Offering a straightforward menu of fancy-ish Mexican dishes, Empellon is a welcome addition to the West Village's lackluster Mexican options. While nothing blew us away, the food was solid with the good outweighing the bad. The guacamole was perfect and the signature cocktails and margaritas are excellent.
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Guacamole & Two Salsas
The guacamole had an ideal consistency; chunky enough without being clumpy. Spicy enough to provide a kick, but not require a sip of water after each bite. The chips were good (and came with free refills), as were the two salsas
- a creamy Smoked Cashew and hot Arbol Chile. It’s a nice serving
Tetilla with Rajas and Nopales
Oh yes, this is where it’s at. Go heavy on the Queso Fundido section and make sure you get this tetilla cheese with peppers and cactus. Tetilla means nipple in Spanish apparently. Obviously, we can get behind cheese shaped like a titty.
Tamale of Shortrib
Underwhelming. The short rib wasn’t that good, neither was the corn tamale. Skip.
Big, messy tacos that missed that extra something to make them awesome. The green chorizo is a nice touch.
Lamb Barbacoa Tacos
This one is their bread and butter. Served with salsa borracha, they burn through a ton of these huge mounds of lamb taco a day. We see why, too. Get into some of this action.
Fish Tempura Tacos
A weak amount of fish brings this otherwise enjoyable taco with cabbage and lime mayo down. Still worth an order, we just wish there was another strip of fried tilapia.
Scotch Egg Taco
There’s nothing we love more than egg in our tacos. This needs to be a permanent fixture on the menu. Chef, well done. More please
Baby back Ribs
Highly recommended by our waitress, but a dish we could have easily done without. The ribs were fatty and minimal in actual meat. It came with polenta and longaniza sausage (chorizo), both of which helped, but couldn’t save this. Off the plates section, definitely go with the Skirt Steak instead.
Mini fried dough ballsthat must be on your table to close out this meal. Served with two different dipping sauces, Cajeta (“confection of thickened syrup usually made of sweetened caramelised milk” says Wiki) and Warm Honey. Ridiculous.