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New Mexican Restaurant in South Slope

I just got home from my second dinnner at Pyramide, a new Mexican restaurant on 5th Avenue between 12 and 13. Overall, this restaurant is a welcome addition to the South Slope dining scene. The food is tasty and well prepared and the service is enthusiastic. I had the guacamole (prepared tableside) both times I went and thought that it was well prepared using very fresh ingredients (as a side note, I noticed that the tomatoes, onions and jalapenos were perfectly diced).

I have eaten (or tasted) the tacos al carbon, a shrimp special, the chicken chilaquiles (they call it a layered enchilada) and the boneless crisy half chicken. They were all excellent - bursting with flavor and well prepared. The half chicken managed to be crispy and juicy at the same time. The shrimp had an excellent sweet-and-savory flavor.

Pyramide doesn't have a liquor license yet but they have an innovative workaround - you get a beer or a glass of wine on the house.

I understand that they are offering weekend brunch in addition to dinner.

I only have one quibble - I wish the corn tortillas were homemade (a pretty high standard but after having fresh tortillas at the Red Hook ballfields, I can't get enough).

I recommend Pyramide and think it is well worth trying so please do so.

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  1. I agree that Piramide is worth a try. I've only been once (for lunch), but I definitely want to go back again for dinner. The tortilla soup was excellent, with a very dark red, flavorful broth. They give you a little side dish with avocado, cheese, tortilla strips and lime, so you can put in as much or as little as you want. In the corn tamale appetizer, the tamale itself is ordinary, but it is served in a pool of delicious mole poblano, with some honey-roasted pumpkin seeds. The contrast of the soft tamale, the rich mole and the crunchy seeds was great.

    I would say that the pricing is a little uneven. $4 was about right for the tortilla soup, but $9 was too much for a small tamale appetizer.

    I'm curious to see what other chowhounds think. I think Piramide is a pretty good "upscale" place, but some hounds may prefer to skip the delusions of grandeur, and just go to Tacos Nuevo Mexico up the block!

    1 Reply
    1. re: parkslopemama

      By the way, Piramide has its wine and beer license now.

      They also have a great three-course lunch special, with several different choices. I had tortilla soup (again), steak tacos and a delicious pumpkin flan for $12. Kitchen was very slow, though. They weren't really ready to open to 12:00.

    2. I second mmm and mama: Definitely worth checking out. I've only been for dinner once, and am looking forward to trying their Sunday brunch (hopefully it will be a step up from Beso, which I also enjoy; admittedly, the type of food offered at Piramide is pretty different).

      It was nice to have some really good Mexican food without feeling as though I needed to be rolled home after the meal was over. I thought the guac was only ok: We had to ask for lime and salt, which seemed odd to me. The beef in the tacos carbon, though, was excellent. My friend said his steak (the "famous" type... whatever the full name is) was really outstanding.

      Next time, tortilla soup!

      7 Replies
      1. re: ORP

        with no liquor license, do they allow byob?

        1. re: TBird

          I'm 90% sure the answer to that question is 'yes.' iirc, our waiter said something like, "we don't have a liquor license yet, but you can bring your own... Or have a complimentary glass of wine."

          I think the time spent making our decision was so brief (approaching zero) that the first BYOB option sort of flew out of our heads! Free wine? Yes please.

          1. re: ORP

            lol i hear ya loud and clear. but the byob option rocks my world. i can throw a rock from my stoop and probably hit the front of pyramide/piramide(what is it called? they don't have a sign yet either, right?)!

            1. re: ORP

              Yes, my friend and I brought a bottle of wine with us the last time we went.

              1. re: ORP

                FYI I believe that the State Liquor Authority regulations are that if you don't have a liquor license, you can't sell alcohol. However, you can give it away.

            2. re: ORP

              We ate there tonight. We tried the Tamale appetizer and agree--the mole sauce is great but 9 dollars is way too much--actually the menu read tamales. I had the Tortilla soup which was very tasty but unfortunately it wasn't completely heated up, and I know I could of said something but I just didn't feel like it. My husband got the "Geraldine's Famous Carne Asado" He said the meat was very tasty--def. marinated and it was prepared med. rare like he asked for but the rice and beans were flavorless as well as the corn tortillas. I also got a salad with grapefruit that was nice.
              We want to return and try more of the menu.

              1. re: ORP

                The chef David Sharp is excellent. Good news for sophist Park Slopers. Great food right with presentation and taste.
                Support this place.

              2. We ate there tonight as well and recommend it to others. We also loved the crispy half chicken with spinach and enjoyed the shrimp enchiladas and the tableside guacamole. The owner was very welcoming as were the rest of the staff. Best to ask about BYOB --they are a little nervous while their license is pending.

