Thursday, April 2, 2015


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

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


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!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

El Centro

Hell's Kitchen, Manhattan

Ate: Grilled Shrimp Chilaquiles w/ salsa roja & salsa verde and frozen margarita (of course).  Friend had the Shrimp Fajitas - sautéed peppers & onions w/ 3 homemade corn tortillas, guacamole, pico de gallo, rice & beans.

Art’s Rating: 3.25 / 4 jalapeños

This used to be the space for Vynl (which moved down 9th Avenue), one of my favorite restaurants in NYC.  I was sad when it closed and hesitant (as usual) when a Mexican restaurant opened up in this space.  Well, I'm not sad anymore! I've been here many times before, but it's finally making my blog.

The decor is fun. Very kitschy, in a good way.  And the food is great!  I always get their enchiladas with the mole sauce.  I tried something different today and it was so good.  I haven't chilaquiles in quite some time and was very satisfied with the way it was prepared.  Basically, tortilla chips soaked in salsa that makes them soggy.  Sounds odd, but the final result is great and El Centro did them well.  The shrimp was perfectly grilled. And of course - the margaritas were great.  Definitely one of my "go-to restaurants" in NYC!

Saturday, July 7, 2012


Prospect Heights, Brooklyn

Ate: Guacamole with chips; Trio of Salsas - crispy tortillas served with salsa verde, chipotle salsa, and pico de gallo; Camarones a la Mexicana - shrimp simmered with tomatoes, onions and jalapeños served with rice. Friend had the Enchiladas - three enchiladas with chicken in a salsa verde. And of course Margaritas – “Clasica De Clasicas - our traditional margarita - On Draft” 

Art’s Rating: 3.5 / 4 jalapeños 

I’ve been wanting to try this place after reading reviews online. Great restaurant! First, the space is amazing. Our waitress was so friendly. And the place just had a great vibe. 

And the food was good and authentic! The chips with guacamole were great – and you were given the option of tortillas rather than chips. The shrimp plate I had was great – cooked perfectly and the sauce itself had the right amount of spice. A friend had the enchiladas with verde sauce and they were great. My plate came with a side of rice – and that was great. I believe if you can get the sides (rice and beans) right – then you’re at the right place. This was the right place. I want to go back and try other plates, including the mole.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Empellón Cocina

East Village, Manhattan

Ate: Guacamole with Pistachios and Masa Crisps; Melted Tetilla Cheese with Lobster, Tomate Frito & Kol; Chicken Meatballs with Masa Polenta and Tinga Poblana; and House Pueblo Viejo Blanco margarita

Art’s Rating: 4 / 4 jalapeños

Amazing. I went to Stupak's Empellón restaurant in the West Village and was satisfied, but my socks were knocked off with his newer restaurant in the East Village, Empellón Cocina. I went for brunch on Cinco de Mayo and started with their Guacamole with Pistachios and Masa Crisps - the pistachios are an amazing addition to guacamole and the crisps were perfect for it.

The best part of the meal was the tetilla cheese with lobster AND HOMEMADE FLOUR TORTILLAS!  In NYC, it's hard to find homemade flour tortillas and I was in heaven.  

And the best part was that Chef Stupak was talking to a table and I thanked him on the way out and he was very nice and said thank you. I'm definitely coming back for dinner.  I want to try their roasted carrots with mole poblano.

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