Tag Archives: tacos

Barrio Chino, a Mexican restaurant in Chinatown.

Barrio Chino
253 Broome St
(between Ludlow St & Orchard St)
New York, NY 10002

I finally made it to Barrio Chino.  LAW doesn’t like Mexican food very much and since he is my primary dining date, I had yet to venture out to this very well-known Mexican restaurant situated right on the edge of Chinatown.  There’s also always a long line so there was even less incentive to go.  Anyway, I finally made it on a girls’ night out (+T.G.).

Started out with a round of margaritas.  I got the grapefruit margarita with a rim of sugar… apparently their most popular drink.  It was a good margarita, but lacked grapefruit taste.  I was imagining a deliciously cold sweet and tart tequila drink with hints of grapefruit bitterness… but just got the sweet and tart bit instead.  I would have had another round if I wasn’t biking home from dinner.

We shared the Guacamole with homemade tortilla chips and salsa roja ($10).  M.B. pushed my expectations way high when she said that we had to get it because it was some of the best guac she’s had.  She’s from California, where avocados are in season all year round, so she definitely knows her stuff.  The guac was creamy, yes, and very good.  But I think avocados are naturally just so awesome that I can’t say I’ve ever had bad guac before… it requires little more than mashing and some light ingredients.  The best guac is definitely the kind you make for yourself because you add as much salt, pepper, lime, and chilies as you like… This guac was not spicy enough for my taste and could have used a bit more lime.  But honestly, any ripe avocado makes me salivate.  $10 for a small bowl was also a bit pricey.  If you are willing to pay for overpriced guac, check out Rosa Mexicano.  They have a highly customizable guac appetizer that is deeelicious.

I had the Camarones Borrachos, which was a plate of fresh shrimp sauteed in tequila, guajillo chiles, and garlic, with green rice, avocado slices, and tortillas ($12).  The first thing I noticed was that the rice wasn’t really green.  Green rice, or arroz verde, is rice dish made with long grain rice, parsley, and steamed spinach leaves.  I’ve never had it so was excited to try what I envisioned to be a flavorful rice.  However, it tasted pretty plain, which after having the shrimp, I was happy about.  The sauce was tasty and had a nice kick to it from the chiles.  It was a little too salty, which is why the plain rice and tortillas were welcomed.  I was bummed that the shrimp was overcooked… overcooked seafood is one of my biggest pet peeves.  A couple seconds too long on the heat and the shrimp or fish is completely un-salvageable.  Seafood should be fresh, sweet, and only lightly seasoned to enhance its own flavors.  Not chewy, tough, and doused in sauce. Continue reading Barrio Chino, a Mexican restaurant in Chinatown.

Rosa Mexicano is launching a new menu… and I got to try it first!

 Rosa Mexicano
9 E 18th St
(between 5th Ave & Broadway)
New York, NY 10003


Yes, yes… I said I would start to cry if anyone mentioned Mexican food to me again but I was recently invited to a blogger tasting event at Rosa Mexicano for the launch of their new menu and of course had to go.  Free food!  Rosa Mexicano is a high end Mexican chain restaurant with 15 locations nationally, including three in New York.  I had been to the Union Square/Flat Iron one twice before and had an experience similar to what most Yelpers seem to say: pretty good Mexican food (albeit on the heavy side), large portions, and expensive.  I had always associated Mexican food with large portions and heaviness but never had expensive upscale Mexican food.  Well, my friends, Rosa is switching it up and will be launching a new menu that features smaller and lighter portions, though priced similarly to their old menu.

This is the most interesting taco I tried.  It is the Panza con Callos de Hacha, aka. seared diver scallops, crisp Kurobuta pork belly, and orange-habanero salsa.  As you can see from the photo, the scallops are perfectly seared.  The sides were browned and very slightly charred, while the centers were still extremely tender and maybe even slightly undercooked (the way it should be).  The scallops were also tremendously sweet, which is completely necessary when paired with something as flavorful as pork belly.  I was surprised that the pork belly didn’t mask the scallop’s flavors.  Kurobuta pork belly is essentially Berkshire (an early-maturing breed that is known for its juiciness, tenderness, and flavor).  I had three of these tacos that night and depending on the taco, my slice of pork was better or worse (one more crisp, one burnt, one perfect, some with more fat, and some with less).  Three of these tacos go for $21 … a bit steep in my opinion considering you get about one full (large) scallop per taco.  But money aside, this new interpretation of surf-n-turf was delectable.

Continue reading Rosa Mexicano is launching a new menu… and I got to try it first!