I recently brought my good friend and fellow foodie, Kendra, to visit Amigos Restaurant near Columbia University on Manhattan’s Upper West Side. Aside from Kendra’s fabulous company, I invited her because she lived in Mexico as well as thruought Latin America and knows inspired and authentic cuisine.
Here is what we discovered.
#5: Chef Alex Garcia (above) along with his rotating roster of acclaimed chefs (and friends) like Adrian Leon, Aaron Sanchez, and Roberto Santibanez create an ever-changing menu with their individual flair on flavors to classic dishes like Adobe Short Ribs, Baja Fish and BBQ offerings like Smoked Brisket and Pulled Pork Sandwiches, etc.
#4: The colorful interior is a magnet for university students and the prices are a pleasant welcome to the over-priced hood brimming with mediocre eateries. But that is not the point. The lively ambiance is also popular with families. You won’t feel like you are in a frat house so much as on a on a sun drenched calle with a touch of something I call Mexi-funk pop art.
#3: Amigo’s prepares guacamole in mild, medium or spicy as well as various out-of-the-box combinations and served in a molcajete (mortar without the pestle). I suggest the authentic recipe and turn up the heat, however if you are loco, they can prepare versions with ingredients like pineapple, mint and pomegranate. This dish won several awards and both Kendra and I think it’s beyond worthy.
#2: Drink Menu: For cocktails I recommend the Los Amigos made with El Mayor Plata Tequila, Barenjager, OJ & a Cinnamon Orange Wheel. Amigos created a 32 oz. fish bowl with rum and pineapple punch if that is your thing — they apparently flow on weekends from Baja to Broadway. It’s also considered a sin to visit a Mexican restaurant without imbibing on at least one adult beverage.
#1: In traditional South of the Border fashion mixed with Gringo gastronomic and cultural demands, they serve tacos, enchiladas, burritos, etc. The Slow Cooked Pork Carnitas are full of flavor and succulent. The Guacamole is exceptional. Amigos is also popular for their nachos, quesadillas and their Chicken Enchilada. Kendra and I agreed that the dining experience is well worth the trip to 112th Street.
#1B: Warm weather. Outdoor seating. An ever-changing menu with gusto and margaritas y cerveza. What more do you need this Spring?
New York, NY