                1. That would seem to be almost next door to Tacos Nuevo Mexico which I've always enjoyed--Do you feel Pyramide is superior?

                  4 Replies
                  1. re: rschwim

                    went at lunch today. let's see, wasn't offered any beer or wine. they forgot our guacomole. damn shame, really looking forward to trying it. wasn't offered anything at all to drink, except water. the "salsa" was taken away when our mains came out, but the chips were left on the table. what do i do with chips? the owner came over at the end and noticed the non existent guac, told us to come back someday and he'll comp it. not really sure it'll happen that way. :-(

                    1. re: TBird

                      2nd time, not so lucky(again). the manager on duty couldn't honour our free guac because it was a different manager who issued it. <sigh>. no biggie, i understand. a few decent wines by the glass, beer selection not so good. ordered as "apps" sweet potato soup and and jumbo crab salad. we got the corn chowder...when the sweet potato soup finally came, the crab salad was nowhere to be found. we were splitting the crab quesadilla, which came before the crab salad came(our waitress made a joke about having crabs. okkkk. she also made a joke to the table next to us, who was discussing cars, about wanting to get a "hummer"... i get it, she's really a comedian and only waitresses to pay the rent....). the crab salad finally came last, and i ate it alone...on the good side, the crab salad was good and meaty and the quesadilla was also quite good.

                      i wonder if they plan on getting a liquor license(LIQUOR! tequila! margarita!). if so, i'd still go and sit at the bar and have a marg and an app. as it is, no need to bother for dinner or lunch. for now.

                      1. re: TBird

                        We were there this past weekend and thought it was good, not great; liked the space and our service was good and friendly, and the food was pretty good; my husband really liked his tuna dish and I had the marinated steak which was a little bland and could have used some seasoning, or sauce. The table-side guac was a little too salty but to his credit the server asked us how it was and how he could improve it next time. The tamale appetizer was yummy. Also they are definitely getting a full liquor license "soon" according to the waitress. We'll surely go back when we can have a margarita with our meal --somehow wine with this kind of food didn't seem quite right!

                    2. re: rschwim

                      You're right, they are only one block from each other. It's hard to compare though; they are two totally different types of places! As I said earlier, Piramide is trying to be somewhat "high-end." You might find it nice (which I did), or you might think they have overpriced delusions of grandeur. Tacos N.M. is just a basic, cheap, authentic place, which many chowhounds probably prefer.... Check it out and let us know what you think!

                    3. Just wanted to add my thoughts on Piramide. As a native of San Antonio, TX I feel I can finally sigh with relief that SOMEONE here is finally offering some quality Tex-Mex/Mexican/Southwest fare in the Slope, in Brooklyn, in New York. I've been to many places here and some are good overall but so overpriced, I feel like I'm paying for decor. Then the cheap places are just so hit-or-miss, doing some things well but honestly, just disappointing overall. Yes, that includes Tacos Nuevo Mexico and every other Mexican in the area (not authentic by the way, but perhaps stereotypical). The problem as I see it is that Mexicans are trying to interpret Tex-Mex, which they have really very little experience with, choosing to cater to this notion of what Americans want, instead of opting to blow us away with what would be the stellar authentic Mexican they COULD be serving. Leave Tex-Mex to the Tejano Mexican Americans who grew up with it and know what it should be. Anyway, Piramide, can't be pigeon-holed into a category because is borrows from each of these "Mexican" regional cuisines, but what you will find is excellent, incredibly fresh, and well-seasoned food. The care taken in preparation is obvious. Portions are smaller than what you might expect at a typical Mexican place but it's reasonably priced and my companions and I left very pleasantly satisfied both times we've been by. The service I experienced was very warm and friendly though they did get a little scatter-brained as the restaurant got busier but I don't mind when the food is so exceptional and the service friendly. They'll likely work out their kinks over time. Hope that liquor license comes through because it would be nice to size up their margarita. Have to wait and see on that one. So PLEASE, if you have not checked out this place, swing by and treat yourself. I'd like to see Piramide make a big splash so it'll be around for a long, long time. I don't usually do reviews but since they don't appear to be making any effort to market their place, it will really depend on word-of-mouth. So if you love your experience there, spread the word. I don't want to lose my new favorite Mexican in the 'hood. Thanks

                      5 Replies
                      1. re: babaloo

                        Welcome to Chowhound. What dishes have you liked at Piramide, and what made them good?

