Cafe El Presidente

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Tacos and tequila, it’s a match made in heaven (and Mexico). I’ve had the good, the bad, and the, well, good and bad is enough. And I’m always up for finding a new, delicious taco and killer tequila cocktail. Cafe El Presidente just opened up in Flatiron, so, I had to check it out.

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Upon entering, you almost feel an Eataly or market vibe. The ceiling is high, the space is open, and there are areas within seeming to do or have their own things going on. They serve fresh juices at their own dedicated juice bar right when you walk in. You can order juices there starting at breakfast, and then, scoot over a couple feet to the bar once lunch and dinner roll around. In the back, you’ll see one of my most favorite things, an open kitchen. One thing I will say, is that branding is a little confusing here. There are slogans and names plastered throughout the restaurant, but none of them seem to say “Cafe El Presidente”…not even the menu. For a second, I thought they changed the name already, or, that I might be in the wrong spot. Not sure the reason behind it all, but, a little confusing.

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Here, they’re mainly serving tacos and sides, and all of their tacos are made with quality, sustainable products. But, I had to start off with some tequila. I ordered their Spiked Sandia (watermelon agua fresca and tequila). So, honestly, not my favorite drink, but not my least favorite either. It was pretty simple, watermelon juice and tequila, but, didn’t really wow me. Sometimes simplicity is key, but, we could have done a little something extra here, maybe a hint of agave, maybe a little jalapeño, you know, a little excitement.

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For food, I ordered a few a la carte items. I had their Esquites (grilled corn in a cup with cotija cheese and chipotle mayo). Served in a paper cup, you get the feel of street food, but inside you have this amazing cup of delicious corn. I really love Mexican corn, but one of the worst things is, if it’s on the cob, getting your hands all messy and the kernels all in your teeth. So, when it’s served in the cup, you get all the benefits without the mess. The corn is grilled, giving it great flavor, adding some creaminess from the cotija cheese, and then you have a really nice spice from the chipotle mayo.

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Next, I had their Black Bean Y Sweet Potatoes Taco (heirloom beans, sweet potatoes, dried chile salsa, queso, on a corn tortilla). I really liked this taco. The tortilla is substantial and had both a lightness and bit of a chew to it that makes it a great base to hold the generous portion of beans and sweet potatoes. This combination also makes for a nice play on sweet and savory, adding a touch of sweetness from the potatoes, which I really liked. 

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Then, I had the Crispy Fish Taco (beer battered Alaskan Cod topped with pickled cabbage on a corn tortilla). This was a great one. The fish is coated in a nice, crispy batter, but not too thick, allowing you to really enjoy the tenderness and flakiness of the Cod. The cabbage adds a little bite of vinegar, and there’s a herby mayo topping it all to marry together the textures and flavors. 

The Shorts:
Name: Cafe El Presidente
Location: 30 West 24th Street, NYC
The Long and Short: Would I go back? For sure, the overall vibe of the place is really great, service is friendly, and the food is really tasty. 
Would I recommend it? Yes, the tacos were great, I recommend definitely getting their corn, and, maybe stick to a beer or wine if you’re drinking. 

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Seersucker

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I went to Nightingale 9 in Carroll Gardens not too long ago, and loved it. But wouldn’t you know, this Vietnamese restaurant has a sister who hales from the South? Since Nightingale 9 was so amazing, I had to check out this other spot. A few doors down, you’ll find Seersucker in Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn.

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Focusing on a seasonal menu, this lovely and inviting restaurant serves Southern cuisine with a bit of a NYC twist. The service is awesome, and everything on the menu looked great. To drink, I had to go for their Smokey and The Bandit (chipotle infused white pile whiskey, smoked brown sugar syrup, lime juice). This drink was incredible. The glass is served out to you, upside down, on a mini cast iron skillet, filled with smoke. Once the smokiness is infused in the glass, it’s lifted up and in pours your drink. It’s not particularly spicy, but has such a great smokiness and warmth, which is balanced out with the slight sweetness of the brown sugar syrup.

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Then, before your meal, you’re served some complimentary little biscuits with a salted molasses and apricot jam. The biscuits are unreal, and honestly don’t even need any spreads. They’re light, flaky and buttery and melt in your mouth. But, if you add the spreads, the apricot is my favorite. It’s fresh and sweet and really compliments the delicate savoriness of the biscuit.

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To start, I had the Bibb Lettuce Salad (radish, celery seed vinaigrette, NY butternut squash oil, toasted benne seeds). It’s deliciously fresh and light and the perfect start to your meal. I especially loved the celery seed vinaigrette, something I haven’t had before.

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For my entree, I ordered Grilled Pennsylvania Trout (morels, pickled collard stems, pea shoots). I really loved this dish. The fish bathes in this deliciously savory broth, soaking in the flavor. It’s tender and light, and complimented nicely by the delicate, plump morels and collard stems.

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With such an amazing meal, I had to get some of their dessert. I had a Rice Pudding (rhubarb compote and brown sugar crumble). This was the perfect little finish to the meal. It’s not too sweet, but the rice pudding is rich, creamy, and the compote is sweet with a light tartness. Together, they’re a match made in mason jar heaven.

The Shorts:
Name: Seersucker
Location: 329 Smith Street, Brooklyn
The Long and Short: Would I go back? Without a doubt. The whole experience was great and the food and drinks are no joke.
Would I recommend it? Absolutely. Everything was amazing, so, you can’t really go wrong here.