A +/- Look at NYC Food

El Centro

elcentroI read a review of El Centro by Nosher this week that echoed exactly how I felt when I ate there in February.  The expectiations, the disappointment, and most of all, the optimism for the place's potential- if just a few little changes were made.  Here's the gist of what was written:

When Chopper, HungryMan, and I visited recently, we found lots of passably decent dishes–and we ordered quite a bit of food–with nary a standout in the bunch. Nothing we ate was bad, by any means, but none of it made us want to rush back to El Centro.

While I did think the frozen margarita I drank during dinner was great, I hope that El Centro isn’t going to settle for mere adequacy in its food, especially when its problems seem to be simple ones, problems that might be eliminated with a few hours of watchful kitchen supervision on the part of the management. After all, it would be a shame to fill Vynl’s old digs with a restaurant that amounts to little more than a margarita bar that just happens to serve food [NYCNOSH]

When we went, El Centro had only been open for a week- and being a really big Hell's Kitchen (the restaurant) fan, I was pretty excited.  El Centro is the authentic mexican "street food" offshoot to Hell's Kitchen, a more upscale restaurant with Mexican flavors.  I like to think of it as what Fatty Crab is to 5 Ninth.  Same chef, right around the corner, stripped down- more authentic food.  I didn't necessarily think the food was going to be as good as Hell's Kitchen (after all it was billed as straight up Mexican street food), but I felt like it was going to be a great addition to the neighborhood.

In the end, while it was a really fun place to drink and eat with friends- the food that we got did not live up to how good it sounded on the menu.

What we got, and the +/-, after the jump… Continue reading


June 10, 2006 Posted by | Food: Mexican, Location: Hell's Kitchen, Price: Inexpensive | Leave a comment