Bar San Miguel


Behind a large, almost Medieval looking, wooden door, you’ll find a cozy, dimly lit Mexican restaurant with lots of calaveras throughout. I visited  Bar San Miguel in Carroll Gardens in Brooklyn for dinner. 


To drink, I ordered the Aldama (Jalapeño infused tequila, Avocado, Lime, Agave nectar, Green Chartreuse). Right off the bat, the fact that this drink had jalapeño tequila and avocado caught my attention. And, it definitely delivered. It has a really nice kick, followed by a slight sweet and smooth finish from the avocado and agave. 


To start, we had Guacamole y Totopas (house made chips with guacamole). The chips were nice and crisp, and the guac was thick with zesty pieces of tomato and onion. 


For my entree, I got their Fried Fish Tacos (with red onion and cherry tomato salsa). I really enjoyed these. The tortillas were warm and soft, yet still substantial enough to hold the weight of the fish and all its accouterment. The fish had a crisp batter, with a flavorful, flakiness to the meat.

The Shorts:
Name: Bar San Miguel
Location: 307 Smith Street, Brooklyn
The Long and Short: Would I go back? For sure. The atmosphere is really cozy and warm and the food is tasty.
Would I recommend it? Yes. Perfect if you want to just grab a drink at the bar, or enjoy a meal at a table. Even though the cold weather is approaching, they have an outdoor patio in the back. So, remember that when Spring hits. 



Empellón Al Pastor


Well, I’m a huge fan of the Empellón line, I’ve dined at Empellón Cocina and Tacqueria a number of times. Now, with their third installation, Al Pastor in the East Village, I naturally had to pay it a visit. 


With the same quality and integrity as their other locations, this spot focuses more on the bar atmosphere, where seating is first come first serve in a quick-serve style, serving up a variety of tequilas and mezcals, and then snacks of tacos, sides, and chips all $4 each and gluten free. 


You’ll find similar tie-ins with decor too, like their skull-faced pictures on the wall, but, you’ll also find a gigantic lama, skeletons, stacks of cash mural on the ceiling. Because, what else would you paint there?


To start, I ordered their Classic Margarita (Pueblo Viejo Blanco, fresh lime, smoked salt). Pure delight. Their drinks never disappoint me, and this one is no exception. 


First, I had their Guacamole with Chips. The chips are a bit thicker than your average chip, making them substantial and crisp, and not breaking in half with you scoop up some of the rich and creamy guac. 


Next, I had their Nopales Taco (nopales, arbol chile, queso fresco, cilantro, onion, salsa). This was great. Served on a soft, yet meaty, corn tortilla, all of the ingredients taste fresh and dynamic. There’s a great heat with this one, but smoothed out a bit from the queso fresco. 


Then I had the Oyster Mushroom Taco (oyster mushrooms, a la Mexicana, cilantro, onion, salsa). Now, I couldn’t effortlessly pick out all of the components here, but, I will say it was delicious. The mushrooms and plump, and packed with flavor, and married very well with the other ingredients. 

The Shorts:
Name: Empellón Al Pastor
Location: 132 St. Marks Place, NYC
The Long and Short: Would I go back? For sure, the drinks are awesome, the food is great and super affordable, and the atmosphere is really relaxed and casual. 
Would I recommend it? Yes. I’d recommend either getting there before the crowds (before 7pm), or after (around 9pm) if you want a place to sit and eat. Since it’s all quick-serve, you order at the counter, given a table number, and your food is brought out to you.