Saturday, November 19, 2011

cantina by cascabel

I literally just read this tweet: "Mexican food is unbelievably regionalized. To call one city 'the kitchen of Mexico' is inaccurate, there are a nearly a dozen." I couldn't agree more, despite the fact that I'm not sure to what/whom Adam Goldberg was responding. I also believe it's undeniable that the majority of Americans adore Mexican food, no matter what version they're accustomed to.
My dad, on the other hand, rarely seeks out Mexican restaurants. He was born in the countryside of Jalisco, one of the 31 states of Mexico, and is often disappointed in the adaptations of his native cuisine. It should also be noted that he's the kind of person who only believes things are great if he likes them. If he doesn't like something, it's obviously just bad. I get my affinity for exotic flavor from my mom.
Anyway, now that you know all the important information :) the point... I've been meeting my dad for lunch in my neighborhood about once a week since he's been conveniently working nearby. I love being able to spend one-on-one time with him (and expand on my Upper East Side palate.) This past Friday, I insisted we try Cascabel, one of the highest rated Mexican restaurants in the area.
For whatever reason, we ended up at their sister restaurant, Cantina de Cascabel, instead. Thoughts? Guacamole, mediocre. Hot sauce, fantastic. Baja Fish tacos, perfect. My dad didn't love their Pollo Chipotle Burrito, but he was thrilled they were serving Captain Lawrence, and at happy hour prices. 

Thanks for being open minded enough to treat me to the casual, Southern California-style Mexican lunch, Dad. I cannot, cannot wait to share a more authentic meal when we're in Mexico at the end of December.


  1. Yum I want that guac! Love mexican food :)

  2. Yeah..My boyfriend is of Mexican descent and doesn't love Americanized mexican (although I pretty much love the flavors/spices).

    P.s. when are you going to Mexico? I get into ny the 18th!

  3. Gina: I always want guac, ha. Me too!

    Claire: I think it's a pride thing :) I can appreciate it for it's different approach. I'll be there over New Year's so no need to worry! We will at least meet up once.

  4. ah, a cascabel just opened on the west side! i had a feeling it wasn't entirely authentic but am willing to give it a try anyway. so exciting that you are going to mexico in december! it is definitely high on my list, and as a mexican food lover i must experience the real deal someday. i'd love to hear how your dad feels about fonda in park slope - it's my favorite.

  5. sofia: Let me know what you think! Yes, I am very excited. I haven't been there in years. Also, if I'm able to drag my dad into Brooklyn, we'll definitely try Fonda.

  6. OH! OH! That's where I went to... drink hot chocolate after I saw you last weekend! And my mom and I went back this past Sunday and it was great. I need to try the veggie tacos!

  7. Katie: Aw :). They invited me back for tacos on the East Side. Join me on the East Side one day.

  8. Whereabouts in Mexico are you going? I'm currently in mexico city. It's definitely regionalized but most places have gorditas, quesadillas, tacos, tortas. And it's all delicious!!! Plus super cheap too.

    I went to Casabel when I was in NY- I thought it was pretty nice. Good cocktails too. Although I think blockheads across the road wins for best value margaritas!

  9. Josie @ Cancun, actually. Ha. I'd love to go to Mexico City though! I've never been and there are so many things I want to see and do and eat there :). And yes, Blockheads definitely wins for margaritas! Glad you got to try both.


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