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Oct 29, 2010 07:48 PM

Jalapeno - another UWS disaster

Jalapeno opened on Columbus and 68th just a few weeks ago. Being in the neighborhood, we were anxious to try it. Tonight was the night and it didn't end well.

Let's start with the forgivables...

There was a small wait, so we took a seat at the bar. Goose Island IPAs were priced at $3/bottle on the menu - great deal! The bartender was ready to charge $5...still a good price, but nearly twice as much as advertised. We paid three, but who likes arguing over four dollars?

Meantime, a few tables opened up and the host began seating newly arriving patrons before us - same 2-people parties. We mentioned this and were promptly seated at a table already offered to another group - again, uncomfortable.

Now, the unforgivables...the food.

Salsa - no flavor.
Beans - no flavor.
Habanero chicken wings - you get the point.

I had the Carnitas. While the flavor was good, the pork was tough and dry. I had a corn soup and couldn't eat more than a few spoonfuls. She had the short ribs. Again, the meat was tough and unappetizing. We switched plates - didn't help. From each plate, besides the wings, we left as much as we ate, if not more.

Complete waste of time, money and calories...

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    1. I have to disagree with this post because I have a differing opinion of Mexican food than most people on the east coast. I was born and raised in Arizona and for the last 6 years I've been in NY, aside from my family and friends, great Mexican food is what I miss the most. I would say Jalapeno and Cilantro on the UWS are the two places in the city I've found to come anywhere close to the Mexican I love.

      Granted, I've only been able to get to Jalapeno twice but really enjoyed my experience both times. I will admit though, on the last visit, I felt the food was a little overdone with salt. The place is definitely small so you will feel cramped. As for service, from my experience, I found both occasions to be very personal. The wait staff was attentive and on both visits the manager stopped by personally to ask about our experience. The prices are also very reasonable for the city - my guess for the overpricing at the bar was because he was new and had no idea a place in the city would sell beer that cheap.
      If you do decide to give it another shot, I recommend the carne asada tacos on flour tortillas.

      185 Columbus Ave, New York, NY 10023

      4 Replies
      1. re: BraChris

        Citing Cilantro as one of your better Mexican options AND being from Arizona? But I have to question the type of Mexican food in Arizona then.

        While there are none that are great, places like Mercadito and Rosa Mexicano are overpriced but at least the food is good. Cilantro is completely and utterly forgettable. I also am incline to listen to coasts who I've trusted for many reviews

        Rosa Mexicano
        9 E. 18th St., New York, NY 10003

        1. re: kelea

          Completely agree. Cilantro was not a place I would ever return.

          1. re: kelea

            absolutely agree that Cilantro is a poor choice for mexican. I have given it a few chances since I live right near it and it always disappointed me. You are better off ordering takeout from The Great Burrito

            1. re: kelea

              thanks, kelea. nice to know my small voice is occasionally heard around here.