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Jun 3, 2008 06:26 AM

Anyone been to Cabrito?

Hey 'hounders,

I'm curious about this new restaurant that used to be Bar Fry, Cabrito. NY Magazine's Grub Street published about it's opening and I'm wondering if any of you tried their stuff before I'm going next week.

Here's the link in reference to what I'm talking about:

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  1. My friends and I went last week - great margaritas and guac. The pork cemitas and the pork huaraches were very spicy but good. The chicken cemitas were nothing to write home about but the side of refried beans hit the spot. Unfortunately we didnt save room for the churros but they looked great - enjoy!

    1 Reply
    1. re: amysal47

      What would you consider their portion sizes for the cemitas and huraches? Generous, skimpy, etc.?

    2. place was packed every night last weekend...including sunday.

      im not interested in it though...looks like a fly-by-night wanna be mexican joint.

      1. the guac is pretty spicy. i had a fish taco and a steak taco. pretty large piece of fish, unsure of to what kind. the steak taco had maybe 4 tiny pieces of steak. it was laughable. the bartender comped a few drinks in light of. they also pour lime juice and salt on the top of their cans of tecate...and then don't open it for you. can get messy.... not complaining... just saying..

        4 Replies
        1. re: subinai

          I'm intrigued about the fish taco. So, the price on their menu is actually one per order?

            1. re: subinai

              Makes me think I should go to a true taqueria for a lower price and a similar quality...unless there aren't any good places for a good fish taco. The other food sounds good though.

              1. re: chocokitty

                I went yesterday to Cabrito for the first time because I was in the neighborhood watching a film and got hungry. It was not awful but it wasn't very good either. The guacamole was too garlicky and too mashed. The pork belly taco and the tongue taco were nothing out of the ordinary, boring even. It was too expensive for 1 plain taco. The huitlacoche huarache was very different form the huaraches i eat in Mexico, It was not bad but i do not understand why they use huitlacoche here as if it were chicken, i'm used to more subtle dishes with huitlacoche, otherwise you can't appreciate the flavor. Im not looking forward to try this place again.

        2. Finally got down to Cabrito. My verdict: Not bad at all based on the very small part of the menu I was able to try. It fills a niche demand for higher quality Mexican street food served in nice digs, but I understand the complaints re: pricing. It's certainly more expensive than your standard taqueria.

          The tortillas aren't homemade, sadly, but they were very soft and fresh. I had the lengua and pork belly tacos, both of which were filled with high quality, well prepared fillings. Lengua was sliced thin and grilled perfectly until crispy in parts. Pork belly was well -- not strongly -- seasoned and cooked to the perfect stage of tender doneness. Only one tortilla per taco, not the double wrapping you get from taco trucks. Good michelada, standard margarita. Oh--great guac, which is pleasantly spicy. Tonight (a Wed night), it was packed by 9 p.m. when I left.

          I'll be back to try the entrees.

          1. I'm surprised at the lack of buzz about this place given Frank Bruni's review in the Times. Do NYC Chowhounders just not eat Mexican?

            3 Replies
            1. re: fame da lupo

              I think you don't hear much about it because it doesn't satisfy most hounds' cravings for Mexican food. And while it might do much to elevate taqueria fare, why fix it if it ain't broken?

              Though the prices are reasonable for Manhattan (I daresay modest for the West Village), they are quite inflated compared to the prices at the Mexican restaurants uptown (or even the taco truck just blocks away), which consistently deliver. What then makes Cabrito stand out in the pack to justify the prices?

              Their guacamole is bland and has as much texture as wallpaper paste. Jalapeños rellenos (jalapeños stuffed with fish, crema and seasonings) sound either inspired or mad. In reality, they straddle the line between with the rich crema, raisins and fish sometimes competing (even after swallowing), sometimes balanced with the nutty pepitas and capsaicin bite. The house-made chorizo sounds interesting, even if the waiters don't seem to have had interest enough in it to find out how it is seasoned or what sets it apart from the chorizo one finds everywhere else. Unfortunately I find the clove and cinnamon-heavy chorizo unbalanced in most dishes containing it. Too much clove and cumin create a musty, muddled flavor that defeata the purpose of the bright seasonings in a taco or huarache. It was just atrocious in a cemita and would likely have benefited from a rash of toppings on a saltier bolillo as in a torta. Enchiladas were fine, rice and beans equally so. The namesake cabrito wasn't done during my last visit since it is prepared for the late-night revelers who dine around 9, though when I left around that time, it seemed to me that very few patrons were eating much more than appetizers and margaritas. I somewhat take that as a sign I'm not alone in my assessment.

              1. re: JungMann

                I agree with JungMann 100% (esp. on the guac and chorizo... and the churros were awful). I went with high hopes, but it is just not that great. Bland, boring, inauthentic and overpriced. You'd do much better at a taco truck. I was really surprised it got Frank's attention actually.

                I'm sticking with Barrio Chino for my overpriced (but lovely) margaritas and saving myself that crosstown trip.

                1. re: _emilie_

                  I just walked passed Cabrito this afternoon....the outside caught my curiosity but something was just knawing at me not to go in when I looked inside. glad I didn't decide to go in being that I am used to down home mexican cooking, after reading the reviews posted here! lol