We passed in front of Tacuba so many times that we thought we should finally try it. And we did twice within a week, one time for brunch and the other one for dinner, brunch having a much quieter atmosphere. So you can imagine that it was a good experience...
Tacuba is a big place, with, tucked in in the back, a large dining room that is quite dark in the evening, not my favorite setting as I like to see the food I am eating. It was so dark that I had to use the candle on the table to read the menu (I know that I am getting older, but this was definitely the low light that forced me to do this). They gave us a corner table, that I like, but it was too small for all the food we ordered, but we made it happen. We started both times with their guacamole that was quite good and fresh. We asked for mild and got it as requested. It came with a roasted tomato salsa that was delicious that I also used on tacos.
For brunch, we tried two of their appetizers, as we wanted to try dessert and had other plans anyway. Jodi tried their Quesadilla de flor that is made with Burrata, manchego, zucchini flower, kale pesto and chile de arbor.
On my side, I tried the Quesadilla De Costilla, composed of Beef short rib, Mexican cheeses, bone marrow, salsa verde, avocado, pickled red onions. My choice was driven by the fact that there is bone marrow on it and I was not disappointed, although the marrow was not as present as I expected. Still, it was delicious. In fact both of these quesadillas were great: the tortilla was slightly crispy, and it was like a Mexican pizza, but elevated with nice and fresh ingredients.
For dinner, I should start with the Chef's Margarita, that is Chef Julian Medina's creation made with double barrel Reposado tequila, Agavero tequila liqueur, orange and lime juice.
After having some guacamole, we got our entrées. Jodi chose veggie tacos called Calabacita Con Jamaica, composed by zucchini, corn, queso fresco, cherry tomatoes crispy hibiscus flowers and chipotle salsa.
On my side, picked the Pulpo y Chorizo tacos, a sort of surf and turf combination made with octopus, chorizo, melted Mexican cheese, chipotle salsa and pickled habanero-red onions.
These tacos were delicious, with lots of filling in it. The veggie tacos were not bland at all, but my favorite was definitely the pulp y chorizo one that was superb: there could have been a bit more octopus in it, but besides that, it was really good, the combination of the two proteins working well together. It had a slight spiciness, was juicy and slightly salty thanks to the chorizo. There were 3 tacos in each plate, made with soft tortillas, and I just wish they proposed a sampler as they have many on the menu that look very good. They even have one with chapulin that are grasshoppers!
For dessert, we could not resist ordering their churros when we went for brunch. They were a bit pale (they probably could have cooked a slightly longer), but these sticks of fried dough were very good, crispy, even better when dipped in dulce de leche (I did not care much about the chocolate sauce that came with it).
The other dessert we tried at Tacuba was their Chocolate crunch cake, that is a chocolate cake, caveat (sort of dulce de leche) and chocolate pop rocks. This was a very good dessert, very chocolatey.
Overall, our two meals at Tacuba were really good: this is for sure a place to know and I would probably go back to try these grasshoppers...
Enjoy (I did)!
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Tacuba Mexican Cantina - 802 Ninth Ave, New York, NY 10019