Tag Archives: Mexican

Sombreros…So Smart

They say the best things happen when you least expect it, like a relationship when it’s the last thing of your mind.  Come to think of it, I think that’s the only thing they say it about.  Because what else does it really happen with?  But, I’m not talking about relationships here.  Remember this is the Bite-Sized Blonde talking, which can only mean one thing.

The last thing I wanted to eat on Friday was Mexican.  After the rather adequate meal I had at Cascabel earlier that week, I had no interest in looking at another taco so soon.  But once I heard about the amazing margaritas at Rosarito, I was in.   Oh, the sweet, sweet power of tequila.  Rosarito is a new Mexican Fish Shack in Williamsburg.  NY Mag so cleverly said “This Mexican spot wears many hats (sombreros?), moonlighting as a pescaderia, tacqueria, and a “mezcal tequila bar.”   Damn I wish I thought of that first.  Sombreros…so smart.

Since it’s not PC to be shallow, we all pretend to not judge a book by its cover.  But, let’s be real…we all do it.  And I am guilty of it too.  I walked into Rosarito and was instantly attracted to it.  Bleached wood for that beachy feeling, antique lamps and dim lighting for a little romance, and a bar full of tequila.   Let me reiterate instant attraction.  Not what I was expecting to feel after Cascabel.   But like I said, the best things happen when you least expect it.

I started with a special margarita –  reposado tequila with guava, cilantro and lime.  Refreshing and delicious.  Reposado is aged anywhere between 2 months and a year in oak barrels, giving off a richer and more complex flavor.

What’s a Mexican meal without guacamole? No, this isn’t a riddle.  I’m not really a riddle kind of girl.  Let me tell you what it is.   It’s weird, kind of like those glasses without lenses.  The guacamole was great, but the chips were unapologetically crunchy, just the way I like them.

I’ve never heard of a pescadilla before, but I knew immediately I had to try it.  I mean, how could a crispy corn quesadilla filled with red snapper, cheese and salsa verde be bad?  It was awesome.  The tortilla was crispy but the inside was delicate.  The creamy cheese made this seriously sinful.

I always thought good things come in small packages was about me until I had the Taquitos De Cangrejo.  These mini tacos were filled with crabmeat, mango and salsa and garnished with a little pickled ginger.   The light crabmeat was a perfect filling for the salty taco shells and sweet mango.

While ceviche might seem simple, a great ceviche is anything but, and I had two great ceviches at Rosarito.  The first was the sea scallop ceviche.  The scallops were thinly sliced and drizzled with yuzu and garlic oil.  Yuzu is an Asian citrus fruit with a unique twang.  Mixed with the garlic oil, it was the perfect dressing for the scallops, which were accompanied by ripe avocado, onions and scallions, and topped with toasted buttery quinoa.  The dish was smooth and tangy and crunchy all in one bite.

I didn’t think another ceviche could exist as stimulating as the scallops but then came the lobster ceviche.  The lobster was cut into thin disks and served with equal size slices of sweet strawberries.  It was dressed with yuzu and covered in scallions and the same toasted buttery quinoa as the scallops, but with one awesome addition.  This ceviche was drizzled in truffle oil.  It sounds complicated, but the dish was an oasis of flavors.  This wild dish took me for a ride and I liked it.

It was finally time for the tacos, and by then I had already forgotten my previous taco experience this week.  Cascabel who? The lobster taco was absolutely seductive.  The meat was so sweet and supple.  It was simply garnished with scallions and a little avocado cream. You know something is good when you don’t have to disguise it…like a pretty girl who doesn’t need to wear make up, which is exactly who this taco would be if it was a girl.

The taco shells need to be mentioned.  They were delicate and delicious and totally homemade.  Ingredient number 1 – love.  Yup, I could taste it.  Ingredient number 2 – steak and ingredient number 3 – beer.  Sounds like the makings of a pretty good Friday night if you ask me.

As if we didn’t order enough, there was just one more thing to finish off our meal, a steak.  The steak was marinated in adobe and served with sweet plantains.  I’ve never had a plantain before, because you know how much I HATE bananas and anything resembling them.  But these plantains were out of control.  They tasted like sweet potato candies.

