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. 

Bo’s

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If New Orleans cuisine wandered into a NYC restaurant in the Flatiron District, well, you’d get Bo’s. 

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Upon entering, you’re welcomed into the warm and unique aesthetic. The bar and restaurant have exposed brick walls and contemporary light fixtures with a large lighted piece in the very back of the restaurant, luring you in, that reads “Yeah You Right”. Now, just to get it out of the way, the service that night, while totally friendly and nice, was a little scattered. I used to wait tables, so, I know there are always off-nights etc. But, it’s a more casual setting, it isn’t fine dining, so I’m usually a lot more relaxed in cases like this.

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Now, let’s get to buttery delicious things. You’re started off with some of their Monkey Bread. As a kid, I had a dessert Monkey Bread, but this one is much different. While it’s served dry, its buttery, and salty, and soft, just melting in your mouth.

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First, I ordered their Fresh Fall Greens (kale, swiss chard, brussels leaves, frisée, harvest fruits and vegetables, horseradish-buttermilk dressing, candied walnuts). Piled up to a little salad heaven, this was a really delightful start. The harvest fruits that evening were apple, pear and quince (a fruit similar in texture to a pear with a very mild flavor). I liked the contrast of flavors from the mild horseradish in the buttermilk dressing to the sweetness of the apples and candied walnuts. 

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Then, I ordered Roasted Trout (steamed broccolini, toasted almonds, castelvetrano olives, pomegranate-tomato vinaigrette). Over all, I really liked this dish, but had a couple mixed feelings. While everything in its entirety was delicious, I think it was a bit salty for my taste between the trout and the olives. However, the broccolini was awesome and the acidity of the pomegranate-tomato vinaigrette did a good job of breaking up the saltiness. I also felt like the vinaigrette may have been a bit too generous in the dish. But, the fish was cooked perfectly, delicate and tender. 

The Shorts:
Name: Bo’s
Location: 6 West 24th Street, NYC
The Long and Short: Would I go back? I would. I think next time I’ll be going for some dessert, the Hazelnut Profiteroles were calling my name but my stomach was too full to allow them to join the party.
Would I recommend it? Yes, overall I had a good experience, but even if you just grabbed a drink at the bar, you can still soak in all of its decorative beauty.