Wednesday, May 13, 2009

El Parador Cafe

This Murray Hill establishment was founded in 1959, making it the oldest Mexican restaurant in Manhattan, according to their profile on OpenTable. Typically I would have walked passed the aged red awning on East 34th St. thinking the restaurant would be old and gross inside but to my surprise the decor inside is quite charming. The rustic lanterns casting dim light against white stucco walls.
The chips, salsa and guacamole are all homemade (as they should be). Their salsa is definitely unique, seasoned with undertones of cinnamon was an unexpected but delicious twist on traditional salsa!
Three friends and I shared two vegetarian entrees and two bottles of wine for a very reasonable price and loved our dishes. After reviewing the main menu we asked to see the vegetarian menu, which unfortunately isn't available so you'll just have to trust me that it features some amazing dishes. We ordered the spinach and cheese enchiladas served with a thick black bean sauce and sweet potato tostadas- two flat tostadas served with a sweet potato mash that was sweetened with honey and citrus. I would definitely recommend trying the sweet potato tostadas but I think it would be too sweet to eat the whole thing as an entree so consider sharing it either as an appetizer or an entree.
Besides the food, El Parador Cafe also offers an extensive wine list that's primarily Spanish wines, white and red sangria and an encyclopedia of tequilas.
As you've noticed from my reviews, Mexican cuisine is always one of my favorites... what's your favorite Mexican restaurant in NYC?