Whoopsies, can’t forget about dessert, a classic tres leches cake.  Tres leches means three milks, usually evaporate milk, condensed milk and heavy cream, or otherwise known as a Lactose Intolerant person’s worse nightmare.  Because of the milk, the cake is extremely moist and sweet.  And what a sweet way it was to end a sweet meal.

Rosarito is now the third awesome BK dining experience I’ve had.  First came Brooklyn Fare, then TASTE and now Rosarito.  I never thought I would be declaring my love for another borough, but here I am saying I love you Brooklyn.

168 Wythe Ave.
Williamsburg, NY

It’s Not Me, It’s You

As a single girl in the City, I’ve not only grown accustomed to dating, I’ve developed a taste for it.  What can I say? I love to date.  Of course, not every date is dazzling or disastrous.  Some dates are O.K. and the same can be said of restaurants.  Case in point, Cascabel Taqueria.

I have to admit, I was really excited about Cascabel.  My trusted sources at Immaculate Infatuation rated it an 8 out of 10…that is until last week.  They revisited the restaurant and revisited their opinion and determined that an 8 was too high.  Cascabel now has a 5.7.  After my recent visit, I understand the rating, neither high nor low.

Cascabel is an eccentric little taqueria on the Upper East Side, and what I thought was the perfect location for a night out with great friends.  Although they don’t take reservations, we were seated right away.  I heard about their tequila snow cones before I got there, so we ordered a round of cones for the table to get the night started.  Obviously.  While they were tasty, the snow cones weren’t cones at all.  They were shaved ice in a glass with tequila.  So, basically they were extra frozen margaritas.  There are a few things I never joke about, tequila included.   So, this was a disappointment.  Not enough to ruin a night with great friends.  After all, it’s not like they were trying to serve us bad tequila.  Now that would be a deal breaker.

We started with guacamole.  Each chip was one large tortilla, which I thought was awesome, a little hard to eat, but awesome nonetheless.  The avocados were so fresh but the guacamole was overly salted.   I felt myself bloating by the bite.

We ordered 4 different kinds of tacos to share – pescado, camaron, pollo chipotle, and carne asada.  For those of you who don’t remember your high school Spanish, here’s a little cheat sheet: pescado – fish; camaron – shrimp; pollo – chicken; carne – meat.  The pescado taco was filled with crispy yellowfin tuna belly, hearts of palm, olive and onion.  I took one bite of this taco and had to put it down.  I have an allergy to spicy food, and guess what was in this taco? Chiles.  A chile is typically one of those ingredients that is listed on a menu, or at least a dish with a chile is indicated as **hot**.  With no indication, there’s no stopping me.  Unhappy with the first taco, I moved onto the second: the camaron taco.  The camaron taco had roasted shrimp, fresh oregano, garlic, chili oil and black beans.   There were a lot of beans in this taco, maybe even more beans that shrimp.  Not what I was expecting, but not bad.  The pollo chipotle taco had amish chicken, avocado, green onion and chicken chicharron.  This taco was one of the better tacos we had. The chicken was packed with flavor.  The taco was one texture though.  It definitely could have benefitted from a little crunch.  The carne asada taco was my favorite, filled with grilled hanger steak, oyster mushrooms, house cream and crispy onions.  The steak was tender and satisfying.

Onto the sides…grilled corn and quinoa.  The grilled corn, which was covered in Mexican aioli, lime, and queso cotija, was sweet and creamy.  I love the taste of the grill, especially on corn.  And how could adding cheese be anything but great? Warning!! This is a “leave your manners at the door” dish, because there is no polite way to eat this corn.  Just try not to smile right away.

You know I love quinoa, but there was nothing exciting about Cascabel’s quinoa.  Mixed with a little queso cotija and cilantro, it was rather boring.  Not bad, just boring.

Just like the tequila snow cones, the churros were not what I was expecting.  Rather than churros sticks, we were served churros nuggets.  Three nuggets to be precise.  There were four of us at the table.  The worst offense though, was that they weren’t fresh.

A little tequila goes a long way, especially when it’s good tequila.  And good tequila I had indeed.  The watermelon margarita was sweet, tangy and refreshing.  Good drinks and great company was enough to make this a great night.  But the food left a little something to be desired, just like an O.K. date.

Sorry Cascabel, you seem great, you really do.  But I’m looking for something casual with you.  Ya know, every once in a while.  We can see each other, I’m just not ready to commit to you.