You know what we suddenly have plenty of in this town? Tacos. They're almost as ubiquitous as oysters in New York City restaurants these days, to the point that I think they might actually be pulling pork stuffed tortillas out of Manhasset Bay and shipping them to the East Village daily. But you know what we still don't have enough of? Good, honest Mexican restaurants. Mexican restaurants that aren't afraid to serve hot bowl of nothing but queso, because what did you come here for in the first place? Carrots? Get out.
Then again, if you live in Crown Heights, none of what I am saying probably makes any sense to you. Because you have Chavela's.
Chavela's is the perfect example of what a "Mexican restaurant" means to the majority of the country outside of New York City. It's loud, it's fun, it's full of tequila and cheese enchiladas, and it's pretty much the best thing ever, even when the food is just "good". Luckily, Chavela's is good pretty much always, and that's probably why it's pretty much always packed.
Your best bet for having success in this restaurant is to hit it for brunch, specifically with a big group of friends, and most importantly when you don't have much else on your schedule for the afternoon. You'll definitely have to wait for your table, and you'll probably end up drinking more than you planned to. But that's what's so great about brunch in a Mexican restaurant. You came here to have a good time. Not to eat oysters.
Obviously, you want some on your table. Have you ever said no to guacamole? Who are you?
Hot melted cheese, Poblano peppers, black beans, a side of warm tortillas...this is what Mexico does best. It's what Chavela's does best too. A must order.
An excellent example of tortilla soup. Not great for sharing, but sometimes it's OK to be selfish. This is one of those times.
The only tacos you should be eating at Chavela's. These fish tacos are excellent.
A big Poblano pepper, stuffed with queso fresco. This is one of our favorite things to eat here/at any Mexican restaurant.
Simple. Delicious. Eggs and tortillas with refried beans. A strong brunch order to accompany your third margarita.
See, huevos rancheros, but with simmered tortilla chips and salsa verde or mole on top. I go with the tangy salsa verde, because it's Sunday and I'm feeling lively. Results may vary.