Cafe Mexicano for a Taste of Oaxaca
Cafe Mexicano on Union Street near 4th Avenue is such a small place you would easily walk right by if not for the few outdoor tables. It's easily overshadowed by the larger Mexican bistro next door. I understand the two are not related. But don't just walk right by Cafe Mexicano. Given the prices, the "hole-in-the-wall" serves up some mighty tasty Oaxacan food. The service is friendly and attentive too.
Some items on the menu like tacloyos and Aztec hoggie you don't see at other Mexican restaurants. We started off with a simple nacho dish ($4.50). Black bean puree, traditional Mexican sour cream and avocado sauce set off the stale fried tortillas. Yes. That's right. I said "stale." They fry up old tortillas into nacho chips which I guess means they save the freshest tortillas for the other dishes. I appreciate this utilitarian approach to cooking and don't mind the stale taste, especially since it serves a purpose. The chicken enchiladas poblanos in mole sauce ($6.00) came with shredded lettuce, sliced avocado and sesame seeds on top. I was struck by the simplicity and freshness of ingredients. I must admit. I enjoyed mixing up the crunchy Romaine with the hot enchiladas and mole sauce. Another treat were the chicken tinga tacloyos, corn cakes stufffed with Oaxacan cheese and chicken with chipotle sauce.
All this goes down nicely with a few Negra Modellos at an outside table.
Cafe Mexicano is located at 671 Union St., 718-623-6574