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enchiladas verdes?

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John Piekarski Jul 20, 2000 01:27 PM

My favorite Mexican dish is enchiladas verdes de pollo (chicken enchiladas in green sauce), but it's tough to find green sauce -- especially good green sauce -- at a lot of Mexican restaurants. Can someone recommend a good place in Manhattan for enchiladas verdes?

Thanks.

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  1. j
    Jim Leff RE: John Piekarski Jul 20, 2000 01:35 PM

    John---problem is that's a tex mex dish, and nearly all mexican places in the area are from puebla, a state about a zillion miles from the texas border.

    one exception, and I hear their green sauce enchiladas are pretty good, is....wait. Argh. There's a tex mex place on the upper east side that's reputed to be good...it's been discussed here and elsewhere. Help, anybody?

    13 Replies
    1. re: Jim Leff
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      Pat Hammond RE: Jim Leff Jul 20, 2000 01:50 PM

      Are you thinking of Canyon Road?

      1. re: Pat Hammond
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        Tom Steele RE: Pat Hammond Jul 20, 2000 04:42 PM

        Or Maya? It's more Cal-Mex, but whoa! Is it good! Not sure about their enchiladas.

        Meanwhile, Gabriela's on Amsterdam at 93rd has enchiladas with beef, chicken, or cheese with your choice of red OR green sauce, for $7.75. I've never been, but it's got a good local rep, and it's large and jammed during peak hours. I'm attending soon. I'll offer a qualitative report about the enchiladas.

        1. re: Tom Steele
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          Gabriel Solis RE: Tom Steele Jul 20, 2000 09:22 PM

          I've been unable to figure out why Gabriela's has a good reputation. When I was staying on the upper west side I felt like I was in a Mexican-free zone (with the happy exception of the taco truck on 96th and b'way), and tried Gabriela's against my best instincts. I thought it was terrible. It reminds me of the cheezy gringo places that dotted central valley towns when I was growing up. Everything is bland and salty. Perhaps there's something I didn't try that's good that accounds for all the good press and word of mouth the place gets, but nothing I saw others eating looked good.

          Beware!

          Gabriel

          1. re: Gabriel Solis
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            Jeremy RE: Gabriel Solis Jul 21, 2000 09:30 AM

            Finally! Someone else who didn't like Gabrielas! I was beginning to think something was wrong with me...

            1. re: Jeremy
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              Elaine RE: Jeremy Jul 21, 2000 09:48 AM

              Gabriela's is awful - all that gooey cheese and bland red sauce that reminds me of my childhood. Plus, once I had chile rellenos there and the cheese was actually spoiled. The roast chicken is pretty yummy and comes with fresh tortillas and a choice of sauces, but otherwise the restaurant is to be avoided -

              much fresher tasting and slightly more interesting Mexican can be had at Mama Mexico on 102nd and Broadway...

              1. re: Elaine
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                Mike Zurer RE: Elaine Jul 21, 2000 08:30 PM

                I had a meal at Gabriela's a month or two ago. I found it to be innofensive tex-mex. I wouldn't reccomend anyone go out of their way to eat there, nor would I feign illness to avoid it.

                -MZ

                1. re: Mike Zurer
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                  cathy RE: Mike Zurer Jul 21, 2000 09:38 PM

                  I recall having very good enchiladas verdes at La Espiga on 102nd Street.

                  1. re: cathy
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                    Michele RE: cathy Jul 26, 2000 08:40 AM

                    Interested to know just what makes enchilada verdes stand out from the rest of the bunch?

                    1. re: Michele
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                      Gabriel Solis RE: Michele Jul 26, 2000 09:41 AM

                      Do you mean how does one enchilada verde stand out from the rest of the enchiladas verdes out there, or how do enchiladas verdes stand out from other enchiladas?

                      Gabriel

                      1. re: Gabriel Solis
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                        Michele RE: Gabriel Solis Jul 26, 2000 11:33 AM

                        How does on Enchilada Verdes stand out from the rest of the mediocre versions. What makes an ok one versus a great one?

                        1. re: Michele
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                          Ben RE: Michele Sep 7, 2000 08:58 AM

                          I like an enchilada plate with a tart green sauce (plenty of tomatillas), good, fresh sour cream, and meat inside that you can actually taste (i.e. whole pieces of chicken breast or sufficiently flavored shredded chicken, as opposed to papery protein). Bad enchiladas are broiled too long and everything runs together. They should also have some spicy heat that is cooled by the sour cream. And a good side of lardy beans doesn't hurt either. To me, Gabriella's is just awful. I did have pretty good mexican food on Amsterdam and 107th or so, on the west side of the street (I forget the name: Taqueria something). My ideal enchilada is made at La Fonda in Austin, or at Chuy's or El Arroyo in the same city.

                  2. re: Mike Zurer
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                    Alan Divack RE: Mike Zurer Jul 23, 2000 09:48 AM

                    With one exception, I have been very disappointed the few times that I have tried Gabriela's enchiladas -- the exception being a special of crab enchiladas verdes that were so good that only obscenities would suffice to describe them. But that pretty much sums up the experience there. Enchiladas, and actually some of the other main dishes are mediocre, esp. the vegetarian stuff. However, the roast chicken is excellent, the antojitos and soups generally very good, and the daily specials, esp. the fish specials, can be really excellent. I wouldn't recommend them to satisfy an enchilada craving, but I have had some wonderful meals there. (Let me note, however, that their margaritas are bad enough to qualify as an act of aggression.)

                  3. re: Elaine
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                    peter RE: Elaine Jul 24, 2000 07:43 AM

                    I've eaten at both of these restaurants many times. I like both, but they're good at different things, and they serve different purposes.

                    At Gabriela's I stick to either the roast chicken or to stuff I can't order at a Tex-Mex place. The ensalada de nopales (cactus) is tasty, as are most of the entrees, and some of the tortas. They also have a pretty good brunch, and aren't the mob scene that most places on the UWS are on weekend early afternoons.

                    Usually when I eat at Gabriellas I'm either alone or brunching.

                    Mama Mexico, OTOH, is a lot more "fun", what with the guitarist and all (although I refuse to eat there when the trumpeter is there.....He plays well, but the space is just too small for that much sound). Here, again, my favorites are not "Tex-Mex" but they are very different from what I eat at Gabrielas. I almost always start with Guacamole, and then usually either a special or the Carpa Cochimiclo or the Marinated Lamb chops.

                    And, of course, a margarita.

        2. j
          Jeremy RE: John Piekarski Jul 21, 2000 09:34 AM

          I'm pretty sure Lupe's, on 6th Ave. and Watts, has enchiladas verdes. Don't expect an authentic Mexican restaurant -- Lupe's is the height of Cal-Mex. But is a thousand times better than all the grungy Benny's/CA Taqueria/etc. places around the village and park slope.

          3 Replies
          1. re: Jeremy
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            Michael RE: Jeremy Jul 22, 2000 02:53 AM

            "I'm pretty sure Lupe's, on 6th Ave. and Watts, has enchiladas verdes."

            Which city is this in, please? I'm not familiar with a Watts outside of L.A.

            1. re: Michael
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              Dave Feldman RE: Michael Jul 23, 2000 01:06 AM

              Lupe's is in New York City, Michael. Watts is a street, not a neighborhood. Just north of Canal Street in this case.

              1. re: Dave Feldman
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                Michael RE: Dave Feldman Jul 23, 2000 04:38 AM

                Thanks, Dave.

                I have to say that I'm astonished there's a street just north of Canal St. I've never heard of. Just goes to show one can learn something new every day.

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