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Date at Fonda or Other Mexican?

NYEatenAtty Sep 19, 2012 12:47 PM

Hi all,

Any opinions on Fonda, in the LES?

I am looking for laid back Mexican with very good food for a first-ish date. We've spent time together, coffee, etc... but this is first dinner out. Normally, I wouldn't do Mexican, but she loves it, and I'm in the mood. I want, as mentioned, quality food, a place where we can talk, but that is also a little lively and fun, good drinks (i.e. nice ambience). In terms of cost - any Mex is probably w/in budget - 20s per entree.

I was thinking Fonda, as neither of us have been there, but want to make sure it fits what I need. Any other ideas are welcome, though. Had considered Empellon Taquieria, where she has been and didn't like. Anything further West (W Village, village, soho, nolita, noho) is appreciated.

Thanks in advance.


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  1. m
    MrGrumpy RE: NYEatenAtty Sep 19, 2012 12:50 PM

    I love Yerba Buena Perry. It's perfect for a date.

    1. LeahBaila RE: NYEatenAtty Sep 19, 2012 12:59 PM

      I think La Camelia is solid. Taqueria Lower East Side is good, too, though more on the casual end.

      6 Replies
      1. re: LeahBaila
        NYEatenAtty RE: LeahBaila Sep 19, 2012 02:54 PM

        I made a res at La Camelia yesterday, just to be safe. Have you been to Fonda? Any comparison between the two?

        1. re: NYEatenAtty
          LeahBaila RE: NYEatenAtty Sep 20, 2012 05:12 AM

          Oh, cool. No, I have not been to Fonda, although the menu looks totally legit. Let us know where you end up!

          1. re: LeahBaila
            NYEatenAtty RE: LeahBaila Sep 20, 2012 06:18 AM

            Definitely will. I have "narrowed" it down to La Camelia, Ofrenda or Fonda. Have you been to Ofrenda? Any thoughts?

            1. re: NYEatenAtty
              LeahBaila RE: NYEatenAtty Sep 20, 2012 08:07 AM

              I found Ofrenda to be very mediocre. The food was just "meh." They do have decent happy hour specials, though.

              1. re: LeahBaila
                NYEatenAtty RE: LeahBaila Sep 20, 2012 08:50 AM

                That certainly won't work. I'm going to go for Fonda, and maybe stop at Hecho en Dumbo on my way over (early) and see what the wait is like. Thanks for the input! I like the blog, btw....

                1. re: NYEatenAtty
                  LeahBaila RE: NYEatenAtty Sep 20, 2012 10:07 AM

                  Thanks! I appresh. Good call on Ofrenda. Let us know how Fonda was - def head over to Hecho for drinks either pre or post. Great margaritas.

      2. Deb Van D RE: NYEatenAtty Sep 20, 2012 11:26 AM

        I think Fonda would be a great date restaurant. Pretty, lively without being too bouncy and the food is a cut above. I was with a group and a number of dishes were passed around and we were impressed by the plating and the quality of the food. Inventive. I wish I could remember every single thing that we tried, but I do remember the duck zarape as being especially fine. I remember the camarones adobados, too, served over a great spicy green rice.

        Good, carefully made drinks. They make a nice mojito but I have to mention the China Poblana,: silver tequila, orange liquor, and fresh lime juice shaken with poblano chile and fresh basil, really, really good.

        1. c
          comiendosiempre RE: NYEatenAtty Sep 21, 2012 07:50 PM

          Fonda is a great date spot. Cool bar area, comfy seating.

          All the dishes we've had on a couple visits were very good. Great guacamole, small tacos to start, a shredded duck plate and very good enchiladas mole. Good drinks. It is now on our regular rotation.

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