Eating Mexican and fish taco firsts at Empellon

This is actually about something I ate a while ago, but I figured it’s worth posting about.

Did I mention that I’m slowly falling in love with West Village? A couple Sundays ago, on a whim, I for whatever reason decided I wanted Mexican. This brought me back to Empellon Taqueria. I had heard that some place called Empellon was opened last summer by a certain Alex Stupak, a pastry chef of WD~50 and Alinea fame. But apparently, it was Empellon Cocina that got all the press. However, just because Empellon Taqueria doesn’t get as much press, don’t underestimate it. It’s also quite good. (Although I have been to Empellon Cocina yet, so I guess I can’t really talk about comparisons.)

Anyways, mad cravings for Mexican, or rather a desire to be adventurous and eat something other than Japanese, French, or Chinese cuisine brought us to Empellon Taqueria where I had my first fish taco.

Anyways, the place is pretty dimly lit, which as much as I like mood lighting, I also like to be able to see my food. But it wasn’t as bad as some places I’ve been to (*cough**cough* Violet Hour in Chicago *cough**cough*)
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The decor is pretty and has this sort of rebellious, rock ‘n roll feel to it. For what ever reason it reminds me of Nellcote on Randolph in Chicago.

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Maybe it has something to do with the dungeon looking chandeliers.

So we ordered a queso fundido, which apparently translates so something delicious with melted chihuahua cheese, also served with warm tortillas. (It’s funny how after a month, I don’t really remember what this thing was called except that there was Chihuahua involved somewhere, somehow.) I don’t think it meant to, but it basically stole the spotlight of the dinner.
Photo Jul 15, 8 17 19 PM
We agreed that it was kind of like Mexican fondue.

We also got a couple of tacos (lamb and fish) to finish off the meal.
Photo Jul 15, 8 35 56 PM
Lamb Barbacoa with Cucumber Salsa Borracha tacos. The flavors are really familiar. The seasoning of the lamb is reminiscent of Xinjiang lamb kalbobs, or the Lamb burgers you can get at Xi’an Famous Foods. It was tasty, but for some reason didn’t make me feel like anything was special.

Photo Jul 15, 8 35 51 PM
Fish Tempura with Cabbage and Lime Mayonnaise. This was pretty tasty. I’ve never eaten a fish taco until this time, so I don’t really have a point of reference, but Ray said it was pretty good. It was certainly tangy, and nice and fried.

Of course we had to get some dessert.
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Photo Jul 15, 8 55 11 PM
Although, now looking at this picture I can’t tell what it is, nor do I remember what it was. All I remember was dessert was okay, nothing awe-inducing, but decent and a nice way to finish off the meal. However, knowing me, it probably had something to do with flan.

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It’s a rare day when Ray wears a graphic tee.

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