Monday, June 4, 2012

El Centro 06-01-2012

Location: 824 9th Ave.
Time: 12:45pm
People: Eric, LM, RS, SD and myself

Feelings: As we five coworkers tried to grab a quick bite at the new Thai restaurant with the scandalous name, Noodies, we quickly realized Friday wasn't the right day. It seems the entire Midtown workforce enjoys Friday lunches on 9th Ave. The wait for this naughty named noodle shop was about 20-30 minutes, so we went into next door Mexican spot, El Centro. Years ago, this location was occupied by Vynl, and if you look closely, the decor has not changed too drastically. As we were promptly seated, I reminisced of the summer of 2001.

...And we waited and waited. We waited for our food for about 20-30 minutes. The server did not refill our chips or water, and everyone started to check their phone for their work messages, looking hungry and frail. By the time we got our food, everything on our plates was shockingly cold. Needless to say, the service here is something to be desired.

I expected this Americanized Mexican place to serve food that was mediocre at best, but the flavors, despite the temperature, were quite satisfying. My two grilled mahi-mahi tacos (with caramelized onion, guacamole, and chipotle aioli, $10) were fresh and well seasoned. They were a bit overpriced for the portion but tasty nonetheless. SD's baja shrimp tacos (with negra modelo beer batter, cucumber pico de gallo, chipotle aioli and guacamole, $10) were also crispy and not too heavy. Eric ordered chorizo sausage and goat cheese quesadilla ($10). "As a fan of goat cheese I was really happy to taste the goat cheese prominently throughout," he said. "Some bites were more of only meat and some were really cheesy. The meat was ground finely and went well with the smoothness of the cheese. The surrounding tortilla was flaky and tasty on its own as well. Fresh pico de gallo on top was a welcome garnish." --This eloquent Queens native needs to start his own food blog immediately!

If you are going to El Centro with your coworkers on Friday, make sure to drink a lot of margaritas so you won't know how long you spent time waiting.They also have lunch specials for $9.95 with a side of salad or sweet potato fries. If you don't want to spend $10 and wait 30 minutes for two small tacos, I recommend calling them about these lunch specials and asking for a delivery or a pick up. Let me know how long that would take you.

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