Monday, November 24, 2008

Fresh, zesty

On Friday night, when it was painfully cold outside, Peter found a place a fantastic new Mexican spot to try. But it was a bus ride away.

Buses are the absolute worst way to travel when it's cold outside because you have to stand still outside. Peter's solution to this is to walk to the next stop instead of standing around and waiting until you and the bus finally cross paths. Not fun.

BUT! The Mexican place. That was fun.

A lot of people aren't too fond of Mexican food from New York, and I don't entirely disagree. It can be sticky and gooey and bland -- a far cry from the fresh, zesty stuff from Mexico.

Chavella's is much, much better than the other places we've tried around the city. It's on a very non-descript street with a giant nursing home across the way. But the inside is quite charming. Warm paint colors, a view into the tiny kitchen, and very sweet servers.

We started with some guacamole (good, but not great), then got an order of tamales with chicken. This was yummy -- a nice corn texture, a little bit of heat. I adore the corn that they sell at the Red Hook food stands covered with mayonnaise, cumin, chili powder, and Parmesan, and when I saw something like it on the menu, I had to have it. It was delicious, but would, of course, be better when corn is actually in season.

We shared a taco filled with potatoes and chorizo, which was the most memorable dish of the night. The chorizo/potato mixture had a very smooth texture, but a nice bite to it -- by far my favorite dish of the night. Then we had enchiladas with a mole sauce with just the right amount of muted chocolate in the background.

After we'd paid our bill ($30!), and were walking between bus stops trying to stay warm, Peter said, "I feel like we were missing that sort of place in our rotation." I'm so happy we have it now.

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