We ate Mexican twice in the past week – brunch at Crema on Sunday and dinner at La Esquina on Wednesday. These restaurants are on opposite ends of the trendy spectrum, but both turn out delicious Mexican cuisine.
I can’t remember how we came across Crema, but we have had a love affair with the brainchild of Julieta Ballesteros (former head chef of Mexicana Mama) since our first visit in 2006. We’ve had a few disappointing meals here and there, but mostly we have been delighted with the topnotch Mexican fare and delicious margaritas. There is nothing terribly special about Crema’s décor and atmosphere; the food is the star of the show. One recession tip is that Crema hosts happy hour every night from 5 to 7, which includes 2 for 1 margaritas (a $12 savings!). Some of our favorite things to order include the guac (course), the chicken flautas (perhaps the best you’ll have outside of Mexico..or close, anyway) and the carne asada tacos.
For no good reason, we had not eaten at Crema for quite some time until we had brunch on Sunday with two friends. This was our first brunch at Crema and it was a wonderful reminder that Crema serves the best Mexican food in NYC (yep, I said it). Brunch was truly outstanding. You can either order an entree alone or as part of a $19 price prix fixe, which includes a side and a mimosa. The waiter was kind enough to swap out the mimosa for a margarita for an additional $4. At $23, this was not an inexpensive brunch, but it included an enormous amount of food (I took home more than half of my entrée) so it was actually a good deal.
My order was the best of the bunch – Chilaquiles Verdes Y Rojos Con Huevos Poche (baked tortilla casserole with shredded chicken breast, flavored with green and red salsa, chihuahua cheese, crema, red onions, and fresh cilantro; topped with poached eggs…whew, that was a long description) – but everyone was pleased with their orders. My husband liked his burrito, but I thought the mole was too cinnamony. The zucchini corn cake with the salmon eggs benedict was amazing and the potatoes served on the side were prepared perfectly (although they, too, were made with cinnamon, which is a flavor that I prefer with sweet not savory items).
Pictures below. I just made a reservation for dinner at Crema next month – we’re back on board! Have a great weekend filled with good food and tune in next week to hear about La Esquina.