When we first moved to NYC there was a large fishbowl restaurant on Broadway north of Houston called Carumba. It was inexpensive and served killer margaritas. It was the first real restaurant you went with friends after college. The biggest issue is that theives would come in on random nights and steal pocketbooks off of womens chairs and nobody even noticed. The entire restaurant including the patrons and the people who ran it were drunk. It was quite the scene.
Fast forward, we have Mission Cantina. It is a different time, they do not serve margaritas (just beer and wine) but the food is inexpensive, the place is packed and even if the food is not stellar it is a fun low cost experience.
We started across the street at Tiny Fork for some margaritas. An adorable restaurant with a huge bar area. Whoever built that place did a great job in terms of space and flow. They also have a really good margarita.
Our first course was the smoked queso oaxaca with herbs over fried bread. Fried bread is kind of one of those things that you can't go wrong with.
I swear that there are chicken wings under there. Deep fried chicken wings rubbed with mole spices and doused in chili vinegar, sesame and crema.
Tacos galore. They all kind of taste the same but there are highlights. These are the fish tacos. Skate wing tempura with avacado and crema.
Carnitas. Confit pork shoulder and pork jowl with pork craklings. This is a winner.
Cumin lamb, smoked prune and herbed crema. If you like lamb (and I do) then this has your name on it.
Braised octopus with grilled turkey wing. Does that work? It can.
Roasted eggplant with tomato, raisins, pine nuts and chorizo spices. This was clever and really good and spicy!
Bowl of creamed masa with beer braised collard greens on top. I would have like to see just a bowl of collard greens.
Spicy cucumbers with a peanut salsa. Bang.
Last out was the whole roasted chicken stuffed with rice, chorizo raisins and pecans with a brown rice vinaigrette. Falling off the bone. We all indulged on this one.
Had a great time. Lots of dishes, lots of drinks, totally Mexican the Mission Cantina way.