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

Monday, May 11, 2015

NY Magazine Restaurant Review: Javelina and El Original Fail to Deliver on the Promise of Tex-Mex Cuisine

Article in NY Magazine regarding the "mini Tex-Mex craze" going on in NYC, which makes me very happy. Not so good reviews, but I still want to try El Original.  I thought Javelina was good despite the service - definitely want to go back.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Javelina

Union Square, Manhattan

Ate: Margaritas, Guacamole; Queso Sampler - traditional queso, white queso & “Mag Mud” - white queso, black beans, pico de gallo & guacamole; and Steak Fajitas with house made flour tortillas

Art’s Rating: 3.50 / 4 jalapeños

My friend and I were VERY excited about this place opening and overall, it was good. The wait was long, but luckily snacked on some margaritas, guacamole, and QUESO. Yes, queso has finally arrived in NYC. While waiting, we talked to people at the bar and it was *all* Texans! Good to know I’m not alone in the Big Apple for my quest for queso and good Tex-Mex.

The food was standard fare. The queso we ordered was white, which was not really Tex-Mex-style, but it passed the test. The steak fajitas were great, but the best part – homemade flour tortillas! These were legit authentic and great – even ordered more to dip into the queso.

Overall, I recommend this place. I was there on the second day this place opened – things were a little rough, but hopefully things work out over time.  



Wednesday, October 2, 2013

NY Times Article on Tacos

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/10/02/dining/reviews/new-york-all-wrapped-up-in-a-tortilla.html?ref=dining

Excellent article in the NY Times regarding tacos in NYC. Looks like I need to try some new places! As always, suggestions welcome.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Sueños

Chelsea, Manhattan

Ate: Passion Fruit Chile de Árbol Margarita, Guacamole, Lobster Sopes with Coconut-Habanero Sauce, Plantain-Crusted Local Cod with Salsa Verde Cruda and Grilled Chayote

Art’s Rating: 2.75 / 4 jalapeños

Boy was I disappointed with this restaurant! Lots of hype, but it’s expensive and just mediocre for those prices.  

Sue Torres worked at the Rocking Horse Café – probably my favorite restaurant in NYC. She then started her own restaurant, Sueños, across the street. I’m certain it was a big deal when it opened, but it now feels dated.  

Again, it’s expensive. $7 per person for guacamole? It was good and a healthy portion, but $28 for a bowl of guacamole for four people really is unacceptable. Add on top of that $14 margaritas – it's already an expensive start to the meal.  

I started with the Lobster Sopes with Coconut-Habanero Sauce that was just ok. Couldn’t really taste the lobster as the coconut sauce overwhelmed the plate. The sopes themselves were just ok too – a little dry.  

For my main course, I ordered the Plantain-Crusted Local Cod with Salsa Verde Cruda and Grilled Chayote. It was good. However, is this really Mexican? Yes, yes – I’m sure plantains are part of some regional Mexican cuisine – probably in the Yucatan. However, the entire meal itself just didn’t feel or taste Mexican to me.  

I wouldn’t rush to come here. Head to the Rocking Horse across the street where you’ll get far superior margaritas and food.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Tehuitzingo Mexican Deli & Taqueria

Hell’s Kitchen, Manhattan

Ate: Torta de milanesa

Art’s Rating: 4 / 4 jalapeños

This place has been recommended by numerous friends and I finally paid a visit. Well worth it!

First, Hurricane Sandy hit on Monday, October 29, 2012. I lost power that night and headed up the next day to Hell’s Kitchen to shower and power up at a friend’s apartment. Well, we got a few drinks and then were hungry and ate at this place.

It truly is a deli. You walk towards the back where there’s a window and order your food there. This place is great! It was has many Mexican pantry staples that I grew up with and had some fun décor.

I ordered the torta de milanesa and it was perfect! I definitely want to go come back and order more items off the menu. But this place is exactly what I’ve been looking for – sorry it took so long to discover!