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Anyone been to Cabrito?

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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:
http://nymag.com/daily/food/2008/05/c...

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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: chocokitty

            yes, one taco.

            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

            2. Second review: eponymous cabrito was just fair and came in a smallish portion (fine for me, but stingy for a bigger eater). The meat was oversalted and came with a very salty brown oniony sauce. Grade: B / B-.

              I've tried every cocktail on the menu by now, and they are all fair -- better than average for a restaurant, not as good as specialty bars like pegu or little branch. (B+) The best items on the menu were the two I tried the first time: lengua and pork belly tacos. (A-) What keeps me coming back is the music -- fantastic DJ on Saturday night -- and the staff, most of whom are solicitous and really nice. (A+)

              Good neighborhood place with a hoppin', young bar scene. I wouldn't go out of my way to come here just for the food.

              4 Replies
              1. re: cimui

                Maybe the goat is great. As a vegetarian, I can say the cheese enchiladas were absolutely mediocre. Guac bland. My wife from SoCal was not impressed with the Huevos Rancheros. Churros also disappointed. Bruni review baffled me, must be all about the meat.

                1. re: DavyTheFatBoy

                  actually, the goat was not that delicious to me. i haven't eaten much cabrito in my life, so i'm not sure whether it was the preparation, here, that was not great or whether it is the dish itself that i do not like. the texture was pleasant -- very tender -- but the flavor was on the bland side despite being profusely salted. (i know that some traditional preparations use no seasonings at all, so perhaps to my tastebuds, the dish is just intrinsically bland.)

                  i do very much like the tongue and pork belly tacos, which have been consistently good in my experience, and my dining companions had good things to say about their rice and beans (which I didn't try).

                  i am surprised to hear multiple complaints about bland guac. how strongly flavored do y'all like your guac? i haven't had it again on subsequent trips, but my first time there, the guac packed a decent punch of hot peppers and lime, lots of onions and a sprinkling of cilantro, and was made out of well ripened avocados. perhaps i'm a minimalist wrt to guac and those who dislike it are not?

                  1. re: cimui

                    I am not of the overseasoned school of guacamole. I don't need my avocados sprinkled with pomegranate seeds and flecks of mango. But at the very least I would like some lime and salt, neither of which Cabrito uses, in my experience. The most I've gotten is onion, but without the cilantro or salt to balance out the flavors.

                    If you want to expand your goat repertoire, you might try the tacos de chivo at the El Idolo by the West 4th subway.

                    1. re: JungMann

                      hah, i bet guac with amchur would actually be pretty good!

                      i've had goat a plenty and like chivo, generally; just haven't had cabrito more than two or three times, previously.

                      avocado with onion and no salt sounds like too minimalistic of a guac, even for me. maybe they ran out of salt after making the cabrito the time you were there...

              2. Go on a week night and sit at the bar and you will be Very Well Taken Care of.

                1. I stopped in tonight for a snack & a drink - the jalapeños rellenos and a michelada. The michelada was pretty good, albeit kinda salty and skimpy ($8 is a lot to pay for Dos Equis, lime juice & a LOT of ice). The jalapeños rellenos were a train wreck. I knew what I was getting into: a pepper stuffed with fish & raisins. It didn't sound like a good idea, but I figured, oh, what the hell. Maybe I should think outside the box more. Maybe I need to have my horizons expanded. Maybe I just don't understand that catfood-y snapper can be an excellent foil for dried fruit. Anyway, fail.