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Jun 3, 2008 11:19 AM

Casa de Elian--new Mexican on Metropolitan

Given my perpetual search for new and better Mexican in my neighborhood, I was very excited to see this little restaurant open at 104-20 Metropolitan Avenue. The menu is small, as is its space of only about 12 rustic tables-for-two (plus a not-yet-licensed bar), but what I sampled was fresh and delicious. For lunch yesterday I ordered an elote asado to start--fantastic! The corn was perfectly roasted with nice little charred bits, lovingly coated in melted butter (instead of mayo) and generously coated with cojita, cilantro, and chili powder. A squeeze of lime and I was in heaven. The tortilla chips seemed homemade--warm and cut into uneven strips--and the spicy salsa brought me right back to my southwest roadtrip last summer (not a pico de gallo syle but a pureed tomato base with a hint of chipotle smokiness). My significant other loved the pastor tacos--here, rubbed with adobo and folded with chunks of pineapple. I enjoyed the marisco taco--the seafood was tender and well seasoned in a light tomato sauce. The best part is that this taco truck quality food (and as Chowhounds know, that is a compliment), although served in a brick-and-morter restaurant (in Forest Hills no less) has retained its taco truck prices--only $2 for each taco ($3 for the marisco). I was a bit disappointed that there was only one of the fresh tortillas on each taco--not the two I'm accustomed to--which I can see getting soggy if carried home instead of eaten on the spot. My salad was delicious, but not what I expected from the menu--I ordered the ensalata de aguacate which was described as sliced avocado and hearts of palm over guacamole pasted romaine, but came instead as romaine tossed with cucumbers and guacamole, with a side of vinaigrette. The guacamole was fantastic, so I just ate it scooped onto those awesome tortilla chips instead of as a forked entree. Perhaps they are still re-working the menu (which also includes soups, tortas, gorditas, and assorted tacos). Go and enjoy!

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  1. Keeping as close an ear as possible to all patron comments/complaints/concerns.... Thank you for the feedback....Keep it coming!

    9 Replies

      like what you did with the space. it would be lovely to see more seafood options on your menu.

      1. re: ericalloyd

        Pleased to hear you appreciated the space. Mexican artwork is on the way, and a few construction nuisances are being finalized.

        We do offer ceviche for dinner and a tilapia or snapper Veracruzana is in the works.

          1. re: DAVIDSAMPAYO

            Welcome to the neighborhood! Are there any vegetarian entree items in the works as well? Personally, I would flip over a huitlacoche or flores de calabaza quesadilla....

            1. re: cmoore618

              Definitely impressed (and admittedly, a bit surprised) by the knowledge exhibited here. I have had quite a few vegetarians coming in and leaving a little disappointed with the currently limited options on our menu. Huitlacoche quesadillas sounds like a fabulous place to start (and wait till we perfect our flour tortillas!). Thanks.

              I will try to get the menu posted today. Hopefully a decent website eventually as well.

                1. re: NYJewboy

                  Mole is on the dinner menu - made from scratch.

                  1. re: cmoore618

                    Home made mole and great tacos al pastor? You've got me interested. We will stop by. If you get the huitalacoche on the carta I will have to bring my friends too............

        1. Seems without a car difficult to get to from SUNNYSIDE.
          Is there a subway/bus closeby?

          1 Reply
          1. re: micheal

            Closest subway stop is Continental Ave (71st ave). You can take the Q23 from there for about a 10 minute ride, or if it's nice out it's about a 15 minute walk down 71st ave.

          2. Many years ago when I lived in LA, a place called ACUPOLCO in Westwood Village served the greatest SEAFOOD chimichanga. I've never seen seafood chimis here only very average chicken/beef. Has anyone info.
            Next, the ROSA MEXICANO lady showed the greatest MIXIOTE recipe on FOODTV [correction - the greatest when I did it myself and her recipe!!!]. The problem - the vapors from the great marinade., it's all put in parchment in a steamer foul the walls of my place in a melange of chili colors. Do CHO know of any great mixiote places in NYC.

            1. Ate here last night & can totally recommend was delicious! Guacamole tasty with fresh cilantro, portion large; 3 taco appetizer, seafood, beef, chicken- yum. DH had chicken mole, subtle flavoring, moist chicken, said it was the best he'd ever tasted. Friend & I each had chicken enchiladas in tomatillo sauce- moist chicken , tortillas melted in your mouth, sauce had the right kick to it! Think that the apps were $7 each & mains were $14. Brought our own wine-no liquor license yet. Service was delightful, water refilled without asking, brought more chips & a little more guac, wound up with an extra taco. Theo & David answered all questions thoughtfully. The restaurant is bright & clean. Menu is limited while they are new, with plans to add other items. They really want this to work. We will be back. You should give them a try!

              1. We've updated Casa de Elian's Place page with hours and phone number.

                Casa de Elian
                104-20 Metropolitan Ave, Queens, NY 11375