Last week, I had the opportunity to dine at a Mexican gem on 321 East Houston Street, El Maguey y La Tuna (which means the tequila/mezcal and the prickly pear plant). The restaurant is family-owned by father and daughter Maria & Leonides Cortez.
The restaurant serves Rustic Mexican food, from the Puebla region to be exact, and uses recipes that have been in the family for years. They are also known for their fantastic moles, which are made in-house (a rare find in NYC).
It was a really cold night, so as soon as I got in, I was offered a traditional Mexican Apple Cider. It was incredibly delicious and just what I needed to warm up. They actually brought it back because it was a hit over the holiday’s and had gotten so cold again. You also had the option to have rum or tequila in it. I would definitely recommend you try any of their cocktails. They have a variety of margaritas. I had the guava margarita which was perfect. I also recommend Maria’s Sangria. We drank the red sangria, which definitely had a kick to it. Maria definitely knows what she is doing as she is also the Beverage Director and owner.
We were sent out a variety of different traditional Mexican dishes to try, starting with the taquitos. I really enjoyed them and think they are a great dish to start any dinner with, easy to share. Next, came out the tamales, I’ll admit I love a good tamale and these blew me away. It was a perfect balance of masa and meat, I’d definitely order it as a meal next time. Just thinking about them makes me hungry.
Those were just the appetizers, next came entrees which ranged from Adobo, Chile Rellenos, Fish Tacos, and Chicken Mole. My two favorites by far were the Chile Relleno and Chicken Mole, and the Adobo was a close runner-up. I noticed each dish was served with rice, beans (black or refried), and fresh-made tortillas. The servings are surely enough to split with someone and you’ll definitely have leftovers to take home. Before we left, they sent us out dessert which was a delicious flan and chocolate cake with some cafe con leche for each of us. The desserts and coffee were nothing short of amazing and had tons of flavor.
If you know me, I love good food and good deals and El Maguey y La Tuna definitely won me over with some of their deals. They have an $11.95 pre-fixe brunch that includes a cocktail. This is an amazing find in the city because you can spend $11.95 alone on a cocktail at some places. They also have amazing lunch and dinner prices that range anywhere from $5.95-$16.95.
I was so happy I had the opportunity to come and have dinner there. I would gladly go back because it’s affordable and everything is made homemade. You can taste how much time and dedication is put in each dish, especially the moles. It’s the perfect place to go share some plates and margaritas with a few friends or the even perfect getaway date spot away from the all of the madness of Midtown.
Disclaimer: My meal was paid for by the PR firm that represents the restaurant, but any thoughts or opinions are my own.
El Maguey Y La Tuna Mexican Restaurant is located at 321 E Houston St New York, NY 10002.[mappress mapid=”151″]
Hours of Operation
Closed on Mondays
Tuesday – Sunday 11:00AM – 11:00PM