Friday, October 8, 2010

Neighborhood Eats - Greenwich Village Edition - Part II

This is another series of mini-blogs about places around our apartment that we’ve sampled over the past few weeks:

Pinché Taqueria – I’ve always found it difficult to find really good, inexpensive Mexican food in the city, so when this spot was recommended to me by “Web,” I was pretty, pretty, pretty, pretty excited (anyone else excited for Curb to come back?!). I read good things online about the fish tacos so I went with the Taco de Pescado (Fish) & Taco de Camaron (Shrimp). While both were OK (not good, not bad, just OK), they were not filling at all and they each cost $4.
Side ramble: I felt like they should have been $2 each so I could have four. You might be thinking, “Stop being such a cheapskate & get 3 tacos for $12!” Well, if I’m going to spend $12 + tax on 3 tacos, I might as well go to Rosa Mexicano and spend $20 to eat their Budín de Pollo dish that I love so much. Like I said, I’m looking for good, cheap Mexican food. I want to be able to get a burrito the size of my head with fresh ingredients from a non-fast food Mexican spot, and I want it for under $10! Anyhow, I digress…

They taste worse than they look.

What made the tacos worse was that next to me, Jess was sitting PRETTY with a Pinché taco salad that looked somewhere between 10,000 & 1 million times better than my dish! The taco salad comes in a tortilla shell, which means you can add as little or as much crunch as you want. It’s also a heaping pile of lettuce, tomatoes, chicken, guacamole and comes with a delicious cilantro dressing (they have other options too).
In short, epic fail.

However, I wasn’t ready to give up on Pinché for good. Not me! I went back just the other night & got another dish that was recommended to me… nachos w/ carnitas (braised pork). Bing bang boom! Just like that, Pinché was in my good graces! The nachos were loaded with cheese, topped with tasty, fresh guacamole, and the beans & pork were mixed into each layer of nachos!

They taste better than they look. You'll have to trust me.

Pinché redeemed itself and while I’m not ready to anoint them “my Mexican spot,” I’m pretty, pretty, pretty excited for my next experience.

(There are two Pinché locations. I went to the Lafayette Street location for both meals but the “eb” in “Web” claims that the Mott Street location is better. I don’t buy it.)

Pizza Box – This place was recommended to Jess & I by her cousin’s fiancé, Jordan, and we were anxious to find a good pizza-by-the-slice spot near our apartment. Jordan claimed it to be his favorite pizza place in NYC. Do I trust his pizza opinion? Not that much, to be honest, as he’s from Cleveland. But, I gave it a shot and was proven wrong... Clevelanders can know good pizza! I got a cheese slice & a ‘roni slice and both were on the money. As Jess said, “this is what you expect when you think of good New York pizza.”

We’re both pumped to have found our local pizza joint. We will probably be stopping by there after a night out drinking. Taboot, there’s a chill garden in the back that’s perfect for dining in.

Quantum Leap – Yet another recommendation - this one was by my sister’s friend, Julie K. Quantum Leap is a vegan, natural food spot with locations in the E & W Village. We ordered in from here and really, really enjoyed our meal. I got the Portobello Pesto Burger with a side of sweet yam fries. It’s a grilled veggie burger topped with roasted sweet peppers, grilled onions, Portobello mushrooms, & pesto sauce, and it absolutely rules! Along with the sweet potato fries, it’s a hearty, healthy meal that hit the spot! We’ll definitely be coming back here to sample the rest of their menu.

Silver Spurs Diner/Restaurant – Sweet potato fries were MONEY!! Turkey burger with swiss and avocado grew on me as the meal moved along and I ended up enjoying it. Similar to Quantum Leap, this meal was hearty, and felt healthy (even though it probably wasn’t). I want to come back here to get a beef burger (which I hear is huge) and to eat more of those tasty fries! Jess went with a salad and wasn’t disappointed – their salads are big and there are so many different options. This is a good spot to have right around the corner.

NoHo Star – For a recent catch-up session over dinner, I headed to NoHo Star with a friend. The menu is a little odd – they have salads, sandwiches, omelets and then a side Chinese section that seems out of place. We both went for the American food there and I ordered the chicken burger that came with fontina, pickles that almost tasted like they had been marinated in soy sauce and some coleslaw. The burger was pretty tasty when paired along with the coleslaw but the pickles seemed a little out of place – in keeping with the random Asian aspect of this restaurant. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a solid place with lots of food options and a good place to catch up over food and drinks…but the food is by no means amazing. It did the trick and I would come back for another low-key weeknight meal.

PS – We’ve got a big weekend coming up with dinners planned at L’Artusi (cross it off the list!) & Nonya! Stay tuned…

1 comment:

  1. We order from Pinche all the time at work. That taco salad is the bomb. Any way I've had it, it always delivers! And, I think the one on Mott is better too!