My Fave Mexican
My favorite Mexican restraunt is Cancun on 8th Ave.
between 55th and 56th. It's not fancy, but I think the
food is great. I've often seen Letterman's band members
there and Broadway actors. The food's a little heavy,
and the portions are large, but the flavor is heaven.
Plus they have the strongest Margharittas I've ever
had. It's a fun Happy Hour place for Midtown workers.
Have you tried Mi Nidito on 8th Ave and 51st? The food
there is very good and the staff is real pleasant.
The place I'm always drawn back to is Zarela's on 2nd
Ave and 50th. Dynamite Margaritas with a nice bar crowd
and food unlike any other Mex in NYC. The mariachi band
on the stairs makes this place.
I'm w/you on Zarela's. There are more "authentic" Mexican restaurants in NYC, but none better, in my opinion. If it has any flaws, it's that the appetizers tend to be better than the entrees, although a wonderful meal can be had from the appetizers and salads. The snapper hash is one of my favorite dishes in NYC.
I only regret that they stopped serving two of my favorite dishes -- the corn and crab chowder and the bread pudding.
What about Gabriela's on Amsterdam and 93th? Not
everything is great there, but they have wonderful
soups, soft tacos, taquitos al pastor (about which Jim
wrote in his Mexico City piece), roast chicken, beef
fajitas (sorry about this one, but who can resist a
sizzling dish with chewy beef and a quarter inch of
fat?) Their fish specials are usually delicious, too.
Their corn tortilla are made fresh, and the price is
re: Alan Divack
I went to Gabrielas a few weeks ago with the wife &
kids after a trip to the Bronx Zoo. The pork carnitas
was dynamite and they also have a childrens menu. I do
plan a return trip with a group of adult friends
because I think a large group can really party down
there. Did you know that Gabriela was put in business
by the late Artie Cutler who was a partner in Carmines
& Ollie's Noodle Shops ? She was his housekeeper and he
loved her cooking so much that he put her in business.
Anyone try the tiny Mexican Radio in Little Italy? Or Mi Cocina or Rocking Horse Mexican Cafe (great around the day of the Dead when they dispaly and auction off handmade altars whose profits go to God's Love we deliver). There's an excellent nopales salad here. Also El Rey in Astoria- haven't been there in a while but loved dynamite tamales and I heard they were setting up for tacos al carbon and pastor (my favorite street foods in Mexico city!!!!)
re: Lisa Antinore
Sorry to report that El Rey (about 3 blocks from my house) is way downhill. All good Mexicans go downhill, not sure why. Their tamales used to rival the best in Mexico city, but no more.
Problem with Al Pastor is they ain't gonna make it themselves (VERY labor intensive), and that means liverwursty processed meat-product gyro durafleish logs.
re: Lisa Antinore
Rocking Horse Mexican is good for the Chelsea
neighborhood. I go there a few times a year when I
have tickets for the Joyce Theatre. It's fun, and not
very expensive (especially for Joyce subscribers who
get 2 entrees for the price of 1).
Haven't been to Mi Cocina in quite awhile. Always
enjoyed my meal there too.
re: Lisa Antinore
I agree with the comemnts on Rocking Horse. Riva & I
discovered it on a shopping trip to The Kitchen Shop
(or whatever it's called; the place two doors up from
Bright Food Shop). We were leaving with a load of
Mexican ingredients & several pounds of Hatch chiles
and eating something Mexican seemed like the right
From my experience, the food isn't particularly
authentic, but it is very good. Interesting
We found that two appetizers was plenty of food for us
to split for lunch.
re: Dave Feldman
Zarela's is great, I agree, though it's awfully
expensive and the crowds are absurd. And I'll never
forgive them for taking pistachio souffle off the
Our favorite Mexican these days is Gabriella, on
Amsterdam Avenue at 92nd. Authentic, interesting food,
and the price really are wonderful: A whole chicken
with two veg and mole sauce for about $12. It is
subject to horrendous crowds at peak hours, but go on
an off night and you'll have no problem.
re: Josh Mittleman
Gabriella's is sort of in my neighborhood, so I know it well. Their chicken is wonderful, but most of the dishes just aren't as good as I can get in L.A. (which I travel to frequently). But the service is gracious, even when they are mobbed, and I agree that it is a cut above the other Mexican restaurants in Manhattan (Zarela's excepted). I'd rather eat here than at Rosa Mexicano or Mi Cocina, and of course, it's much less expensive than the former.
re: Dave Feldman
The folks that brought you Maryann's Mexican restaurants have recently opened up a great looking place in Tribeca (Corner of Reade and West Bway). Loved the chow there and the drinks are just awesome and fairly priced ($6 bucks for a marg.) It's fun in the winter but I predict that this place is going to ROCK in the summer when the temperature hits in the 90's and they open up their surrounding french doors. Say hi to their cool manager Harry.
Zocalo on East 82nd Street has great food and a nice
cheery ambiance. The menu is very imaginative with
lots of fresh fish and interesting garnishes. Also,
Mi Cocina in the Village has great food.