Mexican joints can be a gamble in NYC- some places are create authentically south of the border plates; others just produce nasty messes of greasy cheese and tortillas. I managed to get lucky not once, but twice in the past two days with two Mexican places just blocks from each other! So here is a short blog post shouting out these two restos in the Upper West Side / Morningside Heights vicinity.
The honey brought home dinner on Friday night from Taqueria y Fonda on Amsterdam Avenue between 107th and 108th. It was a bit of a hole in wall, he said, but since everyone ordering takeout was Latino, he figured it had to be good. And he was right! I enjoyed a cactus taco and a vegetable quesadilla- and to my delight, it wasn't the typical quesadilla stuffed with onions and lettuce and dubbed "a vegetable quesadilla." It was filled with grilled broccoli, carrots, spinach, green and red peppers, tomatoes, onions, and just a little bit of queso fresco. Even more enticing, it was topping with a fresh guacamole that was barely salted, just the way I like it. Perfect!
After a soccer game on this sunny Saturday afternoon, my pals and I desperately needed some refueling. And it was all too convenient that Noche Mexicana was located across the street, on the corner of 101st and Amsterdam Avenue, and that it came recommended from a friend. They were very generous with their chips and spicy red and green dipping sauces, and their entree sizes were quite generous as well. They had the usual vegetarian options- a vegetable quesadilla, burrito, enchilada, and tacos- and I chose a pumpkin flower quesadilla. Though a bit more cheese than I would have liked, I enjoyed the sauteed pumpkin flowers, which I'd never tried before, and they were like a heartier version of zucchini flowers. I also ended up dipping some of my quesadilla into my friend's bowl of mole`, because I can never resist a good mole`, and even though it didn't quite go with my dish, it was one of the best moles I ever tasted!
Ah, doesn't it feel good to get lucky over the weekend?