Sunday, February 22, 2015

Taco Hunt: Chavela's | Crown Heights, Brooklyn

On Presidents Day my good friend Brittany and I decided we would go explore Brooklyn. After a few Google searches, we settled on visiting The Brooklyn Museum in Prospect Park. Two subway rides and a freezing walk later we finally arrived – only to discover the city-run museum was closed due to the national holiday. Well, shit. On to the next best thing: tacos, of course! Another Google search and a 15 minute walk led us to Chavela's, a traditional Mexican restaurant in Crown Heights.

As soon as we opened the door I felt like we had been transported to my grandparents' kitchen. Colorful tile, weird little nic nacs, and the scent of Mexican goodness filled the room. Despite being the prime brunch rush (as apparent by the crowd near the door) we were cheerfully greeted and sat within ten minutes. 

Now to the good stuff: the food. Though I was pretty tempted to try their tacos, their brunch menu was too good to pass up – $12.99 for an entree, pan dulce, and coffee! I must admit, I had not had pan dulce (Mexican sweet bread) in New York since moving here and I was pleasantly reminded why its a staple in every Mexican kitchen: soft, sweet, and the perfect treat to dip in your coffee. I meant to take a picture but it was in our stomachs before we knew it! 

For my entree I went with chilaquiles verdes: crunchy deep-fried tortilla triangles bathed in spicy tomatillo salsa, topped with queso fresco and accompanied with refried beans, marinated pulled chicken, and huevos estrellados. Let me just say, OMG. I am usually a pretty tough chilaquile critic since my mom's are the absolute best and I make some pretty mean chilaquiles myself, but Chavela's were just perfect! The right balance of soft and crunchy tortillas, perfectly seasoned and with a spicy kick. Damn, they were good!

Their drink menu was also a winner: all the classics and a few funky twists. I went with the Don Pepino: a refreshing mix of El Jimador tequila, cucumber and cilantro served in a Tajin-rimmed glass. Light, fresh, and delicious! Brittany, who is a long time michelada fan tried their Modelo michelada and was not disappointed by the spicy drink either.

Overall, Chavela's was the perfect way to turn a silly mistake of a morning into a delightful unexpected surprise. I can't wait to go back and try the rest of their menu as I am sure it will be just as great as their brunch!


Have you tried the tacos at Chavela's? If so, let me know what I should try during my next visit!

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