Apr 3 2015

Empellon Taqueria


Empellon is a Mexican restaurant in New York. It has 3 branches and Empellon Taqueria, where we went, is one of their more formal (but still quite casual) restaurants in West Village. The restaurant opened 4 years ago and serves Mexican dishes focusing on tacos. We booked a table here for Friday dinner a few hours before coming here, and they could accommodate us (although it was an early dinner). The restaurant has a buzzing bar at the front and a restaurant that is equally buzzing at the back and by the end of our dinner the dining room was full and people seemed to be having loads of fun.

The menu is divided into vegetable dishes, ceviches, sopes (a sort of thicker taco, traditional in Mexico), melted cheese and warm tortilla dishes as well as tacos and various sides and snacks. We ordered a bit of everything and then shared things. The dishes cost from $9 to $39 (the most expensive dish was a lobster taco). We also ordered guacamole with 2 salsas (smoked cashew and arbol) with corn chips. The guacamole and salsas were good and one of them was very spicy, but lovely.

The thing that stood out for me at Empellon were the ceviches. I thought they did the ceviches very well, better than at some Peruvian restuarants in London. We ordered 2 ceviches (both $16) –the shrimp, cape gooseberries, chipotle, dashi one and the octopus, parsnip, pumpkin seeds, salsa papanteca ceviche. I preferred the shrimp ceviche, which was a bit more creative than your average Peruvian ceviche using dashi and cape gooseberries (or physalis as it is called in some other countries), and had a wonderful slightly citrusy taste.

We ordered one dish from the “queso fundido” section, with melted Chihuahua cheese served with warm tortillas and green chorizo and spinach. It was one of the heaviest dishes to eat and you had to assemble this yourself. The tortillas were warm small, and felt home-made and very pleasant and you added the cheese, green chorizo and spinach filling into the tortilla, then folded it and ate it. It was a delicious dish (although it did not have a strong chorizo taste), but was too heavy for me. We also ordered a side of pickled vegetables, as I love those, and besides me no one was eating them, but I (obviously) thought they were great.

We ordered 4 different types of tacos, the skirt steak and mojo de ajo tacos for $24 (for 3 tacos), the expensive lobster, field corn and epazote tacos, lamb barbacoa cucumber and salsa borracha tacos and the fish tempura ones. I tried a few of them, and whilst I think the ceviches really stood out versus ceviches that other restaurants offer, these tacos did not. They were good, but you can get equally good tacos in London if you look. They were quite pretty though with a few creative touches. 

I enjoyed the atmosphere and the food at Empellon, but this is not the best Mexican in New York, and I prefer La Esquina for Mexican food in New York.

Date: 03/ 04/ 15
Location: New York
Price per person: around $40 (but we did not eat too much)

Empellón Taqueria on Urbanspoon

Maija rated: 



Empellon Taqueria
230 West 4th Street NY 10014
New York
United States
Empellon Taqueria Reviewed by Hungry Bee Maija on . Rating: 3.5