The Q at Parkside

(for those for whom the Parkside Q is their hometrain)

News and Nonsense from the Brooklyn neighborhood of Lefferts and environs, or more specifically a neighborhood once known as Melrose Park. Sometimes called Lefferts Gardens. Or Prospect-Lefferts Gardens. Or PLG. Or North Flatbush. Or Caledonia (west of Ocean). Or West Pigtown. Across From Park Slope. Under Crown Heights. Near Drummer's Grove. The Side of the Park With the McDonalds. Jackie Robinson Town. Home of Lefferts Manor. West Wingate. Near Kings County Hospital. Or if you're coming from the airport in taxi, maybe just Flatbush is best.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Mexican Food and Burgers - After All These Years Still Packin' 'Em In and Packin' 'Em On

The burger. The taco. The cheeseburger. The burrito. French Fries. Tortilla Chips. Pickles. Salsa. Where would the American waistline be without these simple and seemingly unstoppable foodstuff? I've got a firm handle on the burger story. But what about Mexican Food? Great book on the topic of how Mexican food came to dominate the American landscape.

NPR on  Gustavo Arellano's book

Jim Mamary's latest - Burger Mexicano - will soon open at the old Meytex location. Which probably confused a lot of people thinking the Meytex was some variation on Tex Mex, when in fact it was a tradition Ghanian Chop Bar. And so we've gone from something truly exotic to something truly common, and yet something tells me this place will do just fine. Mamary's old Enduro/LPT bit the dust at the top of the year, and was replaced by an unimpressive Mexican joint. So if Burger Mexicano shows any signs of life and zest, it'll be packed to the gills. Especially the Fish Taco. Will be packed to the gills. Fish. Gills.\

Here's the menu, courtesy of Otto on F-book:







20 comments:

Bob Marvin said...

I disagree about El Patron, LPT/Enduro's replacement, being "unimpressive". Their food reminds me of what I found in my late '60s travels in non-touristy parts of Mexico. I like the restaurant a lot.

Clarkson FlatBed said...

I used the word "unimpressive" on purpose, Bob. The place is unpretentious, un-Brooklyn2015, and not unlike other small sit-down Mexican places in, say, Sunset Park or even a few out in Flatbush. I'm not particularly impressed by food or service or atmosphere, nor am I "offended" as our friend Paul G. was.

I tend to judge Mexican places by their guacamole, salsa and tortilla chips, none of which are impressive at El Patron. But neither do I find myself upset about it or unable to enjoy.

So. Unimpressive.

Bob Marvin said...

I guess we're just impressed by different things Tim. I love that El Patron is so unassuming and REAL

Anonymous said...

What El Patron really needs is a liquor license...what is Mexican food without an accompanying Margarita?

Arms House said...

Unfortunately I would agree with the Q's assessment as unimpressive. I found the food to be very bland. With that being said I am still rooting for these guys and hope that the place evolves over time and that they can get a liquor license as I am sure it is impossible to survive without one. As for Jim's new place I cannot say I have much hope as Jim is responsible for some of the worst Mexican joints I have ever been to in NYC. The one on Smith street was awful and Enduro was downright inedible. Jim is good at creating the physical spaces and to me the Gowanus Yacht club is the perfect summer time bar, but the food at all of them seems to be an afterthought.

Clarkson FlatBed said...

I'm impressed by you, Bob. Are you not impressed by you? If so, that is if you're not, perhaps you're right.

Anonymous said...

Speaking of "unimpressive," I'm not very optimistic about Burger Mexicano's posted menu. Looks like stuff has been recycled from Lincoln Park's old menu...pecan crusted trout and linguini at a burgeria/tacqueria? Seriously? If it's just the same food as before, then I am skeptical about the burgers especially. I gave the LPT's burgers numerous chances over the years, and they were always mediocre at best. Totally unseasoned meat, "toppings" listlessly piled on the side of the plate, burger usually cooked past my medium-rare order. Was really hoping this new joint would be a fresh start with better food.

It looks like they're trying to please everyone with a mishmash menu, and can't even commit to their named theme. I hope their tacos are good and they refine their menu around their strengths.

Paul Galloway said...

Dude, "unassuming" does not have to equal "crappy food", as is the case with El Patron. Just go to Corona or Sunset Park if you want some GOOD Mexican food in far more unassuming environs.

Anonymous said...

Arms House nailed it

"Jim is good at creating the physical spaces, but the food at all of them seems to be an afterthought". I agree, his joints are pretty creative and original but the food at all these places is bland and lifeless, like sports bar quality food basically.

El Patron pretty much the same (bar quality food) and the quality of meat they use seems pretty poor.

Anonymous said...

Bob, is it possible you were remembering the Mexican section of the Epcot Center instead of non-touristy Mexico? I've never had a taco in Mexico covered in iceberg lettuce. Reminds me of a real gringo Mexican restaurant I've been to in London! Seriously, that place wouldn't last a week in any Brooklyn neighborhood with even a minimal competition. And while we're at it, while I love the vibe at Bluebird and Midwood, neither place bothered to put in real kitchens. C'mon, it's restaurant 101. Yeah, yeah, I know they just want to sell booze but they're missing the boat!

AlexVee said...

The menu's visual design, as well as its contents are jumbled and confusing. I hope the food is better.

Bob Marvin said...

Never been to Epcot Anon 12:55 and I take the suggestion that I'd go anywhere in Florida as an insult. Most places in Mexico don't serve lettuce to foreigners, knowing that it'd be rejected. No one not long-accustomed to the local micro-organisms would eat any greens, or any raw fruit or veggie there (unless they peel it them Sent or,possibly, Are in some fancy tourist hotel).

jillie said...

My enchiladas are back!!!!! YES!!!!!

Bob Marvin said...

I've never been at Epcot anon. 12:55 and am not inclined to ever go anywhere in Florida. I do recall seeing lots of lettuce-covered food in Mexico, but always declined greens washed in tap water.

Anonymous said...

I disagree with your take on El Patron as well. Although, most of their menu is clearly catering to some strange fantasy of what mexican food should be, I think their Azteca tacos are pretty legitimate. Their carnitas are actually done properly, that impressed me.
As for Burger Mexicano, I agree with most the commentators here, not interesting...at all. I didn't think highly of Enduro or LPT either. Maybe that guy should give up.

Douglas Singleton said...

For what it's worth, I too take issue with El Patron being "unimpressive". I think it's actually pretty good, or rather impressive, all said and done, reminds me of more traditional taquerias in Chicago and Los Angeles. It's especially good for New York, which lacks good Mexican food outside of Jackson Heights and Sunset Park, maybe Spanish Harlem. (And even those can be mediocre.) Notice El Patron is one of the few restaurants to serve actual Mexican rice, rather than white long grain rice cooked in tomato sauce, which annoys me to no end. They also go out of their way to have real traditional queso Chihuahua. The restaurant definitely needs a beer/wine license though. But as far as Mexican food goes I think they're a cut above what you usually get in NYC.

Anonymous said...

It has opened and serves fresh, tasty food. I went tonight and shall return.

Revolutionary Comrade

Anonymous said...

I went on opening night and was pleasantly surprised, I played it safe and ordered the Burger Mexicano and it was a good one. Shall be returning too.

babs said...

Just had lunch there the other day (great $10 deal). FREE chips and salsa to start (who even does that anymore?), and, as always, loving service! From what I hear, unfortunately, their lease is only month-to-month and the SLA doesn't grant licenses to those without a long-term lease. Great for a relaxed weekday non-alcoholic lunch however!

babs said...

By there I meant El Patron, BTW.