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Help me recreate a first date - Suenos, Toloache, Zarela or ?

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I grew up eating Mexican and TexMex but I rarely go out for Mexican here in the city. (Mexican food lovers know why – "authenticity" and freshness, quality, price, etc, etc.!) I'll admit that maybe I'm a bit down on Mexican food in NYC, but I have an open mind and firmly believe that it is hard to have a bad meal when you eat with someone you love. So, I'm hopeful that you can guide me to a pleasant place with cheerful service and fresh and tasty food that will at least set the scene (not the horrible awkwardness) of our first date. I’m thinking about places like Suenos, Zarela or even Toloache? Your opinions on these places or anything I've overlooked? I’m not looking for little joints. No places like Rosa Mexicano, Mama Mexico and Dos Caminos. Location in Manhattan is not a big deal and I think the bill shouldn’t be more than $150, or so. Thanks in advance.

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  1. i can't help with a rec, but i went to Toloache recently for lunch, and it was awful. perhaps dinner is different, but there was nothing good about it. the food did not have any flavor, the portions were tiny, everything was overpriced, and we had poor service.

    1. Hello, I feel your pain. I hail from Texas and after many years of living in NYC, I'm still on a constant search for good Mex. I have found a couple of favorites, though. For a date, I'd check out Zocalo or Mama Mexico's Midtown East location. I like Rosa Mexicano, but I feel that it's very inconsistent. Dos Caminos is fine, but it's more chain-y.

      www.thelunchbelle.com