Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Eating My Way Through The East Village: Cook Kid Mexican Edition

Even more coolness in the East Village! I have been waiting for Empellon Cocina to open because:
1) I love Empellon
2) I saw they had a lobster queso on the menu
In true food creep style, I cruised by the place so many times looking for them to be officially open. Finally, we got a reservation (late, naturally) and tried out Alex Stupak's second hand at Mexican. It's delicious. If you've been lucky to go to WD-50 (shout out to Nicko and Joshie for taking me there!), the meal starts with the same sort of coral-reef inspired flat bread, only this one is like a really delicious corn tortilla flat bread thingy. It was exceptionally greasy, but that means it was really good, right? Dip it into the pistachio guac. There were a ton of nuts on the menu which made it difficult for me, but lobster queso did NOT disappoint. I consider the fact that I haven't been ordering it to go nightly a real coup in my life. They have an extensive and expensive tequila and  mezcal menu, and your margarita comes with a choice of tequila or mezcal. Viva le mezcal! And for those that have it coming to them, a serrano tincture (fancy word for spicy syrup) can be added as well. 

{image via Empellon}
105 First Avenue 
New York, NY 10003

Shocker! Another case of me jumping the gun on an opening, but I get so excited reading all my food blogs and seeing what's new in our fair city.  Plus, I'm no fool - it's only a matter of time before everyone goes there, then B&T goes there, then the place is g-o-n-e. Pulqueria was definitely cool kid territory - by default, as it's located waaaaay the hell down in Chinatown! But, with Le Baron around the corner now and Apotheke next door (they're allegedly connected underground) this little corner of Chinatown is bumpin'. 

{image via the NYT}

Pulque is an old Mexican elixir and is milky with a little bit of fermented bubbling - kind of like a milky Kombucha, two things that should never mix. However, it somehow works in the decent cocktails. I wouldn't say they're outstanding because by nature I'm not going to like pulque, but the atmosphere was so cool I didn't care. Reasons for its hype:
1) It's underground. as in under yet another Chinese store front, but unlike it's sister bar, Apotheke, this one you have to actually go down steep steps to get to the landing.
2) There is an awesome bar scene, all Mexican-tiled and thatch-roofed with plenty of room to dance. In fact they have Monday night parties and a DJ quite often. I would definitely bust a move here, decked out in my downtown finest. 
3) It has sikil pak, this pumpkin seed spread stuff, which is actually quite good, had we gotten ours anytime close to when we ordered it.
4) Service is less than par, but this is almost a prerequiste at a "cool kid" spot and I feel like a grandma complaining about it, but that's why when a cool spot has good food and good service, everyone goes nuts.

11 Doyers St
New York, NY 10013

1 comment:

  1. Great post! being an ex-east village local, I know how amazing and eclectic this neighbourhood is, such a buzz and never without variety and excitement. Loved reading it, and being reminded of the great times living in NY, I use to live right on 14th and A but never had even tried either of these, just shows how much variety there really is! One of my fav was Caracus, a brazillian hole in the wall xo

    Thanks! hope you check out my Spring posting.

    Monica <3




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