Texan who works near me wanted to go for lunch and so we chose this place. I don’t understand all the bad reviews – I actually thought this place was good. And as my fellow Texan said – it’s “almost” there. Pretty close. And much better than Javelina, in my honest opinion.

First, the Queso. FINALLY! This had the right color (i.e., fake yellow) and consistency (i.e., not natural) and tasted just like Tex-Mex Queso. This alone is worth coming to. 

It was lunchtime, so I just stuck to iced tea – but that was good, too! I had the beef enchiladas, which were fine. However, I always judge a plate not by the main food item, but the sides. The refried beans and rice were perfect. The “chile gravy” was a little odd – was hoping for a more traditional red enchilada sauce. 

I will definitely come back here for margaritas and try their other items on the menu.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015


Park Slope, Brooklyn 

Ate: Lobo Margarita, Guacamole, Chili Con Queso, Chalupas - Carnitas Extravaganza (shredded pork, lettuce, tomato, cheese, con carne, ranchero, topped with an egg) 

Art’s Rating: 2.75 / 4 jalapeños 

I was in Brooklyn with a group of friends and was craving a margarita, so we stopped by this place. I had been here many years ago on a bad date – ha! The place is conveniently located on 5th Avenue, Park Slope’s main commercial corridor, and the décor is fun inside. 

However, the food was just fine. Margarita was good, but the Chili Con Queso was a bit odd – slightly coagulated cheese. The Chalupa was fine. 

Friends ordered the Sangria, which was made with Cinnamon Tequila. Repeat: Cinnamon Tequila. They were not aware of this, it tasted awful, and was quickly sent back. We all tasted it and agreed. Luckily, the waitress and bartender were cool about it and got margaritas instead. With no Cinnamon Tequila. 

If you’re in the neighborhood – stop by here for a margarita and snack. But I don’t really recommend lunch or dinner here.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Austin, Texas: 4-Star City

I was recently in Austin for a wedding and ate as much Tex-Mex as I could. This included the obligatory visit to Chuy’s and eating as much creamy jalapeño sauce as humanly possible. Of course, I started with a frozen margarita and chile con queso. My main course was the Combination #4 Relleno & Enchilada – ordered both with chicken and creamy jalapeño sauce (really, I cannot get enough).

I had brunch at the South Congress Café and started with the Gumbo with Duck & Oysters and “Silverfire margarita” - dulce vida organic 100% blue agave tequila, cointreau, fresh sliced jalapeño, a hint of tabasco, fresh squeezed lime juice, and agave nectar. Both spicy and perfect! My main course was the “Migas Enchiladas” - farm fresh eggs, corn tortillas, tomatoes, onions, jalapeños, three cheese blend, refried black beans, smoked gouda potato pancake, house made tortillas with ranchero sauce and lime sour cream. #Perfection. 

I had dinner at La Condesa with a large group and food highlights included: HUARACHE DE NOPAL Y CHORIZO (grilled cactus paddle, house-made chorizo, poblano rajas, black bean purée, queso fresco), COLIFLOR A LA PLANCHA (roasted cauliflower steak, chipotle raisin purée, marcona almond, chile de arbol vinaigrette, garlic-cauliflower soubise), RÓBALO (whole branzino, garlic-epazote oil, salsa verde, cauliflower escabeche), and ELOTE. Yet another perfect meal in Austin, Texas. 

Ended the trip on a simple note at the Mean Eyed Cat: drinking a beer outside with friends and eating “Stubb’s Mean Nachos” with brisket.

Thank you, Austin. This place is food heaven. Now please bring some of your food and restaurants up to NYC!

Brunch at the SoCo Cafe - Migas Enchiladas

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

NY Times Restaurant Review: Javelina

Unfortunately, this new wave of Tex-Mex restaurants are not getting good reviews (see NY Magazine article below).  This review is spot on.  I thought it was bad because I was there on the second day of opening, but it sounds like things haven't changed in the months since opening.  

I must pat myself on the back for the NY Times to agree with my blog/review that the flour tortillas were there best!  

Hopefully, things change for the better at Javelina after these reviews (i.e., find a bigger place!).

Source:  NY Times