                        -----
                        Piramide
                        499 5th Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11215

                        1. re: babaloo

                          Babaloo, native of San Antonio, says:

                          "Then the cheap places are just so hit-or-miss, doing some things well but honestly, just disappointing overall. Yes, that includes Tacos Nuevo Mexico and every other Mexican in the area (not authentic by the way, but perhaps stereotypical)."

                          You sure about that? Just down the street in Sunset Park is a fine strip of Mexican joints, not "trying to interpret Tex-Mex" and not making their guacamole at the table.

                          1. re: guide boy

                            There was a great article in the Dining In section of Times yesterday 10/24 that summarizes all my feelings on the subject. I had to chuckle that someone asked me for my " food credentials" :). Hahaha. I make no claims to being a full-blown thoroughbred foodie. There is too much to learn and experience. However, I am a pastry chef and I've been working in the restaurant industry here in NYC for six years now. My favorite restaurants run a range from Gotham Bar & Grill, Babbo, Tempo in the Slope....but they are all expensive and I don't go to such high end places often. I don't want to get into listing because this thread isn't about those restaurants. However, on the subject of Tex-Mex, I have no qualms about sticking my neck out because this is in my blood. Yes, there is some commendable Mexican food new to the area in the last few years but I'm distinguishing Mexican from Tex-Mex. Mexicans ala Sunset Park, do their food very well. I've worked with enough of these guys and been treated to lots of that food in kitchens for our staff meals. Good stuff, but this is not Tex-Mex. You do not have REAL Tex-Mex in NY. Even Piramide, which I endorse strongly, is not Tex-Mex but an amalgamation of different influences. On a different note but bearing in mind authenticity, you won't find better Texas BBQ (brisket) in the city than Hill Country BBQ. That's the real deal. Having been here so long and suffering the misery of such lousy options for both of these Texas specialties, I only wrote my review out of happiness to finally have a decent option in my neighborhood. Some of the food in Sunset Park is great, as well as the taco trucks up in Spanish Harlem, but these aren't in my neighborhood. In the case with Piramide, above all else, I love the freshness of everything. Again, please, if you have not already read the Times article, find it on their site. The population of the U.S. will be eventually be majority Hispanic and it would be nice if the differences between Chicanos and Mexican Nationals and Caribbean Hispanics, and all the rest were understood by more people. The easiest and most pleasurable way to begin is through food. I feel the need to explain Tex-Mex, because sadly once the mainstream gets it's hands on anything it becomes corrupted and watered down. Come on! Shrimp fajitas? Fajita is a cut of beef not a seasoning or grilling technique. Gordita is a fat plump smallish corn tortilla split open and stuffed. Enchiladas refer only to something being covered in chile sauce---stacked or rolled is irrelevant. Pico de gallo should have "pico" the beak of the rooster which refers to the sting of serrano or jalapeno chiles. How many times have I gotten pico de gallo with no chile peppers? I don't intend to write about other subjects on this board or even more on this one. People need to find out on their own. I said my bit. Take a trip to Texas if you really want to know :). For everything else, I'm happy to be directed by others towards what they believe is good stuff. It's an education :). Happy eating.

                            1. re: babaloo

                              Of course there are also vast differences in regional cuisines within Mexico. Since the overwhelming majority of Mexicans in NYC are from Puebla and other areas south of Mexico City - about 700 miles from San Antonio - one would not really expect them to prepare really good Tex-Mex cuisine (or Cal-Mex, another common complaint), even in the "authentic" places. In fact, one should especially not expect it in the authentic places, which will mostly be serving Pueblan cuisine or Pueblan takes on general Mexican cuisine. Certainly no more than one would expect great grits or BBQ in NYC or New England.

                            2. re: guide boy

                              I agree with Babaloo's comments-- Very hard to compare Piramide and Tacos N.M. As Guide Boy and Babaloo mentioned, there are a few great places in Sunset Park, which I recently tried (after reading the NYTime's review). Then I went back to Tacos N.M. What a difference! TNM was roughly twice the price as the sunset park places, and not quite as good (although I haven't tried the whole menu yet; just comparing the soft tacos).

                              Piramide, though: I'm worried. Every time I walk by, they're completely empty. I was able to take a party of 7 on a Saturday night at 8pm and get a table immediately... There were only two other parties in the restaurant.

                              Do people really think it's over-priced? It seems extremely reasonable to me (particularly their brunch/lunch/small plates/soups). Or maybe no one wants Mex/Tex-Mex if there aren't any margaritas to be had?

                              What are your feelings about the lay-out/decor? I think it's not good at all-- I'm no designer, but for whatever reason it just doesn't feel inviting to me. The frontage and the sign are also detractors, I think. It's too bad, because as Babaloo said, the food there is really good, and very different than anything else in the 'hood.